Int’l Congress of Mathematicians begins at Hyderabad


New Delhi : International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) kicked off in Hyderabad, capital of Andhra Pradesh state, Thursday.

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President Pratibha Patil inaugurated the nine-day event, the largest congregation of mathematicians from across the globe, at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre.

Over 3,000 delegates from about 75 countries are attending the ICM being held under the auspices of International Mathematical Union (IMU).

The President will present the Fields Medals, the highest award in Mathematics and considered the equivalent of Nobel Prize, to four mathematicians in recognition of their contribution to the field.

She will also give away the Nevanlinna Prize, the Gauss Prize and the Chern Medal.

The Chern Medal will be presented for the first time this year for lifelong outstanding achievements in maths.

A mathematician of Indian origin, Madhusudan, won the Nevanlinna Prize in 2002.

This year three mathematicians from India are said to be in contention for the Fields Medals.

Another Indian mathematician Radha Charan Gupta, who has been chosen for the Kenneth O May Prize by the International Commission for the History of Mathematics in 2009, will receive the award during the ICM.

The ICM, conducted once every four years, is being held in Asia for the third time after the ones in Japan ( Kyoto ) in 1990 and China ( Beijing ) in 2002.

While numerous technical sessions have been scheduled during the nine-day event, panel discussions will also be held on topics like ‘Mathematics Education and Popularization of Mathematics’ and ‘Mathematics in Science and Technology.’

A panel discussion on how to take mathematics to high schools has also been scheduled during the event.

The London Mathematical Society is organizing a discussion on 25th August on ‘Mechanisms for strengthening mathematics in developing countries’ as part of the ICM.

About 20 eminent mathematicians from India will address sessions while another 170 speakers from other countries have been invited to deliver talks, Rangarajan added.

The International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) is the largest conference for the topic of mathematics. It meets once every four years, hosted by the International Mathematical Union (IMU). The Fields Medals, the Nevanlinna Prize, the Gauss Prize, and the Chern Medal are awarded during the congress’ opening ceremony. Each congress is memorialized by a printed learned Proceedings recording academic papers based on invited talks intended to be relevant to current topics of general interest.

The first International Congress of Mathematicians was held in Zurich in August 1897.