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AMS News - RSS FeedWed, 17 Sep 2014 00:00:00 ESTen-usLurie and Zhang Named MacArthur Fellows
http://www.ams.org/news?news_id=2376
http://www.ams.org/news?news_id=2376Wed, 17 Sep 2014 00:00:00 EST<p>
<strong><a href="/images/macarthur-2014-lurie.jpg"><img alt="Jacob Lurie" src="/images/thumbs/macarthur-2014-lurie.jpg" style="width: 67px; height: 100px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin-left: 2px; margin-right: 2px; float: left;" /></a><a href="/images/macarthur-2014-zhang.jpg"><img alt="Yitang Zhang" src="/images/thumbs/macarthur-2014-zhang.jpg" style="width: 76px; height: 100px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin-left: 1px; margin-right: 1px; float: left;" /></a>Jacob Lurie</strong> (left), Harvard University, and <strong>Yitang Zhang</strong> (right), University of New Hampshire, are among the 21 people in the 2014 class of MacArthur Fellows. Each will receive a five-year grant of $625,000. (Photos courtesy of the MacArthur Foundation.) <!-- AMSNEWSBREAK --> Lurie has done transformational work in higher category theory and topology, as exemplified by his proof of the cobordism hypothesis ("On the Classification of Topological Field Theories," <i>Current Developments in Mathematics</i>, 2008). His expository article, <a href="/notices/200808/tx080800949p.pdf">"What is an ∞-Category?"</a>, in the September 2008 issue of the <i>AMS Notices</i>, describes some of his work. Lurie recently was awarded one of the 2014 Breakthrough Prizes in Mathematics and also won the <a href="/notices/200104/comm-morgan.pdf">2000 Morgan Prize</a>. Zhang achieved an unexpected result last year when he showed that there are infinitely many pairs of prime numbers separated by a gap of a bounded size ("Bounded gaps between primes," <em>Annals of Mathematics</em>, Vol 179 (2014), issue 3). He was named a co-recipient of the <a href="http://ams.org/notices/201404/rnoti-p399.pdf">2014 Cole Prize in Number Theory</a> for his work.</p>
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Also among the 21 recipients are <strong>Danielle Bassett</strong> (University of Pennsylvania), a physicist who is applying mathematics to understand the brain, and <strong>Craig Gentry</strong> (IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center), who works in cryptography and theoretical computer science. Read more about <a href="http://www.macfound.org/fellows/class/class-2014/">the 2014 MacArthur Fellows</a>.</p>
Sullivan Receives 2014 Balzan Prize
http://www.ams.org/news?news_id=2374
http://www.ams.org/news?news_id=2374Mon, 15 Sep 2014 00:00:00 EST<strong><a href="/images/sullivan-wolf-150.jpg"><img alt="Dennis Sullivan" src="/images/thumbs/sullivan-wolf-150.jpg" style="width: 78px; height: 100px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; float: left; margin: 5px;" /></a></strong>
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<strong>Dennis Sullivan</strong> has been awarded the 2014 Balzan Prize. (Photo courtesy of the City University of New York.)<!-- AMSNEWSBREAK --> He is honored "for his major contributions to topology and the theory of dynamical systems, opening new perspectives for generations to come [and for] his exceptional results in many fields of mathematics, such as geometry, the theory of Kleinian groups, analysis and number theory." Sullivan's early work was in homotopy theory and surgery, to which he brought a new, geometric point of view. His geometric insights led to the solution of many important problems on the topology of manifolds, such as the Adams conjecture and the <i>Hauptvermutung</i>. His theory of real and rational homotopy types, based on differential forms, has had profound applications, for example, to the topology of complex algebraic varieties and in Riemannian geometry. Sullivan has made important contributions to the study of foliations and dynamical systems. He has also proved foundational results on quasi-conformal and Lipschitz manifolds, categories that are intermediate between the topological and smooth ones. During the 1980s and 1990s, he was responsible for the emergence of the field of conformal dynamics as a lively and important branch of mathematics straddling the traditional borders between pure and applied areas. In recent years, he launched the field of string topology, which is of great importance in symplectic topology.</p>
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Sullivan received his Ph.D. from Princeton University (1965), under the direction of William Browder. He has held positions at Princeton, MIT, and the IHES in Paris. Currently he holds the Einstein Chair at the City University of New York and is a professor of mathematics at Stony Brook University. His honors include the AMS Veblen Prize in Geometry (1971), the <a href="/notices/200604/comm-steele.pdf">AMS Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement</a> (2006), the U.S. National Medal of Science (2005), and the Wolf Prize (2010). The <a href="http://www.balzan.org/en">International Balzan Prize Foundation</a> presents the prize of 750,000 Swiss Francs (US$800,000) each year (though not every year in mathematics). Also receiving the prize in 2014 is <strong>Ian Hacking</strong>, a philosopher who has written about the philosophy of mathematics, including in his latest book, <i>Why Is There Philosophy of Mathematics At All?</i> (Cambridge University Press, 2014).</p>
