Friday, April 8, 2011

F is for Fields Medal

Arguably the most important honour in mathematics the Fields Medal has been awarded every four years "to recognize outstanding mathematical achievement for existing work and for the promise of future achievement". Between two and four mathematicians, no older than 40, are chosen and the prize is awarded at the International Congress of Mathematicians. The medal bears the head of Archimedes and the inscription "TRANSIRE SUUM PECTUS MUNDOQUE POTIRI", one translation of which is "To transcend one's spirit and to take hold of the world". Sometimes called the Nobel Prize of Mathematics, as there is no such, it certainly carries the significance of such though the recently begun Abel Prize follows the Nobel Prize idea much closer. I used to dream as a child of earning a Fields Medal one day.

Favourite Fields Medalists: Jean Pierre Serre (the youngest so far), Timothy Gowers (co-founder of Tricki) and Terence Tao (mind-boggling genius).

'Fréamh' is one of my favourite Irish words, meaning 'root'.

F-ing Amazing mathematicians include Fibonacci, Fermat, Frobenius and Fourier.

Finally F is for fantastic friend, fried food and fabulous frock.


  1. Another fantastic post, I enjoy visiting here , I know I am going to enjoy a good read.


  2. Thank you so much for your kind comments! I'm a little behind on the alphabet but trying to catch up. I find writing the little posts very good practice.