Thu, Sep 09, 2010 - Page 5 News List

Shy Fields Medal winner is a hero to Vietnamese

STRADDLING TWO WORLDSMathematician Ngo Bau Chau was educated in Vietnam and won a grant to study in France. He credits both nations for his achievements

AFP , HANOI

“I was at a key point in my progress. All my attempts were blocked,” he said.

He left France in 2006 for the Institute for Advanced Study, an independent academic institution in Princeton, New Jersey. Suddenly in the US, the breakthrough came.

“Everything played out in one or two weeks in December 2006. At that moment I found the missing piece of my puzzle. And I knew that I would go to the end, and prove the lemma,” he said.

Although Ngo started at the University of Chicago on Sept. 1, he says he plans to spend three months a year in Vietnam and open a mathematics institute there.

“One of the objectives will be to attract Vietnamese scientists to get them to come back and work in their country,” he said. “This medal, it’s an incredible source of pride for Vietnamese and a formidable opportunity for the country’s researchers to progress.”

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