Fields Medal

on August 22, 2006 with 0 comments » |

Grigori Perelman, the Russian who in 2002 solved the Poincare Conjecture, one of the hardest problems in mathematics, has declined the top prize in Mathematics, the Fields Medal.

Fields medal (Mathworld link) is awarded every four years on the occasion of the International Congress of Mathematicians to recognize outstanding mathematical achievement for existing work and for the promise of future achievement. The Field Medals, often said to be the Nobel Prize of Mathematics, were first proposed at the 1924 International Congress of Mathematicians in Toronto, where a resolution was adopted stating that at each subsequent conference, two gold medals should be awarded to recognize outstanding mathematical achievement. Professor John Charles Fields , a Canadian mathematician who was secretary of the 1924 Congress, later donated funds establishing the medals which were named in his honor, with the International Congress of Mathematicians adopting the proposal at the 1932 Zurich Congress and the first Fields Medals were awarded at the 1936 Congress in Oslo to Lars Valerian Ahlfors (Harvard University - for research on covering surfaces related to Riemann surfaces of inverse functions of entire and meromorphic functions. Opened up a new ideas in analysis) and Jesse Douglas (Massachusetts Institute of Technology - for work of the Plateau problem which is concerned with finding minimal surfaces connecting and determined by some fixed boundary. ) Note: List of Fields Medallists since then.

The Fields Medal is made of gold, and shows the head of Archimedes together with a quotation attributed to him: "Transire suum pectus mundoque potiri" ("Rise above oneself and grasp the world"). The reverse side bears the inscription: "Congregati ex toto orbe mathematici ob scripta insignia tribuere" ("the mathematicians assembled here from all over the world pay tribute for outstanding work"). - adapted from the Mathworld link mentioned above.

Other References (via Wolfram Research)

Albers, D. J.; Alexanderson, G. L.; and Reid, C. International Mathematical Congresses, An Illustrated History 1893-1986, rev. ed., incl. 1986. New York: Springer Verlag, 1987.

Fields Institute. "The Fields Medal."

International Mathematical Union. "Fields Medals and Rolf Nevanlinna Prize."

Joyce, D. "History of Mathematics: Fields Medals."

Lopez-Ortiz, A. "Fields Medal: Historical Introduction."

Lopez-Ortiz, A. "Why Is There No Nobel in Mathematics?"

MacTutor History of Mathematics Archives - The Fields Medal.

Monastyrsky, M. Modern Mathematics in the Light of the Fields Medals. Wellesley, MA: A. K. Peters, 1997.

Technische Universit├Ąt Berlin. "The Four Fields Medallists and the Nevanlinna Prize Winner of The International Congress of Mathematicians, Berlin 1998."

Other Links to Perleman (from the wiki entry)