Wednesday, May 26, 2010

John Torrence Tate

US mathematician John Torrence Tate, cited for “his vast and lasting impact on the theory of numbers,” received Norway’s Abel Prize, dubbed the Nobel Prize for mathematics.Norwegian King Harald handed over the prize, worth 6 million kroner (900,000 dollars), at a ceremony in Oslo.During his 60—year career, Dr. Tate has contributed to research ranging from “the mysteries of prime numbers to the ways in which we store, transmit and secure information in modern computers.Several mathematical concepts have been named after him, including the Tate module, Tate curve, Tate cycle, Hodge—Tate decompositions, Tate cohomology, Serre—Tate parameter and Lubin—Tate group.Dr. Tate, 85, received his PhD from Princeton University in 1950.His academic career included a position at Columbia University and a 36—year stint at Harvard University. In 1990, he took up a position as a mathematics professor at the University of Texas, from which he recently retired.The Abel Prize was first awarded in 2003.It had been created a year earlier to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Niels Henrik Abel. He is considered to be Norway’s greatest mathematician, even though he died at age 26.Last year, the prize was awarded to Russian—born Mikhail Leonidovich Gromov of France.

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