AMS Fall 2014 Sectional Meetings
http://www.ams.org/news?news_id=2341
http://www.ams.org/news?news_id=2341Tue, 19 Aug 2014 00:00:00 EST<p>
* <strong>September 20-21</strong>: <a href="/meetings/sectional/2212_program.html">University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, WI</a><br />
* <strong>October 18-19</strong>: <a href="/meetings/sectional/2223_program.html">Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada</a><br />
* <strong>October 25-26</strong>: <a href="/meetings/sectional/2214_program.html">San Francisco State University, CA</a>, including Einstein Public Lecture by James H. Simons<br />
* <strong>November 8-9</strong>: <a href="/meetings/sectional/2222_program.html">University of North Carolina at Greensboro, NC</a></p>
2014 AMS Election
http://www.ams.org/news?news_id=2335
http://www.ams.org/news?news_id=2335Mon, 18 Aug 2014 00:00:00 EST<p>
The 2014 AMS election is underway. See <a href="/about-us/governance/elections/election-info">detailed information about electronic and paper voting methods</a>. The choices that members make in the election directly affect the Society's direction, so please remember to vote.</p>
2015 Joint Mathematics Meetings
http://www.ams.org/news?news_id=2331
http://www.ams.org/news?news_id=2331Wed, 13 Aug 2014 00:00:00 EST<p>
<a href="/images/jmm-2015-logo2.jpg"><img alt="" src="/images/thumbs/jmm-2015-logo2.jpg" style="width: 100px; height: 64px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin-left: 4px; margin-right: 4px; float: left;" /></a>JMM 2015 will be held in San Antonio, TX, January 10-13. Mark your calendars and see <a href="http://jointmathematicsmeetings.org/jmm">up-to-date JMM 2015 information</a>.</p>
2014 Fields Medalists
http://www.ams.org/news?news_id=2329
http://www.ams.org/news?news_id=2329Tue, 12 Aug 2014 00:00:00 EST<p>
<a href="/images/fields-2010-Large.jpg"><img alt="Fields Medal" src="/images/thumbs/md-201407-fields-medal.jpg" style="width: 100px; height: 96px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin-left: 1px; margin-right: 1px; float: left;" /></a><strong>Artur Avila</strong> (CNRS, France, and IMPA, Brazil), <strong>Manjul Bhargava</strong> (Princeton University), <strong>Martin Hairer</strong> (the University of Warwick, UK), and <strong>Maryam Mirzakhani</strong> (Stanford University) have been named Fields Medalists by the International Mathematical Union. The medals were presented at the 2014 International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) in Seoul, Korea.<!-- AMSNEWSBREAK --><br />
<br clear="all" />
<a href="/images/fields-2014-avila.jpg"><img alt="Artur Avila" src="/images/thumbs/fields-2014-avila.jpg" style="width: 84px; height: 100px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin: 2px; float: left;" /></a>*Avila (Centre national de la recherche scientifique, France, and Instituto Nacional de Matemática Pura e Aplicada, Brazil) was recognized "for his profound contributions to dynamical systems theory, which have changed the face of the field, using the powerful idea of renormalization as a unifying principle."<br clear="all" />
<a href="/images/fields-2014-bhargava.jpg"><img alt="Manjul Bhargava" src="/images/thumbs/fields-2014-bhargava.jpg" style="width: 84px; height: 100px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin: 2px; float: left;" /></a>*Bhargava was awarded a Fields Medal "for developing powerful new methods in the geometry of numbers, which he applied to count rings of small rank and to bound the average rank of elliptic curves."<br clear="all" />
<a href="/images/fields-2014-hairer.jpg"><img alt="Martin Hairer" src="/images/thumbs/fields-2014-hairer.jpg" style="width: 100px; height: 75px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin: 2px; float: left;" /></a>*Hairer was cited "for his outstanding contributions to the theory of stochastic partial differential equations, and in particular for the creation of a theory of regularity structures for such equations."<br clear="all" />
<a href="/images/fields-2014-mirzakhani.jpg"><img alt="Maryam Mirzakhani" src="/images/thumbs/fields-2014-mirzakhani.jpg" style="width: 100px; height: 66px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin-left: 2px; margin-right: 2px; float: left;" /></a>*Mirzakhani was recognized "for her outstanding contributions to the dynamics and geometry of Riemann surfaces and their moduli spaces." She is the first woman to win a Fields Medal.<br clear="all" />
