PM congratulates award-winning mathematician

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Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung sent a congratulation letter to Professor Ngo Bao Chau, 38, for winning the world's most prestigious mathematics prize Thursday.


"This is a great honor for you and your family, Professor," PM Dung wrote in his letter. 


"[The award is also a great victory] for the pride of Vietnamese education, of Vietnamese people, and a strong encouragement for Vietnamese young scientists."


Chau is the first Vietnamese to win the Fields Medal granted by the International Mathematical Union.


The medal, generally considered the "Nobel Prize for mathematics," was granted to Chau and three other scientists at the International Congress of Mathematicians which opened in India the same day.


Chau is the fourth scientist in Asia to win the medal founded in 1936 by the organization. All three previous winners hailed from Japan.


The Prime Minister also expressed his appreciation of Chau's contribution to Vietnam's mathematics programs through his teaching at local schools. Chau works as a professor at Faculté des Sciences at Orsay, but has come home to teach from time to time.


President Nguyen Minh Triet also sent a congratulation letter to Chau, who was honored for his ground breaking mathematical proof that connects two mathematical branches, number theory and group theory.


The discovery was named one of the top-10 scientific discoveries of 2009 by TIME magazine.


During an interview Tuoi Tre, Chau said that after beggining his professorship at the University of Chicago this September 1, Chau will join the Vietnamese government's initiative to establish a research institute of advanced mathematics.


The initiative is part of Vietnam's VND651-billion (US$34-million) plan to upgrade the country's mathematical research field by 2020. Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan offered Chau to help implement the plan during his visit to the mathematician's family early this month


Chau also promised to continue teaching postgraduate mathematics programs at Hanoi University of Education as well as attending exchange programs with his Vietnamese colleagues at the mathematical institute.

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