University formally welcomes Fields Medalist to mathematics faculty
The question from Fefferman, dean of the Physical Sciences Division and the Max Mason Distinguished Service Professor in Mathematics: "Do you think that it is random selection that Châu decided to come to the University of Chicago, or perhaps was there a good reason for selecting this particular department?"
The answer from Constantin, Mathematics Department chairman and the Louis Block Distinguished Service Professor in Mathematics: "It is not, indeed not at all a random event that Prof. Ngô chose to come here. He has strong scientific ties to members of the department."
The reception at the Gordon Center for Integrative Science included welcoming remarks from President Robert Zimmer, Professor in Mathematics, and a toast offered by Provost Thomas Rosenbaum, the John T. Wilson Distinguished Service Professor in Physics.
"We toast you for your accomplishments, we wish you a bright future among us, and we hope to see other great intellects joining you in mathematics and across this university," Rosenbaum said.
Zimmer and Fefferman both referred to the historically prominent mathematicians who revived the department's tradition of excellence half a century ago. The list includes Andr'e Weil, Antoni Zygmund, Shiing-Shen Chern and Saunders Mac Lane. Long-time UChicago mathematicians refer to the era as the "Stone Age" in honor of former department Chairman Marshall Stone, who oversaw the University's renaissance in mathematics research.
The department may be entering a "Stone Age II" with the addition of Châu to an already outstanding mathematics faculty, Fefferman said. "This is really a very special moment for the Mathematics Department and the Division of Physical Sciences and the University. It's almost hard to put into words what pleasure it gives me to welcome a colleague like Ch^au," Fefferman said.
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