III. Work in pairs. Tell your partner why Nobel decided against a Nobel Prize in mathematics.



a.Give the most common reasons.

b. Listen to your partner and help. Add more information.

 

DO YOU KNOW THAT

- The Wilks Memorial Award is awarded by the American Statistical Association to recognize outstanding contributions to statistics. It was established in 1964 and is awarded yearly. It is named in memory of the statistician Samuel Wilks. The award consists of a medal, a citation a cash honorarium (US $1500 in 2009)

 

IV. Do you know anything about Halbert L. Dunn Award or Stewhart Medal?

Search for information about these Awards and share it with students of your group.

Text 7

Reading and Speaking

MAJOR AWARDS IN MATHEMATICS

The obverse of the Fields Medal The reverse of the Fields Medal

A. FIELDS MEDAL

    The Fields Medal is often described as the ‘Nobel Prize of Mathematics‘ for the prestige it carries, though in most other ways the relatively new Abel Prize is a more direct analogue. Founded at the behest of Canadian mathematician John Charles Fields, the medal was first awarded in 1936, to Finnish mathematician Lars Ahlfors and American mathematician Jesse Douglas, and has been awarded every four years (in contrast with the Nobel Prize) since 1950. The Medal also has an age limit: a recipient’s 40th birthday must not occur before the first of January of the year in which the Fields Medal is awarded. As a result some great mathematicians have missed it by having done their best work (or having had their work recognized) too late. The 40-year rule is based on Fields’desire that... while it was in recognition of work already done, it was at the same time intended to be an encouragement for further achievements of the recipients and a stimulus for other people to renew their efforts.

    The monetary award is much lower than the roughly US $1.5 million given with each Nobel Prize. Finally, Fields Medals have generally been awarded for a body of work, rather than for a particular result; and instead of a direct citation there is a speech of congratulation.

    Other major awards in mathematics, such as the Abel Prize, recognize lifetime achievement, again making them different in kind from the Nobel ones, although the Abel has a large monetary prize like a Nobel. The Fields Medal has the prestige of the selection by the IMU, which represents the world mathematical community

 

I. Match the words (1 –7) with their definitions/explanations (a–g):

1 at sb’s behest a statement mentioned and given to support an argument
2 award b almost correct amount or estimate
3 achievement c a prize given as the result of decision
4 recipient d on sb’s orders
5 citation e sth done successfully, with effort and skill
6 approximately f courage or confidence to do sth
7 encouragement g person who receives

II. Look at these words. Why are they important in this text?

John Charles Fields; since 1950; a recipient’s 40th birthday; US $1.5 million.

 

B. ABEL PRIZE

    The Abel Prize is an international prize presented annually by the King of Norway to one or more outstanding mathematicians. The prize is named after Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel (1802–1829). In 2001, after interest in the prize had risen, a working group was formed to develop a proposal, which was presented to the prime minister of Norway in May. In August 2001, the Norwegian government announced that the prize would be awarded beginning in 2002, the two-hundredth anniversary of Abel’s birth. The first prize was actually awarded in 2003. It has often been described as the ‘mathematician’s Nobel‘ prize and is among the most prestigious awards in mathematics. It comes with a monetary award of six million kroner, which is approx. (2010) €740,000 or US $992,000. The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters annually declares the winner of the Abel Prize after selection by a committee of five international mathematicians. The committee is headed by Kristian Seip. The amount of money that comes with the prize is usually close to one million dollars, similar to the Nobel Prize, which is awarded in Sweden and Norway and excludes mathematics. Norway gave the prize that was about US $23,000,000 in 2001. The prize is an attempt to create publicity for mathematics, to make the discipline more prestigious, especially for young people.

    The prize board has also established an Abel symposium, administered by the Norwegian Mathematical Society.

    A book series recently commenced, with one volume every five years, will present the Abel Prize laureates and their research. The first volume covers the years 2003–2007.


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