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A professor in the University of Texas system has received a significant and lucrative honor:

American wins $1 million math prize

Texas professor receives Norway’s Abel Prize for work in number theory

OSLO, Norway – An American professor at the University of Texas at Austin has won the 6 million kroner ($1 million) Abel Prize for mathematics. 

The prize jury praised John Tate as “a prime architect” of number theory, a branch of mathematics that has played a key role in the development of modern computers. 

The award citation issued Wednesday says Tate “has truly left a conspicuous imprint on modern mathematics” by advancing “one of (its) most elaborate and sophisticated branches.” 

Tate’s scientific accomplishments span six decades. A wealth of essential mathematical ideas and constructions were initiated by Tate and later named after him, such as the Tate module, Tate curve, Tate cycle, Hodge-Tate decompositions, Tate cohomology, Serre-Tate parameter, Lubin-Tate group, Tate trace, Shafarevich-Tate group and Néron-Tate height. 

In 2002-2003, Tate was a recipient of the Wolf Prize in Mathematics. The mathematician turned 85 this month and recently retired from his position as professor, becoming professor emeritus. 

The annual Abel Prize was created by the Norwegian government in 2003 and is awarded to candidates who have contributed to the mathematical sciences. The winner is selected by an international committee of five mathematicians. 

The prize will be given to Tate at a May 25 ceremony in Oslo. 

This report includes information from The Associated Press and msnbc.com. 
© 2010 msnbc.com

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starbirdMetroplex Math Circle will start again at UTD on September 19th, but our friends in Austin begin this week with a lecture by Dr. Starbird on Topology.  Some of you may be familiar with Dr. Starbird from his excellent lectures published by the Teaching Company.

Here is the information from the Saturday Morning Math Group:

Our first meeting of the semester will take place on September 12th.  Our speaker will be Dr. Mike Starbird, a professor of mathematics here at the University of Texas at Austin.  Dr. Starbird has been the recipient of numerous teaching awards, both locally and nationally.  He will be talking about “Doughnuts, Dogbones, and Topology”.  Come join the fun!

This semester, our meetings will be in FAC 21. FAC is the Flawn Academic Center, which is where our undergraduate library is situated. This building is immediately to the east of the Texas Union, near 24th and Guadalupe.

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Achieve and the Dana Center at UT Austin have developed a series of benchmarks for high school students to succeed in post secondary education.  The entire list may be of interest, but the benchmark for Discrete Mathematics covers many of the topics that students experience only through Math Circle.  Here is the description of the importance of Discrete Math:

Discrete mathematics, sometimes called finite mathematics, can be thought of as the science of counting, arrangements, and algorithms. It offers a plethora of concrete, practical problems (e.g., fair apportionment, searching algorithms, error-correction methods) and a wealth of subtle problems whose statements are deceptively simple but whose solutions provide significant challenge. While events in the physical world are most often modeled by continuous mathematics (i.e., the calculus and prerequisite topics in algebra, geometry, and trigonometry), the increasingly important world of computers, information technology, and logistics employs a different type of mathematics. New approaches and applications require the use of discrete processes, many of which have not traditionally been included in core high school courses. To be well prepared for the future, all students need to understand the concepts and applications of this important area of mathematics.

Hat tip:  Math Forum Internet News

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