Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Nevanlinna and Fields Medals

Jon Kleinberg wins the Nevanlinna Prize, announced today at the 2006 International Congress of Mathematicians. Congratulations to Jon!

From the press release:

Jon Kleinberg's work has brought theoretical insights to bear on important practical questions that have become central to understanding and managing our increasingly networked world. He has worked in a wide range of areas, from network analysis and routing, to data mining, to comparative genomics and protein structure analysis. In addition to making fundamental contributions to research, Kleinberg has thought deeply about the impact of technology, in social, economic, and political spheres.

The Fields Medals go to Andrei Okounkov, Grigori Perelman, Terence Tao and Wendelin Werner. Perelman as expected for his work on the Poincaré Conjecture. Terence Tao played a role in work on Gowers Uniformity as well as many other areas of mathematics.

Finally Kiyoshi Ito wins the first Gauss Prize for Applications of Mathematics.

Luca is in Madrid and has the on-site ICM perspective. According to Luca, Perelman has declined the Fields Medal.

Update: BBC Story


  1. "The Fields Medals ... decided by an anonymous committee."

    Is the committee realy anonymous, or is it another exemplar of BBC's charlatanism?

  2. Is the committee realy anonymous, or is it another exemplar of BBC's charlatanism?

    Good grief. From the top of IMU's Fields Medal page: "The name of the Chair of the Committee is made public, but the names of other members of the Committee remain anonymous until the award of the prize at the Congress."

  3. It's indeed sad to hear about Perelman, though. There are several stories on the web, including on the Wikipedia page on Perelman (can't vouch for their authenticity, though).

    Apparently, he was fired from Steklov Mathematical Institute because he could not substantiate his claims on proving Geometrization (I presume they wanted a formal journal paper). They say that his former colleagues at Steklov made him feel like an "absolutely ungifted and untalented person"

    He is now unemployed, and even finds it painful to discuss mathematics.

    Sad, indeed.

  4. another exemplar of BBC's charlatanism

    I have been following BBC and CNN for several years now. I'm quite impressed with BBC's reporting, and don't subscribe to the viewpoint above. "Charlatansim" is an adjective that is more applicable to CNN's reporting than BBC's reporting, IMHO.

  5. BBC has proved to be an unfaithful source of information.
    The point made above about the supposed "anonymity" of the committe substantiates this claim.

  6. Anonymous, comment #3: No, G.P. was not fired from the Steklov Institute. Leaving the institute (and maybe mathematics at all) was his own decision.