Skip to Content

Mathematics – Fields Medal and Labs?

The fields medal  “the Nobel Prize” for the Mathematician is the most important award in Mathematics. Every 4th year since 1936 (with a gap due to the Second World War) – there is an awards celebration. This year 4 mathematicians where awarded. Two of the winners represent “firsts” in the history of this award:  Artur Avila is the first Brazilian Fields Medal winner and Maryam Mirzakhani is the first Iranian & first women to make the laureate list – for more details

Both firsts are role models for the rest of us and show that success is a matter of passion and skills and not based on where you come from.

Maryam’s  contribution was to the theory of Riemann surfaces. Perhaps in 4 years we will celebrate the proof of the Riemann conjecture and whoever it is, and wherever the person comes from, it would be another important milestone in the history of Mathematics. Solving this is of such importance to the mathematics community, that If someone were to actually solve it, they would get $ 1Mio.

And where is the connection to our Labs & IT?
There is little doubt that mathematics plays an important role for software development, you just have to remember that the whole thing works from combinations of “1”s and “0”s. SAP’s latest product HANA contains algorithms and new ways of thinking about software that is helping to change the industry. That is why many of our Labs are located where they are: to be able to tap into the ideas and technology coming from these academic centers around the globe. With all of the great mathematicians that are still alive today, if you visit, or even work in one of the Labs, you should take the opportunity to hear a lecture from some of the great mathematicians of our time:

  • 2006 the Russian Mathematician Grigori Perelman received the Fields Medal for his famous proof about the Poincare conjecture. Till end of 2005 Perelman was Professor at the Steklov Institute in St. Petersburg  before he quit his job – but you never know….
  • 2010 the French Professor Cédric Villani got the prize and he is working at the Henri Poincaré institute in Paris
  • 2014: Artur Avila lectured at Instituto Nacional de Matemática Pura e Aplicada a University in Rio  – ok not directly around one of our Labs location, but if you’re in Paris maybe you could catch a lecture at the Paris Diderot University.
  • 2014: Maryam Mirzakhani is a Professor at Stanford close to our Labs in Palo Alto.

On a side note … If you have ever asked yourself why Mathematic is not part of the Nobel Prize categories like Physics or Medicine, you might be surprised…

You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.
  • Maths is key skill as its the our first touch point to think analytical. Always good programmers had decent mathematical abilities.

    Number crunching and big data needs math problem solving.

    And bangalore has produced many eminent mathematicians Ramanujam who lived here and A Raghuram...and many more....Bangalore labs, our second largest lab sure has many good math people

    • I knew CV Raman is from Bangalore. But its a news to me that Ramanujan lived in Bangalore. I thought he lived mostly in Chennai and went to England to work with Hardy.

      • Yes Santhosh, probably my wrong. Ramanujam was born in Erode, not very far away from Bangalore and grew up in kumbakonam, later in chennai, and i have heard he has lectured in IISC Bangalore, but may not have lived in bangalore.

        The essence of this is there were lot of mathematicians (e.g. A Raghuram, Shankunthala Devi, M.S.Narasiman etc), in southern india, especially in bangalore and including we have the Institute of Statistics in Bangalore, apart from IISC, and Chennai Mathematical Institute - all great institutions that had maths as key.

  • Hi Muthu,

    Ramanujam is for sure one of the great ones . I was not aware that he lived in Bangalore. BTW about the Fields medal 2014 I guess you know that Manjul Bhargava who also got the medal is the son of an Indian immgrant and lives now in Ontario Canada. I think it is really worth to read more about him: Manjul Bhargava - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and there I read that his Doctoral advisor was Andrew Wiles 🙂