Khot, Osher, Griffiths

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In addition to the Fields medallists mentioned in the previous post, the IMU also awarded the Nevanlinna prize to Subhash Khot, the Gauss prize to Stan Osher (my colleague here at UCLA!), and the Chern medal to Phillip Griffiths. Like I did in 2010, I’ll try to briefly discuss one result of each of the prize winners, though the fields of mathematics here are even further from my expertise than those discussed in the previous post (and all the caveats from that post apply here also).

Subhash Khot is best known for his Unique Games Conjecture, a problem in complexity theory that is perhaps second in importance only to the $latex {P neq NP}&fg=000000$ problem for the purposes of demarcating the mysterious line between “easy” and “hard” problems (if one follow standard practice and uses “polynomial time” as the definition of “easy”). The $latex {P neq…

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