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The Academy Gold Medal in the Physical and Mathematical Sciences is awarded to the individual who has, in the estimation of the assessors, made the most distinguished contribution to the Physical and Mathematical Sciences while working in Ireland. On this occasion, it is awarded to Professor Sampson Shatashvili, Fellow of Trinity College Dublin, present holder of the Chair of Natural Philosophy (1847) and Director of the Hamilton Mathematics Institute, within that celebrated institution.

After a distinguished undergraduate and postgraduate career at Tbilisi State University and Leningrad Steklov Mathematics Institute, Sampson Shatashvili was awarded the D.Sc. degree by the latter in 1990, at the early age of thirty.

Various prestigious fellowships and awards followed, which led to Sampson taking up appointments at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton and, later, at Yale University. In 2002, he moved to Trinity College Dublin as Head of the School of Mathematics, in which post he served for six years.

Sampson’s outstanding contribution has been the discovery of relations between supersymmetric vacua and quantum integrability. In publications (with colleagues Nekrasov and Gerasimov) between 2006 and 2010, he discovered the correspondence between exact supersymmetric vacuum states of supersymmetric quantum gauge theories and quantum states of integrable systems of statistical mechanics and other exactly solvable quantum many-body systems. I am informed that this correspondence establishes the precise relations between two major areas of modern mathematics and theoretical physics – namely, gauge theories and quantum integrability. This research has attracted major international attention and has led to several conferences dedicated to its consequences.