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Jonathan Dyck via the Walrus

The Greatest Mathematician You’ve Never Heard Of

Writing for The Walrus, Viviane Fairbank explores the work of Robert P. Langlands, whose eponymous Langlands Program earned him the 2018 Abel Prize.

Fairbank points to the way Langlands's work realizes a concept central to the Institute's mission, that of basic research, writing, 

"As universities shift away from their traditional role as centres for pure research and increasingly favour more pragmatic and applied disciplines (less philosophy, more engineering), the question of what purpose mathematics serves—or whether it needs to serve one—has very real consequences for its practitioners. Against this backdrop, the various interpretations of the Langlands programs have become a case study for debates about the justification of abstract science."

Read more at The Walrus.

Langlands will give concluding remarks at the Sixth Abel Conference: "A Mathematical Celebration of Robert P. Langlands," a live stream of which you can find below, or at this link.

November 16, 2018