April 1, 2013

Vol. 28 , No. 11   

View Entire Issue (Vol. 28 , No. 11)

A Challenge for the Millennium: The Million Dollar Problems in Mathematics

At the Second International Congress of Mathematicians in 1900 in Paris, David Hilbert, the reigning mathematician of the day presented a list of 23 unsolved problems, which strongly influenced and shaped the development of mathematics and related disciplines throughout the 20th century. To mark the centennial of Hilbert's monumental lecture, the Clay Mathematical Institute announced a list of 7 Millennium Prize Problems with an award of one million dollars for a solution of each of them. The official announcement was made at an important mathematical meeting in Paris in 2000 by John Tate and Michael Atiyah, two of the greatest mathematicians of the 20th century. These problems have already played a crucial role in the development of mathematics in the early 21st century and are expected to be most fundamental in the future as well. In this presentation we will discuss some of these problems and explain how they are related to our own work and collaboration with our students.

Sam Nelson, Associate Professor of Mathematics, has been at CMC since 2008. He completed his Ph.D. at Louisiana State University and then spent several years as a visiting assistant professor at several colleges, including Whittier College, UC Riverside, and Pomona College. His research mostly focuses on topology, specifically in low-dimensional topology, algebraic topology and combinatorial topology.

Lenny Fukshansky, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Mathematical Sciences, emigrated from Russia to the US in 1990. He studied mathematics at UCLA and completed his Ph.D. at UT Austin. Prior to arriving at CMC, he held a postdoctoral position at Texas A&M University. His main research areas are number theory and discrete geometry.

Deanna Needell, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, is relatively new to Claremont, joining the CMC math department in 2011. Before that, she received her Ph.D. in math from U.C. Davis and held a postdoctoral position at Stanford. Her research interests include randomized algorithms, functional analysis, statistics, and computational mathematics.

Mark Huber, Fletcher Jones Associate Professor of Mathematics and Statistics and George R. Roberts Fellow, attended Harvey Mudd College, graduating with a degree in mathematics, and then went on to earn a Ph.D. from Cornell. He held a postdoctoral position at Stanford and was on the faculty at Duke prior to arriving at CMC in 2009. His research focus is probability with an emphasis on the design and analysis of perfect sampling algorithms.