Vietnamese Talents
Vietnam’s prized mathematician gives back to the nation
  • | | August 09, 2010 04:17 PM

>> Vietnamese mathematician accepts appointment at UChicago

>> Vietnamese mathematician\'s work in Time’s Top 10 Scientific Discoveries

World-acclaimed mathematician Ngo Bao Chau has his eyes on the prestigious Fields Medal and intends to donate the winnings.

“If I am honoured to be granted the Fields Medal, I will donate its entire monetary value (worth USD15,000) to disadvantaged Vietnamese students,” said Professor Ngo Bao Chau.


Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan (2nd person from the left) and Professor Ngo Bao Chau (2nd from the right) and his parents (Photo by Thu Phuong)

Professor Ngo Bao Chau shared his desire during a visit with Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan on August 8.

The Fields Medal is often viewed as the top honour a mathematician can receive. It is often described as the "Nobel Prize of Mathematics" for the prestige it carries.

During his visit to Ngo’s house, Nhan congratulated the professor for all his achievements in mathematics and excellent contributions to the mathematics of Vietnam and the world. Nhan hopes that all the mathematical achievements of Professor Ngo would result Fields Medal.

Nhan added that the government would approve the Vietnamese mathematics development strategy from 2010 to 2020 this August. The establishment of the Mathematics Advanced Research & Training Institute is part of the strategy. This advanced mathematical institute will be a home for talented mathematicians of the country and a place for them to enhance their knowledge.

Nhan said that Professor Ngo was the right person and capable to take leadership roles at this institute.

Professor Ngo was moved by the Deputy PM’s visit, “When I became a mathematician, I still wanted to contribute to the country. I still continue working with other professors from the Institute of Mathematics and the Hanoi National University of Education to help young mathematicians improve their knowledge.”

Nhan said the Vietnamese government would award Ngo with a house in the resort island of Tuan Chau, where he could stay every time he makes a visit to his home country.

Ngo Bao Chau, born in 1972, is best-known for proving the fundamental lemma proposed by Robert Langlands and Diana Shelstad, an achievement which was selected by Time as one of the Top Ten Scientific Discoveries of 2009.

For his works, Ngo was awarded the 2004 Clay Research Award. He also became the youngest professor in Vietnam in 2005.

Recently, he has accepted a faculty appointment at the University of Chicago. Ngo will become a professor of mathematics, effective Sept. 1, 2010.

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