1 year ago

HLF Review 2016


Welcome Review of the IMU Shigefumi Mori Fields Medal 1990; President of the International Mathematical Union (IMU) On behalf of the International Mathematical Union (IMU), I am very happy and proud as always to be part of the Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF) as president of a prize awarding organization for HLF together with the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (DNVA); in this context the IMU awards up to four Fields Medals and one Nevanlinna Prize among other IMU prizes at the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) held every four years. This year we were excited to meet and attend the talks of Sir Andrew Wiles (Abel Prize 2016; IMU Silver Plaque 1998) and Heisuke Hironaka (Fields Medal 1970) at the HLF for the first time, both of whom I knew very well since the 1970s. I enjoyed the talk of Raúl Rojas on early German computing machines and was soon amused at the switching sounds of relays in the machines at the exhibition held in the next door building that are no longer existent in the IC computers. Besides lectures on mathematics and computer science, attending Brian Schmidt’s Lindau Lecture State of the Universe was also a great opportunity at the HLF to feel the cooperation with the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings (LNLM). As well as the lectures, participants, young and established, enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere especially at coffee time, lunch, and dinner. I myself enjoyed chattering with computer scientists during breakfast, which is a rare opportunity to meet them in a relaxed mood. I am grateful to the HLF for the opportunity to talk with people from the ACM and the DNVA. Especially because this was my first time to meet the new president of the ACM, Vicki L. Hanson, which I am sure will contribute to the future cooperation between IMU and ACM. Wednesday was packed with various activities, from school and institution visits to the boat trip and sightseeing tours. In the morning I visited a local high school in Eberbach, the Hohenstaufen-Gymnasium (HSG), which was a unique opportunity for me to explain to high school students how I feel about and enjoy mathematics. I enjoyed talking with young participants especially during the boat trip, which is possibly one of the most enjoyable moments. I encourage and even urge them to talk to laureates because they are surely welcomed much more than they expect. Beyond these beautiful talks and enjoyable workshops and Hot Topic events, the Scientific Committee selects 200 promising young researchers to the HLF out of the many applicants and discusses other organizational matters for the HLF. I deeply appreciate their contribution. Only a few weeks before the HLF 2016, Jean-Christophe Yoccoz (Fields Medal 1994) passed away, who was a member of the Committee. I recognized with sincere appreciation his contribution to the HLF as a Committee member, not to mention as a speaker. HLF 2016 was extremely successful, thanks to the commitment of the Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation (HLFF) with the support of the Klaus Tschira Stiftung (KTS) and the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS), and the devotion of the helping hands. Last but not least, I sincerely wish the HLF continued success in the coming years. 12