A young Vietnamese professor has been honoured by US-based Time Magazine as author of one of the 10 scientific discoveries of 2009.
Prof. Ngo Bao Chau, 37, who currently works at Universite Paris-Sud and the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton , formulated an ingenious proof of a fundamental lemma in Langlands Programme that was proposed by the Canadian-American mathematician Robert Langlands 30 years ago.
According to the Times, mathematicians around the globe breathed a sigh of relief when the proof was checked this year and confirmed to be correct.
“It’s as if people were working on the far side of the river waiting for someone to throw this bridge across,” the magazine quoted Peter Sarnak, a number theorist at IAS, as saying. “And now all of sudden everyone’s work on the other side of the river has been proven,” he said.
With this discovery, Prof. Chau is now a potential candidate for the world’s most prestigious mathematic award – Fields Award.
Born in an intellectual family in Hanoi , Chau twice won gold at the international mathematics Olympiad when he was a high-school student.
He is the first Vietnamese mathematician to win the Clay Research Award, one of the most prominent awards in the mathematics society and is the youngest professor in Vietnam after getting the title at the age of 33./.