Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Endre wins AMS Steele Prize

Endre Szemeredi of Rutgers University wins the AMS Steele Prize for Seminal Contribution to Research for his paper "On sets of integers containing no k elements in arithmetic progression", Acta Arithmetica XXVII (1975), pages 199-245, that many of us know, use and admire. The result is a gem, and continues to be influential in a lot of math and theoretical CS around us.

ps: Here is a quote from Terence Tao from an article in UCLA News about his work on arithmetic progressions in primes and its relationship to Endre's work above:
To prove this, Tao and Green spent two years analyzing all four proofs of a theorem named for Hungarian mathematician Endre Szemerédi. Very few mathematicians understand all four proofs, and Szemerédi's theorem does not apply to prime numbers.

"We took Szemerédi's theorem and goosed it so that it handles primes," Tao said. "To do that, we borrowed from each of the four proofs to build an extended version of Szemerédi's theorem. Every time Ben and I got stuck, there was always an idea from one of the four proofs that we could somehow shoehorn into our argument."