Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Fields and Nevanlinna Prizes

This is old news by now, but, in case you have not seen it already, at the opening ceremony of the 2006 International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM), four Fields Medals were awarded. The medalists are Andrei Okounkov, Grigory Perelman, Terence Tao, and Wendelin Werner. Perelman has apparently declined the award. At a press conference, John Ball (president of the IMU) said that Perelman will be recorded as having been awarded a Fields Medal but as having declined to accept it. Jon Kleinberg received the Nevanlinna Prize, and Kiyoshi Itô, who is 91, received the first-ever Gauss Prize. Congratulations to Jon, who also got a Mac Arthur fellowship in 2005. An AMS press release has more details about the six winners.

Luca Trevisan has "live commentary" from ICM 2006. Make sure you follow his lively blog reports! (For instance, look at his report on the laudationes for the prize winners.)

Today is a great day for TCS at ICM 2006. Avi Widgerson delivered his plenary talk "P, NP and mathematics: a computational complexity perspective", and brought one of the fundamental notions in Computer Science to the attention of a hord of mathematicians. I strongly advice all of you to read the beautiful paper he wrote for the occasion, and on which the talk is based. I look forward to reading Luca Trevisan's report on the talk.

Thanks Luca!

Addenda: BBC coverage, Guardian story, New York Times article.

I could not resist checking my distance from the 2006 Fields medal winners. According to the data on the AMS web site, my collaboration distance from all of the winners of the Fields medal is 6, apart from the one from W. Werner, which is 5. My Kleinberg distance is 4. Finally, my K. Ito number is infinite.

Scientifically speaking, my distance from each of these guys is infinite.

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