I’ll just note, in response to Michael’s post on how birthdates affect Fields Medals: If you actually look at this data, there’s very little support for this idea, given that most people who’ve received Fields Medals in the last 40 years have not only not been just barely elligible, but a small majority of them would have been eligible at the next ICM! In both 1978 and 1986, every single person who the Fields Medal would been eligible in the next go around. 7 of them (Tao, Baker, Novikov, Margulis, Fefferman, Donaldson and Faltings) had 2 more cycles of eligibility.
I’ve got to admit, I was a little surprised by this data, though interestingly young Fields Medalists seemed to peak around the early 80’s, exactly when the small wartime generation would have been turning 40. In recent years, this has been less pronounced (though 3 out of 6 in 2002 and 2006 would have been eligible 4 years later, so this hasn’t entirely changed).
Incidentally, by this logic, I am horrible positioned to get a Fields Medal. I’m 3 weeks too old to get one in 2022. If I do something really amazing in 2019, I’m going to be annoyed (not really. After all, awesome things are worth doing for their own sakes. On some level, being “the guy who would have gotten a Fields Medal if he’d been 3 weeks younger” is more memorable and unique than being “the guy who won a Fields Medal.” After all, there are lots of those).