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\begin{document}
\title{Terry Tao for Australian of the Year}
\author{Daniel Mathews}%
\maketitle
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Dear friends,
By now I trust you have all heard the good news. Terry Tao,
Australian mathematician extraordinaire, has won a Fields Medal –--
the equivalent of the Nobel prize in mathematics. Those of you who
have heard from me in recent times may have heard me mention this
possibility, which has now become a reality. It is great to see it
happen.
This is really an amazing achievement. It’s the first time an
Australian has won a Fields medal, and he is a very young recipient
at 31. Terry is originally from Adelaide, went to the IMO three
times, aged 10, 11, 12, winning bronze, silver and gold
respectively. By age 24 he was a full professor at UCLA. He has done
a huge amount of research in a whole series of different fields. It
is quite exceptional. And although I’ve never met him personally,
from all accounts he is a very nice guy.
As Terry says, the mathematics itself is far more important than any
one person. But it is great to see mathematicians and mathematics
–-- indeed, science and scientists more generally –-- receiving some
attention in Australia.
I think it would be good to nominate Terry for Australian of the
Year for 2007. The magnitude of his achievement, one might think,
would make him an obvious choice. But given Australia’s culturally
stereotypical preferences, it is perhaps not a foregone conclusion.
The more of us that nominate him the better.
You can nominate him online at
http://www.australianoftheyear.gov.au/pages/index.asp . It’s pretty
straightforward, you just fill in the form. But if you want to do
so, it’s \emph{quite urgent}, because the closing date for
nominations is just a few days away, August 28. (It’s also possible
to nominate on paper and post by snail-mail, but given the time
constraints this seems infeasible.) Completing the form shouldn’t
take too long: I estimate half an hour maximum. To make it easy for
you, I’ve provided below two appendices: (1) hints for filling out
the form, and (2) useful links.
If you think this is a good idea, it would be excellent if you could
find the time to nominate this very worthy candidate. And, if you
know of anyone else who might be interested, or who I've missed, or
whose email address I got wrong, feel free to forward this on to
them too.
Regards,
Dan
(1) HINTS FOR FILLING OUT THE FORM
Terry’s public contact details are as follows.
Prof Terence Tao UCLA Department of Mathematics, Los Angeles, CA
90095-1596 Department phone (310) 825-4701 tao@math.ucla.edu
His age is 31. This means he’s not eligible for young Australian of
the year, which only goes up to age 25.
You have to write a few words about the nominee: in the online
version there is nothing about word limits, but in the paper version
they require \emph{at least} 100 words. Hopefully this shouldn’t be
too difficult: I have already given some information above, there
has been plenty in the media, and I provide a whole bunch of useful
information and links below.
You also have to fill in details about yourself. If you like you can
also give details of a referee, but that’s optional. If you know a
maths professor you could put their details in; perhaps you should
ask their permission. You can also include supporting documentation,
such as news stories, pictures, or even “samples of work”(!): you
might have seen something you want to include, or you could browse
the links I’ve provided below. This supporting documentation would
be sent via email to awardsinfo@australiaday.gov.au, quoting the
receipt number of your online nomination; or alternatively by
snail-mail to the following address:
National Australia Day Council Old Parliament House King George
Terrace Parkes ACT 2600.
Given the proximity of the closing date however, snail-mail might
not be such a good option.
(2) USEFUL LINKS
Clearly you don’t have to read all these to understand what Terry
has done, why he got a Fields Medal and why he should be Australian
of the year. The news articles are all very similar; and you don’t
really need to know the history of the Fields Medal, nor the proof
of any theorems! Nevertheless, if you browse through some of these
you should be able to get a good idea of the importance of what he
did and the prize he was awarded.
UCLA press release
\begin{verbatim}
http://www.newsroom.ucla.edu/page.asp?RelNum=7252
\end{verbatim}
The official Fields Prize citation for Tao
\begin{verbatim}
http://www.mathunion.org/medals/2006/TaoENG.pdf
\end{verbatim}
Australian news articles on Tao
\begin{verbatim}
http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/its-prime-time-as-numbers-man-tao-tops-his-field/2006/08/22/1156012542775.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1
http://www9.sbs.com.au/theworldnews/region.php?id=130878®ion=3
http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/sum-boy-genius/2006/08/22/1156012541805.html
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20876,20219438-28737,00.html
http://au.news.yahoo.com/060822/2/108qm.html
http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,20221346-24331,00.html
\end{verbatim}
News of Fields Medal announcements
\begin{verbatim}
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn9813.html
\end{verbatim}
Terry’s home page
\begin{verbatim}
http://www.math.ucla.edu/~tao/
\end{verbatim}
Terry’s breakthrough paper with Ben Green on arithmetic progressions
of primes
\begin{verbatim}
http://www.arxiv.org/abs/math.NT/0404188
\end{verbatim}
(from here you can get to the paper in various formats by clicking
ps, pdf, etc)
My homage from last January
\begin{verbatim}
http://math.stanford.edu/~mathews/articles/terry_tao.pdf
\end{verbatim}
General information about the Fields Medal
\begin{verbatim}
http://www.mathunion.org/Prizes/Fields/index.html
http://www.fields.utoronto.ca/aboutus/jcfields/fields_medal.html
\end{verbatim}
\end{document}