Tomorrow is a big day in the mathematics calendar with the International Mathematical Union poised to grant four prizes including the highly coveted Fields Medal. But if one medal is not enough there are three more on the agenda honouring Nevanlinna, Gauss and Chern.
The prizes will be announced at the ICM conference in Hyderbad on the 19th August 2010 between 9:30 and 12:30 India Standard Time (five and a half hours ahead of GMT. The awards will be web-cast at http://www.icm2010.com/livevideo.asp Then from 13:00 IST the list of winners should be available at http://www.icm2010.org.in/imu-prizes .
The prizes are being handed out during the opening ceremony of the conference by Shrimati Pratibha Patil, the Honourable President of India. This continues the trend of having science conferences opened by heads of state that was started by Sarkozy at ICHEP last month. The Fields medalists and the Navanlinna Prize winner will speak during the afternoon and the others the next day. In all the conference will continue for 9 days with a huge number of highly technical mathematics talks across diverse fields.
The Fields Medal is awarded each four years to between 2 and 4 mathematicians under the age of 40 for specific mathematical discoveries. (There are four talks scheduled but we should probably not read anything into that) The amount given is about $15,000 so it is not the most lucrative award in mathematics but it is the most prestigious and has been going since 1936.
The Rolf Nevanlinna Prize is also awarded every four years to a single recipient under 40 for contributions in mathematical aspects of information sciences, In other words for computer science. It was first awarded in 1981.
The Gauss Prize is for mathematics applied to modern technologies and is more recent having been seen first at the previous conference in 2006.
The Chern Medal is being awarded for the first time to a mathematician for outstanding achievements. The financial benefit of this prize is much more appreciable having been set at $250,000.
Update: It is good news that Gowers will be blogging from the conference.