Every four years, the International Congress of Mathematicians of the International Mathematical Union meet and decide on what most consider the top honor in mathematics: the Fields Medal. The 2010 meeting will be in Hyderabad, India.
In 2006, one of the 4 named Fields Medalists, Grigori Perelman (a brilliant Russian mathematician), declined his medal. This had never been done before and was a great surprise to most of the mathematical community! He felt his (brilliant) proof of the Poincare Conjecture in 3 dimensions was a credit to the entire mathematics community and he alone did not deserve the award (there were a few other stipulations but this was the one most quoted). It will be interesting to see if this viewpoint will be taken by any other mathematicians in coming years!
The 2010 awards go out to:
- Ngo Bao Chau of the University of Chicago (effective September 1st, 2010)
- Cédric Villani of the Henri Poincaré Institut
- Stanislav Smirnov of the University of Geneva
- Elon Lindenstrauss of Princeton University
Although these men (which is interesting, no women) are brilliant men, I would like to add one thing that I’ve noticed while making this post: they all have horrible websites(if they have one at all)! I mean it is almost pathetic how terrible they are. It is so easy nowadays to use templates to make a website that it’s almost negative work to write a straight HTML based website. And a common counter argument to this is that they just don’t care enough. But I have to say this argument is pretty ignorant. As we move forward in science, more and more collaborative methods are used and a portal to the world is needed. A website is a great way for people to see the work you have done and easily contact you. This is key for the advancement of science. I wish more people cared about their “public profile” and spent at least some time on making halfway decent websites!
Anywho, congrats to the 2010 Fields Medalists! Maybe one day I’ll win one…