MARCH 27 RECEPTION TO CELEBRATE THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF
THE 2008 ABEL PRIZE TO PROFESSOR JOHN THOMPSON
At 6:00 am on Thursday, March 27, Graduate Research Professor
John Thompson received a call from the Norwegian Academy of
Science and Letters, that he will be awarded the 2008 Abel
Prize along with the eminent mathematician Jacques Tits of
the College de France. The prize worth $1.2 million is to be
presented in Oslo by King Harald V of Norway on May 20. The
Abel Prize in Mathematics is the equivalent of the Nobel Prize.
This was the highest ever academic recognition in the
history of the University of Florida. To celebrate this
announcement of unparalleled importance, a reception was
arranged on the campus of the University of Florida at 4:30 pm
on Mar 27, the same day the announcement was made. In spite of
the short notice, there was a good turnout at the reception.
University of Florida President Bernard Machen who was in
the midst of budget discussions with the Florida Legislature,
flew directly from Tallahassee to be present at the reception
to congratulate Professor Thompson and express his appreciation.
He stressed that the award was of paramount importance to
the University of Florida.
The President also noted that the Mathematics Department has to be
credited for providing a conducive environment for Professor Thompson.
The Norwegian Embassy in
Washington DC sent its Couselor for Science, Dr. Berit Johne,
to congratulate Professor Thompson on behalf of the Norwegian
Ambassador to USA and to present a momento. Provost Janie Fouke
and CLAS Interim Dean Joseph Glover also spoke at the reception.
Emeritus Professor of Mathematics Steve Saxon (Bass Baritone)
sang magnificently and was ably accompanied by Kim Tuttle on
the piano. Three eminent mathematicians, all members of the
National Academy of Sciences - Professors George Andrews (Penn
State University, President Elect of the American Math Society),
Bert Kostant (MIT), and Peter Sarnak (Princeton) - conveyed their
congratulations to Thompson in taped messages that were played at
the reception. Finally, Professors Alex Turull and Peter Sin who
were attending a conference in Chicago on that day, conveyed
congratulations on behalf of the algebra group, also through a
taped message that was played at the reception.
The program during the reception is provided below. Pictures
of the event (courtesy: Professor Beverly Brechner) can also
Department of Mathematics
University of Florida
LOCATION: Keene Faculty Center, Dauer Hall
DATE/TIME: Thur, Mar 27, 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
- Welcome, and tribute to Prof. Thompson
by Krishnaswami Alladi, Chair, Mathematics Department
- Song "Quia fecit mihi magna" from the 'Magnificat'
in D Major, BMV 243 (Bach) rendered by Mathematics
Emeritus Professor Steve Saxon (Bass-Baritone) and
accompanied by Kim Tuttle (Piano)
- Congratulations from Dr. Berit Johne, Counselor for
Science, Royal Norwegian Embassy, Washington DC
on behalf of the Norwegian Ambassador.
- Congratulations from UF President Bernard Machen
- Congratulations from UF Provost Janie Fouke
- Congratulations from Interim Dean Joseph Glover, CLAS
- Congratulations from three Members of the National
Academy of Sciences:
Professor George Andrews, Penn State University
(President Elect of the American Mathematical Society)
Professor Bert Kostant (MIT)
Professor Peter Sarnak (Princeton University)
- Congratulations from Professors Peter Sin and Alexandre Turull
on behalf of the algebra group
- Response from Professor John Thompson, 2008 Abel Laureate
- Refreshments at 5:15 pm
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