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Mathematical awards season round-up

It’s not only actors who get shiny awards around this time of year – mathematicians are in on it too!

There have been a few medals, gongs and otherwise prizes awarded to some terrifically clever people in the past month or so, so I thought I’d do a round-up of the ones I’m aware of.

Bertram Kostant has been given the Wigner medal for “his fundamental contributions to representation theory that led to new branches of mathematics and physics”. The Wigner medal is designed to “recognise contributions to the understanding of physics through group theory”. via the EMS on Google+

The Hermann Weyl prize has been awarded to Vasily Pestun “for his groundbreaking results in the study of supersymmetric gauge theories, such as his ingenious computation of partition functions that led to the discovery of rich connections between four-dimensional and two-dimensional quantum field theories.” The Hermann Weyl prize provides “recognition for young scientists who have performed original work of significant scientific quality in the area of the understanding of physics through symmetries.” via the EMS on Google+

The award ceremonies for both these prizes will take place during the International Colloquium on Group Theoretical Methods in Physics which will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 19-25, 2016.

Note: not Whigfield Diffie, inventor of Saturday night key exchange.

Whitfield Diffie and Martin E. Hellman have been given the Association for Computing Machinery’s Turing award in recognition of their contributions to cryptography. Their paper “New Directions in Cryptography” introduced public-key cryptography and digital signatures to the public; the Diffie-Hellmann key exchange protocol allows two parties to generate a shared private key over an insecure channel.

If you haven’t read Doron Zeilberger’s Opinions before, I highly recommend you do.

Christoph Koutschan, Manuel Kauers, and Doron Zeilberger have been given the American Mathematical Society’s Robbins prize for their paper “Proof of George Andrews’s and David Robbins’s q-TSPP conjecture.” The Robbins Prize recognizes “a paper published within the past six years that presents novel research in algebra, combinatorics, or discrete mathematics and that has a significant experimental component.” The 2016 prize will be presented on Thursday, January 7, 2016, at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Seattle.

Finally, please nominate someone for the Royal Society Athena prize. The Royal Society Athena Prize is awarded for “individuals or teams, working in UK academic and research communities, who have contributed most to the advancement of diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) within their communities”. Nominations close on the 29th of March.

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