The Chern Medal is awarded every four years on the occasion of the International Congress of Mathematicians to an individual whose accomplishments warrant the highest level of recognition for outstanding achievements in the field of mathematics. All living, natural persons, regardless of age or vocation, shall be eligible for the Medal. The Medal will be awarded for the first time at ICM 2010 in Hyderabad, India, see press release. This prize is jointly awarded by IMU and the Chern Medal Foundation (CMF). CMF funds the Chern Medal Award. The Medalist receives a cash prize of US$ 250,000. In addition, each Medalist may nominate one or more organizations to receive funding totaling US$ 250,000, for the support of research, education, or other outreach programs in the field of mathematics (the "Organization Awards"). The details of the Chern Medal Award, the nomination process, and the selection criteria can be found in the Chern Medal Program Guidelines.
The Chern Medal Award is established in memory of the outstanding mathematician Shiing-Shen Chern (1911, Jiaxing, China - 2004, Tianjin, China). Professor Chern devoted his life to mathematics, both in active research and education, and in nurturing the field whenever the opportunity arose. He obtained fundamental results in all the major aspects of modern geometry, and founded the area of global differential geometry. Chern’s work exhibited keen aesthetic tastes in his selection of problems and in his breadth exemplified the interconnectiveness of modern geometry and all of its aspects.
There are various Web pages informing in more detail about S. S. Chern's life and mathematical work; among these are