Talking Points: Pierre Deligne and Russian Mathematics

Pierre first started visiting Moscow in the 1970s, deep in the USSR era; at the time, such visits from a foreign mathematician, while not expressly forbidden, were quite non-trivial to arrange, and all the more valuable for that. He has continued to keep in touch with Moscow mathematicians ever since. . . . In 2004 Pierre received the Balzan prize, one of the most distinguished scientific prizes in the world. Pierre decided to spend it “for the benefit of the struggling Russian school of mathematics.” Thus the yearly “Pierre Deligne Contest for Young Mathematicians” was started. . . . During the past four years, sixteen Deligne fellowships have been awarded. Now Pierre intends to continue the contest by using his personal funds. It is hard to overestimate the debt of gratitude we owe Pierre. ––from "A Tribute to Pierre Deligne," [Professor Emeritus in the School of Mathematics], Moscow Mathematical Journal, January–March 2009