TV maths legend and UCL-based mathematician Hannah Fry has been awarded this year’s IMA/LMS Christopher Zeeman Medal, which aims to recognise and acknowledge the contributions of mathematicians involved in promoting mathematics to the public and engaging with the public in mathematics in the UK.
Named after the late Professor Sir Christopher Zeeman FRS, whose Royal Institution Christmas Lectures on mathematics in 1978 were a shining example and led to the development of their mathematics and engineering Masterclass programme, the medal will be awarded at a ceremony to take place in 2019, where Dr Fry will also give a lecture.
From the official announcement/citation:
Hannah Fry’s dedication in promoting mathematics to the widest possible public has not only done untold good for the subject, but has provided a powerful role model for mathematicians, most especially female ones, making mathematics feel more relevant, more humorous and most of all more human. Her spectacular success in an otherwise notoriously difficult endeavour may be ascribed to a unique and enviable set of characteristics. First, she has an uncanny instinct for spotting mathematics that will readily engage the public, and then of constructing the perfect context and using it to convey profound mathematical ideas that might otherwise appear dry. Second, she is effortlessly able to transcend audience boundaries and make mathematics both accessible and “cool” to an enormous range of hard-to-convince onlookers. Finally, Hannah has a tremendous capacity for her sheer hard work: the breadth and range of activities that she undertakes, the number of separate media appearances to which she commits, and the widely disparate audiences and age groups that she is able to reach are all eloquent testament to her ability and commitment. Perhaps her most significant achievement is to have inspired a generation of girls in a way that has not been done before.
The organizing committee of the International Congress of Mathematics (ICM2018) profoundly regrets the disappearance of the briefcase of mathematician, Cauchar Birkar, which contained the Fields Medal he received at this morning’s ceremony.
Images recorded at the event are being analyzed. The organizing committee is cooperating with local police authorities in their investigation.
More as we get it. (Shuffles papers.)
UPDATE (morning of 2nd August): The briefcase has been found by a security team under a bench, with the medal missing. Birkar’s phone and wallet were also in the briefcase. The thief is said to have been identified from security footage, so hopefully the medal can be found.
The event was also troubled earlier in the week by an accidental fire on the roof of the building, which caused the event’s overnight team to evacuate.
“A lot of the time, when you do Math, you’re stuck. But you feel privileged to work with it. You have a feeling of transcendence and feel like you’ve been part of something really meaningful.” – Akshay Venkatesh, 2018 Fields Medallist.
The Fields Medal is awarded every four years to four mathematicians, in recognition of outstanding achievement in mathematics. This year’s winners have just been announced at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Rio de Janeiro, and they are algebraic geometer Caucher Birkar, PDE specialist Alessio Figalli, arithmetic algebraic geometer Peter Scholze, and number theorist Akshay Venkatesh.
Today (5th July) is the first LGBT STEM day, a celebration of LGBTQ+ people working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Organised by charitable trust Pride in STEM and supported by 42 STEM organisations including the RSC, IOP, CERN and ESA, it’s an opportunity to recognise and celebrate our LGBTQ+ colleagues, and to focus on what we can do to support them.
Number Drop is a mobile app maths game we came across recently, and have taken the opportunity to have a chat with its creator, Ben. NumberDrop is available for on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.