Mathematics Continues To Entice Men And Women Alike
Preetam KaushikAug 24, 2014, 10.30 AM
Numbers are strange beings. They either entice you or repel you entirely for life. For those who have fallen in love with the numbers, the whole world seems like a sequencing of those furly looking scripts. And they will have nothing but number to crunch, munch and dream on.
Among the many names that have got mathematicians interested the world over, two personalities have stood distinctly apart this year. Both have won the most coveted award that honours the mathematicians globally. The most interesting thing is that both names stem from countries that have traditionally studied mathematics from time immemorial, even before the west woke up to the magic of numbers.
While the 40-year old Princeton University Professor
The awards were announced at the International Congress in Mathematics (ICM), which was held recently in Seoul, South Korea. ICM is held every four years when the awards instituted by
This year, the event had a special reason to be celebrated with much pomp, for it was the first time ever that a woman was among the top winners. Maryam Mirzakhani is the first ever woman to be honoured with Fields medal, ever since the award was set up in 1938. She was chosen for the award for her "outstanding contributions to the dynamics and geometry of Riemann Surfaces and their moduli spaces."
This 37-year-old Persian woman with somewhat dreamy-looking eyes had originally set out to be a writer and a poetess. But the attraction of numbers was so strong that she simply allowed herself to be drowned in the joy numbers created for her. Her enjoyment of solving theories and proofs, along with mathematical equations altered the trajectory of her life forever. It was like connecting the dots and solving a mystery case, albeit to reach the end of a logical conclusion and realise the happiness a 'larger picture' gave her. "It was like connecting the dots" she said, adding that the award for her was a moment of heightened excitement for the women world over. "I am sure many more women would be drawn towards the subject" she added. A very welcome gender-equality moment, indeed!
Manjul Bhargava, Indian origin mathematics Professor from Princeton University went into the ancient scriptures of mathematics based on the classic works of Indian mathematicians such as
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