The <a href="http://www.mathunion.org/general/prizes/2014/">Fields Medal</a> recognizes outstanding mathematical achievement for existing work and for the promise of future achievement. A candidate's 40th birthday must not occur before January 1st of the year of the Congress at which the Fields Medals are awarded. <a href="http://www.simonsfoundation.org/quanta/20140812-a-brazilian-wunderkind-who-calms-chaos/">See videos of each of the winners and more on their work</a> in the online <em>Quanta Magazine</em>.<br />
Other awards that were given out are:<br />
*the Nevanlinna Prize to <strong>Subhask Khot</strong> (Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences) "for his prescient definition of the 'Unique Games' problem;<br />
*the Gauss Prize to <strong>Stanley Osher</strong> (UCLA) "for his influential contributions to several fields in applied mathematics, and for his far-ranging inventions that have changed our conception of physical, perceptual, and mathematical concepts, giving us new tools to apprehend the world";<br />
*the Chern Medal Award to <strong>Phillip Griffiths</strong> (Institute for Advanced Study) "for his groundbreaking and transformative development of transcendental methods in complex geometry, particularly his seminal work in Hodge theory and periods of algebraic varieties"; and<br />
*the Leelavati Prize to <strong>Adrián Paenza</strong> (Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina) "for his decisive contributions to changing the mind of a whole country about the way it perceives mathematics in daily life."<br />
The ICM is being held in Seoul August 13-21.</p>
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Slideshow of the awards ceremony (photos by AMS Senior Editor Ed Dunne):</p>
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Witten Receives Kyoto Prize
http://www.ams.org/news?news_id=2314
http://www.ams.org/news?news_id=2314Mon, 28 Jul 2014 00:00:00 EST<strong><a href="/images/Kyoto-Witten-2014.jpg"><img alt="" src="/images/thumbs/Kyoto-Witten-2014.jpg" style="width: 100px; height: 99px; float: left; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin: 5px;" /></a></strong>
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<strong>Edward Witten</strong> has received the 2014 Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences from the Inamori Foundation. (Photo by Dan Komoda, courtesy of the Institute for Advanced Study.) <span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><!-- AMSNEWSBREAK -->The web site of the foundation says that Witten "has made significant contributions to theoretical physics for more than 30 years as a leader in the dramatic evolution of superstring theory. Moreover, by applying his physical intuition and mathematical skills, he has advanced mathematics, and prompted the cutting-edge research of many mathematicians. His achievements are both unique and outstanding." A 1990 Fields Medalist, Witten is the Charles Simonyi Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. The Kyoto Prize is an international award to honor those who have contributed significantly to the scientific, cultural, and spiritual betterment of mankind. The Prize is presented annually in each of the following three categories: Advanced Technology, Basic Sciences, and Arts and Philosophy. Each prize carries a monetary award of 50 million yen (about US$490,000). </span><a href="http://www.kyotoprize.org/en/" style="line-height: 1.5em;">More</a><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"> about the prize is available on the web site of the Inamori Foundation.</span></p>
Math and Statistics Department at Williams College Receives AMS National Award
http://www.ams.org/news?news_id=2198
http://www.ams.org/news?news_id=2198Fri, 11 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EST<p>
<a href="/images/exemplary-2014-small.jpg"><img alt="2013 SMALL program participants" src="/images/thumbs/exemplary-2014-small.jpg" style="width: 100px; height: 67px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin-left: 1px; margin-right: 1px; float: left;" /></a>The <strong>Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Williams College</strong> is the 2014 recipient of the AMS Award for an Exemplary Program or Achievement in a Mathematics Department. The department is honored for "excellence in providing exceptional teaching and research experiences for its students, as well as those in the wider mathematical community." (Photo of 2013 SMALL participants by Cesar E. Silva.)<!-- AMSNEWSBREAK --></p>
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<strong>Francis Edward Su</strong> of Harvey Mudd College, who served as chair of the award selection committee, said, "The Williams College math program is recognized for excelling in two cornerstone areas: teaching and undergraduate research. As a result, they have had enormous success in attracting all majors to take math and statistics courses, in publishing texts that have had influence beyond Williams, and in providing math students with exciting experiences of discovery through their long-running REU." (Research Experiences for Undergraduates.)</p>
