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Past Winners

Learn more about the past winners of Nemmers Prizes at Northwestern.


Emily Brodsky, 2022

For her fundamental, transdisciplinary contributions to understanding the physics of earthquake networks at all scales.
Katherine Freeman

Katherine Freeman, 2020

For her pioneering and continued contributions to development of the field of compound-specific stable isotope geochemistry and its application to fundamental problems in earth science.

Ariel Pakes

Ariel Pakes, 2022

For his fundamental contributions to the development of the field of empirical industrial organization as it is applied to the study of market power, prices, mergers and productivity.

Claudia Goldin

Claudia Goldin, 2020

For her groundbreaking insights into the history of the American economy, the evolution of gender roles and the interplay of technology, human capital and labor markets.

David Kreps

David Kreps, 2018

For his work in game theory, decision theory, and finance profoundly shaped the direction of economic research by providing rigorous foundations and inspirations for new models in applied and theoretical economics.
Jean Tirole

Jean Tirole, 2014

For various contributions to economic theory and its application to finance, industrial organization and behavioral economics.

Daron Acemoglu

Daron Acemoglu, 2012

For fundamental contributions to the understanding of political institutions, technical change and economic growth.

Elhanan Helpman

Elhanan Helpman, 2010

For fundamental contributions to the understanding of modern international economics and the effects of political institutions on trade policy and economic growth.

Paul R. Milgrom

Paul R. Milgrom, 2008

For contributions dramatically expanding the understanding of the role of information and incentives in a variety of settings, including auctions, the theory of the firm, and oligopolistic markets.

Lars Peter Hansen

Lars Peter Hansen, 2006

For rigorously relating economic theory to observed macroeconomic and asset market behavior and for innovations in modeling optimal policy under uncertainty.

Ariel Rubinstein

Ariel Rubinstein, 2004

For a broad series of highly original contributions to game theory in economics, ranging from analyses of bargaining and repeated games to models of bounded rationality.

Edward C. Prescott

Edward C. Prescott, 2002

For work focused on business cycles and economic fluctuations that has greatly influenced the field of economics, as well as industrial organization, finance, general equilibrium theory, econometrics, and other areas of study.

Daniel L. McFadden

Daniel L. McFadden, 2000

For pioneering contributions in econometrics and founding modern econometric research on the analysis of discrete choice.

Robert J. Aumann

Robert J. Aumann, 1998

For revolutionizing economics and other social sciences by expanding their analysis to issues of strategies, coalitions and information.

Thomas J. Sargent

Thomas J. Sargent, 1996

For his work in both empirical and theoretical macroeconomics, and pioneering research analyzing how consumers and firms form expectations about future government policies.

Peter A. Diamond

Peter A. Diamond, 1994

For his analysis of the effects of the public debt on the behavior of the economy in the long run, his revolutionary study of sales and property taxes, and his pioneering of a novel way of thought regarding prosperity and recession.

Bhargav Bhatt

Bhargav Bhatt, 2022

For his revolutionary contributions to algebraic geometry in mixed characteristic through a new synthesis of ideas in topology, algebra and arithmetic.

Nalini Anantharaman

Nalini Anantharaman, 2020

For her profound contributions to microlocal analysis and mathematical physics, in particular to problems of localization and delocalization of eigenfunctions.

Assaf Naor

Assaf Naor, 2018

For his profound work on the geometry of metric spaces, which has led to breakthroughs in the theory of algorithms.

János Kollár

János Kollár, 2016

For his fundamental contributions to algebraic geometry, including the minimal model program and its applications, the theory of rational connectedness and the study of real algebraic varieties.
Michael Hopkins

Michael Hopkins, 2014

For his fundamental contributions to algebraic topology, stable homotopy theory and derived algebraic geometry.

Ingrid Daubechies

Ingrid Daubechies, 2012

For her numerous and lasting contributions to applied and computational analysis and for the remarkable impact her work has had across engineering and the sciences.

Simon Donaldson

Simon Donaldson, 2008

For groundbreaking work in four-dimensional topology, symplectic geometry and gauge theory, and for his remarkable use of ideas from physics to advance pure mathematics.

Mikhael L. Gromov

Mikhael L. Gromov, 2004

For his work in Riemannian geometry, which revolutionized the subject; his theory of pseudoholomorphic curves in symplectic manifolds; his solution of the problem of groups of polynomial growth; and his construction of the theory of hyperbolic groups.

Yakov G. Sinai

Yakov G. Sinai, 2002

For work revolutionizing the study of dynamical systems and influenced statistical mechanics, probability theory and statistical physics.

Edward Witten

Edward Witten, 2000

For his many contributions to particle physics and string theory.

John H. Conway

John H. Conway, 1998

For his work in the study of finite groups, knot theory, number theory, game theory, coding theory, tiling, and the creation of new number systems.

Joseph B. Keller

Joseph B. Keller, 1996

For distinguished work in applied mathematics, solving problems of wave propagation, mathematical modeling, and analysis of physical phenomena.

Yuri I. Manin

Yuri I. Manin, 1994

For fundamentally contributing to diverse branches of mathematics like algebraic geometry, number theory, and mathematical physics, solving major problems and developing techniques opening new avenues of research.

Jeremy Nathans

Jeremy Nathans, 2022

For his landmark discoveries into the molecular mechanisms of visual system development, function and disease.
William Bolcom

William Bolcom, 2021

For his vital contributions to 20th- and 21st-century American music across a variety of instrumental and vocal settings, masterfully fusing classical and popular influences that are uniquely effective at speaking to the human experience.

Jennifer Higdon

Jennifer Higdon, 2018

For her highly acclaimed and wide-ranging compositions that have led to her status as one of the most prolific and frequently performed living composers.

Steve Reich

Steve Reich, 2016

For his wide-reaching impact on contemporary musical composition, particularly through his use of human voices and speech to produce material for musical instruments.

Aaron Jay Kernis

Aaron Jay Kernis, 2012

For critically acclaimed compositions marked by their wide-ranging imagination and visceral emotional power.

John Luther Adams

John Luther Adams, 2010

For melding the physical and musical worlds into a unique artistic vision that transcends stylistic boundaries.

Kaija Saariaho

Kaija Saariaho, 2008

For transforming avant-garde techniques into a world of luminous, shifting color and emotional depth, mirroring the human experience.

Oliver Knussen

Oliver Knussen, 2006

For his uniquely focused, vibrantly varied music and his total embrace--as a profoundly influential composer, conductor and educator--of today's musical culture.

John Adams

John Adams, 2004

For his fusing of a wide range of styles into a voice entirely new and distinctive, and for his connection to and reflection of the world around us.