Vietnamese professor bags international award for young mathematicians

By Sen    October 25, 2019 | 04:36 am PT
Vietnamese professor Pham Hoang Hiep has won the prestigious Ramanujan prize for young mathematicians from developing countries.
Vietnamese math professor Pham Hoang Hiep, 37. Photo courtesy of Pham Hoang Hiep.

Vietnamese math professor Pham Hoang Hiep, 37. Photo courtesy of Pham Hoang Hiep.

Hiep, 37, of the Institute of Mathematics under Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology in Hanoi has got the award for his contributions to the field of complex analysis and geometry.

The prize also recognizes his important organizational role in the advancement of mathematics in his home country, the award announcement said Wednesday.

Hiep has been teaching and researching mathematics at various reputable education institutions in Vietnam including the institute he is working at now and the Hanoi National University of Education for about 15 years.

"I know that mathematics has contributed to the development of education and science by the teaching of basic knowledge and mathematical thinking," Hiep said in the announcement.

He said he tries to prepare and deliver quality lectures about mathematical principles and applications to his students.

Since 2005, the annual Ramanujan award that comes with a prize money of $15,000 has been given every year to a researcher from a developing country under 45 years of age for doing outstanding work in any branch of the mathematics.

The award is named after Indian mathematical genius, Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887-1920), whose vast body of work, done without any formal training in pure mathematics, is still being researched as a source of new ideas.

It is usually awarded to one person, but may be shared equally among recipients who have contributed to the same body of work.

The selection committee takes into account not only the scientific quality of the research, but also the background of the candidate and the environment in which the work was carried out. It in particular favors candidates who have overcome adversity to achieve distinction in mathematics.

The prize was originally instituted by the International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Italy, the Norwegian Niels Henrik Abel Memorial Fund, and the Berlin-based International Mathematical Union.

The winner will be invited to ICTP to receive the award and deliver a lecture.

Hiep was appointed professor at the Institute of Mathematics in 2017 when he was just 35, making him the youngest person to be promoted to the position in Vietnam.

The mathemetician is the third Vietnamese academic to receive an award from ICTP.

One of his two predecessors, Dr Dam Thanh Son, now with the University of Chicago, bagged ICTP’s Dirac medal for significant contributions to the field of theoretical physics in 2018.

The other, Dr Le Hong Van, got the ICTP Prize for young scientists with outstanding and original contributions in physics in 1991, when she was working at the same institute as Hiep.

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