The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation annually hands out no-strings-attached “genius grants” of $500,000 each to 24 individuals. As always, this year’s awards are being reported everywhere (AP, UPI, NY Times, USA Today, etc.). The Foundation’s own list of the recipients is here.

Of relevance to this blog, 4 of the 24 recipients are explicitly cited for work that involves mathematics and/or mathematical analysis of data:

- Esther Duflo, economist.
- Peter Huybers, climate scientist.
- L. Mahadevan, applied mathematician.
- Beth Shapiro, evolutionary biologist.

It’s likely that a few of the other 24 recipients also use mathematics in their work (Maneesh Agrawala, computer vision technologist; John A. Rogers, applied physicist; and Theodore Zolli, bridge engineer, come to mind), but it’s not explicitly mentioned in any of their brief bios.

Shortly after the winners were announced, NPR interviewed Mahadevan about his work and the award.