- Ken Regan made the cover of Chess Life for his work on catching chess cheaters. (See here.)
- Jacob Lurie who I mentored when he was a high school student 1993-1995 won $3,000,000 for doing pure math. I am not kidding. See here and here. and here. This is a relatively new award called the breakthrough prize.
$3,000,000 is the largest amount of money for prizes of this sort (the Nobel is a paltry $1,200,000). Even so, I had not heard of the award until there was a math one. I wonder if it will become a household name like the Nobel has.
A few weeks ago I told my student Tucker, who is going to Digipen- a 4-year college with a BIG emphasis on programming computer games- that he is more likely to become a millionaire then my student Sam who is going to CMU to study pure math. I could be wrong.
I taught Jacob lots of recursion theory and he won the Westinghouse Award with a paper on Recursive Surreal Numbers; however, the work was all his own and didn't use much of what I taught him. After that I made a policy that for every $1000 a high school student of mine wins I get a free lunch. I emailed Jacob- and while he's not sure he'll give me 3000 lunches, he will treat me to lunch next time I am in Boston.
To quote the article, he won it for
Foundations of higher category theory and derived algebraic geometry for the classification of fully extended topological quantum field theories; and for providing a moduli-theoretic interpretation of elliptic co-homology.
I know what some of those words mean.