August 9, 2018, 5:45 pm
President of the International Mathematics Union, Shigefumi Mori closed ICM 2018 on a contemplative note, triggering a reflection of what the participants most enjoyed and what they learned.
The International Mathematical Congress has entered the history books as the first to be held in the Southern Hemisphere. ICM 2018 was a fortnight filled with inspiring talks and fascinating, groundbreaking mathematical ideas.
3018 mathematicians came from 114 countries to attend the global math meet-up, that totaled 10,506 attendees and 416,000 website views. 2.36 million people connected on social media during 9 wonderful days at the 2018 International Congress of Mathematicians.
Here some highlights of the ICM 2018:
There was a quiet and orderly rush in the direction of the lecture hall on July 31st during (WM)², the first ever World Meeting for Women in Mathematics (a satellite event held on the eve of ICM 2018) to witness a tribute to the first and only female winner of the Fields Medal (received at the ICM in Seoul in 2014). Recently deceased Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani devoted her life to solving equations such us the Illumination problem. Her brilliant work in abstract mathematics sheds light on some long-standing physics problems to do with ricocheting and diffusion of light, billiards, wind and other entities. Her findings are predicted to have many uses in science, sports and other fields well into the future.
Caucher Birkar, Alessio Figalli, Peter Scholze and Akshay Venkatesh have taken home the most prestigious award in mathematics for their various contributions to the academic field. We spoke to historian Michael J. Barany who shared a bit of the history and dispelled some of the fake rumors about this distinguished award.
Throughout ICM 2018, Facebook live interviews were held with some fascinating personalities of the international math congress. ‘The poet of computation’ and Nevanlinna Prize winner Constantinos Daskalakis talked about deep learning and machine learning.
Birkar is known for his creative approach to math and algebraic geometry and Chen referred to the recent work of his colleague as a “huge breakthrough in birational geometry”. Recounting some of Birkar’s early life experience as a toddler in war-torn Kurdistan, before seeking refuge in the United Kingdon, Jungkai Alfred Chen said: “he has a very inspiring story, especially for those young people in difficult place, in a difficult situation.”
Keen that her work is applied outside the field of pure mathematics, Ingrid Daubechies’ breakthrough was used in the creation of JPEG2000 standard, the format for storing digital images. Her specific mathematical formulae enable data to be compressed and stored much more efficiently. Thanks to her research, the world can store and send selfies and holiday snaps with ease.
Dressed in his signature blue suit and green lavallière tie, 2010 Fields medalist Cédric Villani delivered a public lecture that explained how scientists eventually determined the correct age of the earth.