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The Human Resource Department of India, aka HRD ministry made a mockery of itself by doing a foot in mouth call on the nationality of the world chess champion Viswanathan Anand. The Indian citizen who lives in Madrid for logistic reasons is denied a honorory doctorate for insane mess created by the HRD ministry. The reason: He is not Indian! Anand’s wife Aruna, understandably upset by the wrong call from the HRD, duly sent a fax of the Indian passport that Anand holds, but the HRD ministry was still not convinced. What  a piece of joke!  This is not the way to salute a world champion and our own citizen. All this happened in the eve of the ongoing International Congress of Mathematicians held in Hyderabad. Only a blog post earlier I wrote about the thrill of India getting a chance to hold ICM. Now, the hopeless HRD ministry found a way to make a mess of it. What  a shame! They also managed to rebuke the famous Algebraic geometry guru David Mumford. Neither Anand nor professor Mumford needs these extra certificates to proclaim what they are. They are already stellar figures in their respective fields of expertise. The manner in which they are toyed is what annoys people like me and it is simply unacceptable. These are not the signs of a country claiming to become the next super power. Neither this is the way we as children were learned and taught to respect the elders and guests.  Athithi devo bhava, but not to be!

As an Indian, I take a lot of pride to learn that the International congress of Mathematicians 2010 is being held in India. It is currently ongoing at Hyderabad, India between 19th to 27th August. Even though I am many a mile away from there now and in spite of  myself not really directly or indirectly participating, it brings immense joy to see India getting a chance to show a piece of International math progress  in modern times too. The Fields medalists , Nevanlinna prize as well as the Gauss medals and Chern medals are announced during the congress.  It is great to hear that Dan Spielman getting the Nevanlinna honor. As a coding theory enthusiast, it is doubly exciting to hear that for the second time, someone  from the same field (after Madhu Sudan received one in 2001) get to hold the coveted prize.

The award winners are:

Fields medal: Elon Lindenstrauss, Ngo Bao Chau, Stanislav Smirnov and Cedric Villani. One Israeli, a Vietnamese, a Russian who lives in Switzerland and a Frenchman. Here is a nice interview transcript where Robert Siegel talks to Julie Rehmeyer, discussing the award winners. A pretty nice brief bio introduction to the fabulous medalists.

Congratulations to all winners. The Fields Medal announcement is here. Nevalinna, Gauss and Chern medals announcement is here.

The P versus NP has popped up again in to the mainstream. The HP scientist Vinay Deolaikar has recently prepared a manuscript which claims, it is after all P ≠ NP. Greg’s blog seems to be the one which first broadcasted this to general public. I have not had much time to digest the proof claims or counter arguments in detail. Here is a fascinating series of arguments discussing the proof claims. I am going to do some digesting on this in days to come! We will wait for the experts to have their say. I am going to relish this discussion.


August 2010
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