Wednesday, August 13, 2014

An Even Better Day Will Come…

I wrote a couple days back that I didn't plan to cover the Fields Medals here, since I believed they would receive good and widespread coverage elsewhere… little did I realize what an understatement that would be! Because of the first-ever female winner, Maryam Mirzakhani, the reportage has been even beyond what I anticipated, in both the popular press as well as math sites.
 I hope that everyone is right in thinking that this will be a huge boost for women in math -- that Maryam can be a role-model and inspiration to young female math enthusiasts everywhere. I almost fear that the continual, overriding emphasis on her gender plays into a perception that she has achieved some rarefied, super-human feat, no ordinary female can aspire to… but then, I probably worry too much. Still... better will be the day when there is no special hoopla surrounding a woman winning a major math prize… it will just be a common ordinary happenstance! Until then though, indeed, congratulations to Dr. Mirzahkani and her co-recipients, Manjul Bhargava, Artur Ávila, and Martin Hairer… I just wish I could understand anything that they wrote :-((

Anyway, here is a smidgen of the coverage that is out there (if you've been living under a rock and missed it somehow ;-):

Part of the original press release for both Fields and other prize winners:

Quanta Magazine's nice profiles of the winners, starting here:

Lots more roundup of the Fields coverage from The Aperiodical:

Also, Keith Devlin's quick take on the awards for NPR today (Keith and Maryam are both at Stanford):

Meanwhile, on a side-note, the IMU has also created a 'Women in Mathematics' website:
(not clear to me if this has been around for awhile, or was possibly created in anticipation of the first female Fields Medal winner being announced?)

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