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The Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Williams College has distinguished itself in many ways. First and foremost, it delivers outstanding teaching---so outstanding in fact, although there is no math or statistics requirement at Williams, 84 percent of students in recent graduating classes have completed a course in mathematics or statistics. These courses are so effective that the Williams math major is booming: About 1 of every 8 Williams students major in mathematics (67 majors, a significant increase since 6 in 1985). Many of the faculty have received awards for outstanding teaching.</p>
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The department is also very serious about research. Since 2000, department faculty have been awarded a total of 12 National Science Foundation research grants and have published on average a total of 19 journal articles per year. The Williams mathematicians and statisticians are in demand as speakers outside the college, delivering each year nearly 200 talks at conferences and other institutions.</p>
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Research in the department is closely tied to interactions with students, and the synergy the two create reaches its pinnacle with SMALL, the department's REU program. Now more than 25 years old, SMALL is one of the best known and most successful REUs in the nation. It runs for nine weeks over the summer and brings in about 30 students, some of them from Williams, some from other schools around the nation, and even some from abroad. Many of the SMALL students produce research that has been published in professional journals. In recent years, SMALL has made concerted and successful efforts to bring in more students from minorities underrepresented in the mathematical sciences.</p>
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The department also works to enhance participation of underrepresented groups through its Summer Science Program for freshman. SSP is not a remedial program; the SSP participants are talented, high-achieving individuals. But some of them come to Williams with the idea that they have to "go it alone." The main goal of SSP is to help them develop an academic community they can rely on as they progress through college. This community spirit actually ends up benefiting the non-SSP students, as the SSP students often serve as effective peer role models. The majority of SSP participants opt for science-related majors, and a large number enroll in a mathematics course. Some have gone on to complete the mathematics major.</p>
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On top of all this, the department also offers a wide range of activities that help build a community centered on mathematics. Among these are weekly problem-solving dinners, monthly dinners for students and faculty, and an Ice Cream Social in which new students get informal course advising from older students. Students also have the opportunity to attend conferences, including the Joint Mathematics Meetings and the Hudson River Undergraduate Mathematics Conference, of which the Williams department is one of the founders.</p>
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The Williams College Department of Mathematics and Statistics does so many things so well that it has become a true leader within the mathematical sciences community and an inspiration for departments across the nation.</p>
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Presented annually by the AMS, the Award for an Exemplary Program or Achievement in a Mathematics Department recognizes a college or university mathematics department that has distinguished itself by undertaking an unusual or particularly effective program of value to the mathematics community, internally or in relation to the rest of society. Since it was first given in 2006, the award has highlighted outstanding mathematics departments in a wide variety of institutions around the country.</p>
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The <a href="/notices/201405/rnoti-p517.pdf">official announcement of the award to Williams College </a>appears in the May 2014 issue of the <em>Notices of the AMS</em> along with <a href="/notices/201405/rnoti-p518.pdf">an additional article about the department</a>.</p>
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<a href="/profession/prizes-awards/ams-awards/department-award">Find out more about this and other AMS awards</a>.<br />
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Founded in 1888 to further mathematical research and scholarship, today the more than 30,000 member American Mathematical Society fulfills its mission through programs and services that promote mathematical research and its uses, strengthen mathematical education, and foster awareness and appreciation of mathematics and its connections to other disciplines and to everyday life.</p>
Paul Sally Honored for Impact on Education
http://www.ams.org/news?news_id=2197
http://www.ams.org/news?news_id=2197Thu, 10 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EST<p>
