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Peter Shor awarded 2017 Dirac Medal

Peter Shor

Peter Shor received the 2017 Dirac Medal from the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, along with Charles Bennett of IBM and David Deutsch of Oxford. Peter was recognized for his groundbreaking work in quantum computation, including his quantum factoring algorithm, quantum error-correcting codes, and quantum fault-tolerant computation. The award was announced on August 8, the 115th anniversary of Paul Dirac’s birth. Earlier recipients of the medal include Emeritus Professor Dan Freedman and several MIT physicists.

Congratulations Peter!

Scott Sheffield Wins Clay Research Award

Scott Sheffield

The Clay Mathematics Institute presented Jason Miller and Scott Sheffield with the 2017 Clay Research Award, for their groundbreaking and conceptually novel work on the geometry of the Gaussian free field and its application to the solution of open problems in the theory of two-dimensional random structures. The award is "in recognition of their introduction of a novel geometric combinatorial method to study doubling properties of solutions to elliptic eigenvalue problems” (full citation). Scott Sheffield holds the Leighton Family Chair in Mathematics at MIT since July 2017. Jason Miller is at the University of Cambridge, and was a Schramm Fellow and an NSF Fellow at MIT under Scott’s mentorship. For those who missed it, Quanta magazine recently wrote about their research in “A Unified Theory of Randomness.”

ICM 2018 speakers include Tom Mrowka, Wei Zhang, Bjorn Poonen, and Alex Postnikov

Tom Mrowka Bjorn Poonen Wei Zhang Alex Postnikov

Tom Mrowka will deliver a plenary address at the International Congress of Mathematicians 2018, which will be held August 1-9, 2018, in Rio de Janeiro.

Other MIT math faculty invited to speak at ICM 2018 include Bjorn Poonen and our new full professor Wei Zhang in the Number Theory section; and Alex Postnikov in the Combinatorics section. Meeting every four years, ICM is where the Fields medals are awarded.

PRIMES student Felix Wang named Davidson Fellow

Felix Wang

PRIMES student Felix Wang, 18, of Newton, has been chosen as a 2017 Davidson Fellow with a $25,000 scholarship award for his paper, "Functional equations in Complex Analysis and Number Theory." He is one of only 20 students across the country to receive this honor. Felix, a rising college freshman at Stanford University and graduate of Roxbury Latin in West Roxbury, thanked his PRIMES mentors Pavel Etingof and Tanya Khovanova, along with grad student Thao Do and University of Michigan Professor Michael Zieve. "Both mentors provided tremendous assistance, and have always inspired and motivated me," Felix said. “I am unbelievably excited and honored to be a Davidson Fellow,” said Wang. “Mathematics has fascinated me since childhood. In middle school, I spent countless hours poring over textbooks in preparation for various math competitions, but by the time I reached high school, my interest in learning math to win competitions had faded. I searched for a more challenging and more fulfilling way to use my talents, and decided to attempt mathematics research.” He credits PRIMES as the program that fulfilled his need for a challenge.

Congratulations PRIMES and Felix!

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