The American Mathematical Society (AMS) meeting in August 2000 promises to be a landmark event. Entitled Mathematical Challenges of the 21st Century, the meeting will feature thirty speakers chosen from the world's mathematical leaders who will share their ideas about the most important questions in mathematics today and what the future might bring. The meeting will be held August 7-12, 2000 on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles.
The elite group of speakers chosen for Mathematical Challenges includes eight Fields Medallists, a Nevanlinna Prizewinner, a King Faisal Prizewinner, recipients of the Wolf Prize, a Turing Award winner, and several AMS prizewinners. This extraordinary group exemplifies the depth and range of modern mathematics. Some lectures will address aspects of number theory, particularly the "Langlands Program", a web of conjectures linking disparate parts of the subject. Others will discuss progress on another great theme in number theory, the Riemann Hypothesis. The program's emphasis on geometry and topology reflects the importance of these areas in mathematics today.
Some of the most exciting recent developments in mathematics have involved connections between geometry and topology on the one hand, and theoretical physics on the other. Several speakers will address this theme. Another theme is the impact of mathematics in biology, where the problems require highly sophisticated mathematical models and present formidable computational challenges. The general problem of creating more powerful computational methods in all areas of science and technology is a major motivation in mathematics today. Mathematical Challenges will demonstrate the impact of mathematics across many areas of human endeavor, from science, to commerce, to communications, to medicine.
In addition to the plenary lectures, Ronald Graham of UC San Diego will deliver the AMS-MAA Presidents' Lecture, to be held before the Opening Ceremonies on Sunday, August 6. The renowned probabilist Persi Diaconis will make a special presentation at the Millennium Banquet on Saturday evening, August 12. Contributed Papers sessions will also take place during the day and some evenings.
The meeting also features a number of special social events and excursions. The first is a trip to the Getty Museum on Sunday, August 6, the day before the meeting begins. The Opening Ceremonies, taking place that afternoon, will serve as a bridge between the AMS meeting and the MAA Mathfest, which will be held on the UCLA campus just prior to the AMS meeting. A complimentary reception will follow the Opening Ceremonies. Plans also call for an outdoor barbecue at Sunset Commons on the UCLA campus Tuesday, August 8. An evening performance at the Hollywood Bowl is scheduled on Thursday, August 10. The meeting concludes with the Millennium Banquet on August 12.
Unusual in its intensity, in its coverage of a wide swath of mathematics, and in its orientation to the future, Mathematical Challenges of the 21st Century promises to be a meeting of historical significance.
For more details on Mathematical Challenges, visit the web site