Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 44156
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2021/12/08 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

2006/8/25-29 [Computer/Theory] UID:44156 Activity:moderate
        \_ Sigh.  Tao >>>>>>>>>> me.
           \_ "Such is Tao's reputation that mathematicians now compete to
              interest him in their problems, and he is becoming a kind of Mr.
              Fix-it for frustrated researchers. 'If you're stuck on a
              problem, then one way out is to interest Terence Tao'"
              \_ This is why I got out of math.  No amount of hard work or
                 slightly clever tricks or listening to the advice of smart
                 old guys can come close to compensating for not being a
                 genius in math.  Why should I spend three years of my life
                 working hard on a problem that some genius can solve in a
                 couple hours?  Other sciences are not like that.
                 \- yeah, i know that feeling. years ago a friend of mine
                    asked me about an "extra credit" problem for his 50a
                    class. I couldnt believe I couldnt figure it out ...
                    and started working on it with some other friends for
                    a few days. We then started talking to Robin Hartshorne
                    about it ... it was amazing the stuff he came up with in
                    an hour. BTW, it turned out it was an open problem not
                    an "extra credit" problem.
                    an "extra credit" problem. It is interesting how many
                    of these people are just not normal ... Solovay, for
                    example. Another friend of mine reported a homeless man
                    in the elevator to the math dept ... their reaction was
                    "oh, that is Prof x".
                    \_ Was he bald and reading minds?
        \_ Is there (and I really am just curious) something to be said
           about someone this young winning a Fields medal? If this is
           truly like the Nobel prize of math, shouldn't/aren't awards
           like this usually given to people who are older (i.e. more
           well established in the field, more published, etc.)? I'm
           just wondering if this is a subtle publicity stunt of
           sorts. But I do realize this kid is a math genius, too.
           \_ You have to be under 40 to win the Fields Medal.
                \_ OH, I didn't know that actually. Thanks. -op
                \_ OH, I didn't know that actually. Thanks. -pp
                   \- note: that is "why" AWILES didnt get a FM for
                      the FLT proof, but got a consolation prize
                      of some lawn furniture.
           \- No, it's not a "stunt". I'm actually kinda surprised Tao is
              getting all this special attention. I think th point of the
           \- It's not a "stunt". I'm actually kinda surprised Tao is
              getting all this special attention. I think the point of the
              "under 40" rule is so that the prize doesnt become a "liefetime
              achievement award". Sort of the opposite of a Life Oscar ...
              who/how old was the youngest Life Oscar Winner?
              \_ But what if you do something great after 40? Wiles got screwed
                 Don't the rules imply that if you don't do anything great b4
                 40, you won't. Wasn't it RIBET's result that turned Wiles
                 onto Fermat? He must have forgotten to check how old he was.
                 \- Wiles hardly got screwed ... and we only think in those
                    terms because he coincidentally missed by only a couple
                    of years [would you have said "he go screwed" if he did
                    the work when he was 50?]. While WILES isnt exactly a
                       \_ Yes. There should be a Nobel or equiv for Math.
                    household name, you have heard of him ... how many
                    Fields Medalists have you heard of? Did HAWKING get
                    screwed because he hasnt won a Physics nobel? It's not
                    like WILES would have been able to get a better academic
                    position if he won a FM. In some cases the person is
                    honored by the prize, in  other cases the prize is
                    honored by them ... do yu think VS Naipual readership
                    changed after he won the lit Nobel?
                    \_ I think most people in the physics department believe
                       Erwin Hahn got screwed for not getting it for spin echo.
                       \- i think there are probably more valid cases of
                          screwage when person A B C D are involved in
                          idea X, but only A B C win an award rather than
                          nobdy getting an award for some idea. I guess the
                          famous case of this is RFRANKLIN in the DNA
                          episode [nobel can only be split up to 3ways],
                          \_ also can't be given to dead people.
                             which she was.
                          and I dunno how valid that case is, but I suppose
                          CHIEN-SHIUNG WU [UCB Physics PhD ... in 1940!] has
                          a pretty good case in the YANG-LEE PARITY case.
                          As for UCB Physics, do people think ZUMINO has
                          been screwed?
           \- BTW, if you are interested in a somewhat interesting take
              on "math culture", see:
              It's by Timothy GOWERS, who is Yet Another Fields Medalist
              [and was a student of BELA BOLLOBAS, whom some of you may know,
              if you have studied GRAPH THEORY]. GOWERS divides mathematicians
              into "problem solvers" and theory builders ... I think generally
              people outside the math community -- but who have studied some
              math -- dont hear hear much about people working on inscrutable,
              hard problems. [ObTrivia: GOWERS won the Fields medal the same
              year as CURT MCMULLEN, who used to be at Berkeley but was stolen
              by Harvard and is kind of a jerk, and BORCHARDS, who is at
              Berkeley still and works on MOONSHINE, and had brain analyzed
              by ALI G's cousin, who is a famous research psychologist].
2021/12/08 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

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Cache (1998 bytes)
Play Video Terence Tao Terence Tao Terence Tao is UCLA's first mathematician to receive the prestigious Fields Medal, often described as the "Nobel Prize in Mathematics." Tao, 31, was presented the prize today (August 22) at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Madrid. The Fields Medal is awarded by the International Mathematical Union every fourth year. Tao's capture of the Fields Medal surprised few at UCLA. mathematics just flows out of him, except without Mozart's personality problems," said John Garnett, professor and former chair of the mathematics department. "People all over the world say, UCLA's so lucky to have Terry Tao,'" said Tony Chan, dean of physical sciences and professor of mathematics. "The way he crosses areas would be like the best heart surgeon also being exceptional in brain surgery." A math prodigy from Adelaide, Australia, Tao started learning calculus as a 7-year-old high school student. by 11, he was already burnishing his reputation at international math competitions. Tao was 20 when he earned his PhD from Princeton University and joined UCLA's faculty. "The best students in the world in number theory all want to study with Terry," Chan said. Graduate students have come to UCLA from as far as Romania and China. One area in which Tao specializes is harmonic analysis, an advanced form of calculus that uses equations from physics. Some of his work involves "geometrical constructions that almost no one understands," Garnett said. Tao is also regarded as the world's expert on the "Kakeya conjecture," a perplexing set of five problems in harmonic analysis. And his work with Ben Green of the University of Bristol, England - proving that prime numbers contain infinitely many progressions of all finite lengths - was lauded by Discover magazine as one of the 100 most important scientific discoveries in 2004. "I look at a problem, and it looks something like one I've done before. I think maybe the idea that worked before will work here.