<a href="/images/impact-2014-sally.jpg"><img alt="Paul Sally" src="/images/thumbs/impact-2014-sally.jpg" style="width: 100px; height: 67px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin-left: 1px; margin-right: 1px; float: left;" /></a><strong>Paul J. Sally, Jr.</strong>, of the University of Chicago, has been awarded the first AMS Award for Impact on the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics. Sally passed away unexpectedly on December 30, 2013, but news of the award reached him shortly before his death. He took great pleasure in knowing that he was the first recipient of this prestigious award. (Photo by Jason Smith.)<!-- AMSNEWSBREAK --></p>
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Established in 2013 by the AMS Committee on Education, the award is given annually to a mathematician (or group of mathematicians) who has made significant contributions of lasting value to mathematics education. The endowment fund that supports the award was established by a contribution from <strong>Kenneth I. and Mary Lou Gross</strong> in honor of their daughters, Laura and Karen.</p>
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Dr. Gross, a mathematician at the University of Vermont, had this to say: "Paul Sally was a remarkable human being, unique for his accomplishments across the full spectrum of mathematics, from pioneering research contributions and advising of doctoral students to his work with talented middle school students and with K-12 teachers. No one is more deserving of being the inaugural recipient of this award. He sets the highest standard for those who will follow."</p>
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Tall, bald, and wearing a black eye patch (he lost his vision to diabetes), Paul Sally was sometimes called "Professor Pirate." His jocular and even light-hearted manner coexisted easily with the steely will and no-nonsense approach he brought to his work. Heart and soul a teacher, he had a special gift for communicating mathematics to a wide range of people.</p>
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Sally combined cutting-edge research with a parallel life-long commitment to education at all levels. As director of undergraduate studies in mathematics at the University of Chicago for over thirty years, he was a leading voice in the undergraduate program. But what truly distinguishes Sally and makes him an ideal recipient of the first AMS Impact Award is his work with teachers and students at the precollege level, which began in the 1960s and continued unabated until the day of his death.</p>
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Among his most important contributions are the Seminars for Elementary Specialists and Mathematics Educators (SESAME), a program designed to strengthen the mathematical background of teachers in the Chicago Public Schools, the second largest school district in the US, and the Young Scholars Program (YSP) for talented high school students from underprivileged backgrounds. Sally also cofounded and served as Director of the University of Chicago School Mathematics Program (UCSMP), which has had a major national impact; spearheaded the founding of the Chicago Algebra Initiative; and led the mathematics component of Chicago's Urban Teacher Education Program (UTEP).</p>
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Along with publishing many research papers and authoring several books, Sally produced 19 PhD students in his area of research, harmonic analysis on semisimple groups over real and p-adic fields. He was very active in the AMS, serving for example on the Board of Trustees, the Committee on Science Policy, and the Council. An endowment created by Sally provides part of the funding for the Arnold Ross Lectures that the AMS sponsors each year.</p>
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Sally received several awards for his work, including the <a href="/notices/200004/comm-pubserv.pdf">Distinguished Service Award of the AMS (2000)</a> and the <a href="http://www.maa.org/programs/maa-awards/teaching-awards/haimo-award-distinguished-teaching/list-of-recipients">Haimo Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics</a> of the Mathematical Association of America (2002). He was a member of the inaugural class of Fellows of the AMS in 2012.</p>
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The <a href="/notices/201405/rnoti-p515.pdf">official announcement of the award to Sally</a>, including the selection committee's citation, appears in the May 2014 issue of the <em>Notices of the AMS</em>.</p>
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<a href="/profession/prizes-awards/prizes">Find out more about this and other AMS awards</a>.<br />
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Founded in 1888 to further mathematical research and scholarship, today the 30,000 member American Mathematical Society fulfills its mission through programs and services that promote mathematical research and its uses, strengthen mathematical education, and foster awareness and appreciation of mathematics and its connections to other disciplines and to everyday life.</p>