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Abel Prize to Atiyah and Singer

  1. Mar 27, 2004 #1

    selfAdjoint

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    The creators/discoverers of the celebrated Atiyah-Singer Index Theorem have been awarded the 2004 Abel Prize , which aims to duplicate the celebrity of the Nobel, for mathematics.

    Singer was once asked politely by a reporter if he could explain the Atiyah-Singer index theorem in simple words for the newspaper's readers. Singer replied "No I can't"
     
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  3. Mar 27, 2004 #2

    matt grime

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    38 years after he [Atiyah] was awarded the Fields Medal for it. Not bad.
     
  4. Mar 27, 2004 #3
    Are Atiyeh and Singer the first recipients of this prize?
     
  5. Mar 27, 2004 #4

    matt grime

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    It seems this is the second year of its existence. Serre got it last year.

    Where does this put the Fields medal though? That is often thought of as Nobel of mathematics.
     
  6. Mar 27, 2004 #5
    The Fields medal is awarded to mathematicians under the age of 40. There is no age restriction on the Abel prize as far as I know. This means you can get awarded if you do outstanding work after the age of 40. It also provides the jury with an opportunity for a longer and perhaps better perspective on which mathematics turned out to be really important.
     
  7. Mar 27, 2004 #6

    matt grime

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    Atiyah and SInger aren't being rewarded for work after the age of 40. (I thought it was 36 for the Fields Medal). And moreoever, the Nobel prizes aren't awarded for lifetime achivement or long term impact either. So why the need for the new parallel?

    Not that anyone should think I am dismissing the achievements of Atiyah and Singer (though in their Fields medal year there were also Grothendieck, Cohen and Smale as a pause for thought, and at least one of those has arguably contributed more to mathematics, but I'm biased to the algebro-geometric not the analytic so I wouldn't trust me).
     
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