Vietnamese professors named Simons Investigators

Prof Ngo Bao Chau and Prof Dam Thanh Son, both with the University of Chicago, have been chosen, together with scientists from other leading US universities, as Simons Investigators in 2013

Prof Dam Thanh Son (L) and Prof Ngo Bao Chau (R)

A US nonprofit has honored two Vietnamese professors for their outstanding work in math and physics.

The Simons Foundation, a private foundation based in New York City, has chosen Professor Ngo Bao Chau and Professor Dam Thanh Son as Simons Investigators in 2013, a program to advance the frontiers of research in mathematics and the basic sciences.

Prof Chau, at the University of Chicago, was selected thanks to his proof of the fundamental lemma, a deep conjecture of Langlands, which inaugurated a new geometric approach to problems in harmonic analysis based on arithmetic geometry, the foundation said on its website.

The mathematician won the Fields Medal, considered equal to a Nobel Prize, in 2010 for this achievement.

His ideas have already inspired work in many areas, including mathematical physics and geometric representation theory, the site added.

The foundation also picked Prof Dam Thanh Son, working for the same university, saying he is one of the rare theorists whose work has a deep impact across several subfields of physics.

Prof Son has written important papers on quantum chromodynamics, theoretical nuclear physics, condensed matter physics and atomic physics.

He has gained international prominence for his application of ideas ranging from string theory to the understanding of nuclear matter under high temperature and high density.

Last year the University of Chicago appointed him as University Professor, a title higher than Professor, which represents the highest scholarly aspirations of a school that already has an ambitious plan to recruit outstanding theoretical physicists from around the world.

The eleven other scientists who were put on the list of Simons Investigators this year come from Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, University of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, and the University of Maryland.

The foundation will provide a stable base of support for the thirteen scientists to enable them to undertake long-term study of fundamental questions.

Incorporated in 1994 by Jim and Marilyn Simons, the Simons Foundation sponsors a range of programs that aim to promote a deeper understanding of the world.

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