Prof. Efim Zelmanov Giving an Academic Report to SMU
On April 2nd, a great lecture--- Mathematics-Science or Art---was given at the Xinxing Theater by the Russian American mathematician Efim Zelmanov, a Fields Medal awarded in 1994, a member of U.S. National Academy of Sciences and American Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as a professor of the University of California, San Diego. This is also the first academic lecture introducing foreign experts in 2018 held by Office of International Cooperation and Exchange with the theme Dialogue with Masters---Winners of International Academic Award Visiting SMU. Present at the lecture were President Zeng Ming, Vice-president Ding Keyi and related leaders of Office of International Cooperation and Exchange and School of Life Science and Technology.
President Zeng, on behalf of the whole university, extended warm welcome to Prof. Efim Zelmanov, and expressed sincere hope that the professor can maintain long-run exchange and cooperation with SMU, thus advancing our university in personnel training as well as scientific researches. He also pointed out both teachers and students should listen to the lecture carefully to see the charm of the mathematician so that teachers and students can get more interested in studying mathematics.
In his lecture, Prof. Efim Zelmanov talked about his in-depth understanding of mathematics and its aesthetic by expounding features of mathematics distinguishing from other disciplines and demonstrating the aesthetic of mathematics with lots of examples. He also introduced the application of mathematics in such filed as Public Cryptograph, Computed Tomography and Graph Theory. He told us pure mathematics is not only beautiful but useful. Pointing out two major challenges we faced in the 21st century, he hoped everyone can make his contribution to these two respects. The professor’s persistence on science inspired all attendants there. After the lecture, Prof. Efim Zelmanov interacted with teachers and students, patiently answered their questions, and encouraged them to maintain enthusiasm for science, thus reaching top of science. Participants present there gained a lot of benefits from his lecture.
Professor Efim Zelmanov was elected a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2001. He was at the University of Chicago, then at Yale University. Now he is a professor at the University of California, San Diego. His work mainly involved nonassociative algebra and group theory. He was awarded a Fields Medal in 1994 for his solution of the Burnside conjecture, which was raised in 1902 as the oldest and the most influential problem in the ﬁnite group theory.
The full name of Fields Medal is The International Medals for Outstanding Discoveries in Mathematics, which is a global award granted by the International Mathematical Union and is often described as the "Nobel Prize of Mathematics". The Fields Medal is awarded every four years to young excellent mathematicians under the age of 40. In the past 78 years, 56 people in total were awarded The Fields Medal in the 18 award ceremonies.