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Mathematical Challenges Mathematical Challenges
of the 21st Century
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Press Release

American Mathematical Society News Release
For immediate release
26 July 2000

For further information, contact:

Allyn Jackson
American Mathematical Society


At the heart of many of the great intellectual challenges of the 21st century lies a mathematical challenge. Whether the goal is to map the human genome, or to explore the potential of quantum computers, or to unify the fundamental forces of nature, some of the basic questions that arise are mathematical ones. Even those challenges that grow directly out of mathematics itself, such as the mystery of how prime numbers are distributed among all natural numbers, often exhibit surprising connections to seemingly unrelated areas. Indeed, one of the hallmarks of mathematics at the turn of the century is a flowering of connections between mathematics and all branches of science.

These connections will be explored in an extraordinary meeting, "Mathematical Challenges of the 21st Century," to be held August 6-12 on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles. Sponsored by the American Mathematical Society, this meeting will feature lectures by over thirty international leaders in mathematics who will outline some of the major challenges within the field and along its borders with a wide range of other areas. Taken together, the lectures will present a view of the influence of mathematics across the entire landscape of human endeavor.

At a famous lecture in 1900 in Paris, the renowned German mathematician David Hilbert presented a set of twenty-three outstanding mathematical problems of the time. These problems came to have a profound influence on the field of mathematics, and a few of them remain unsolved today. "Mathematical Challenges of the 21st Century" harks back to Hilbert's famous lecture by providing a sweeping panorama of mathematics today. By bringing together top thinkers to explore the current state and probable future of mathematics, this meeting promises to be a historic event.

Four short pieces outlining some of the main themes of "Mathematical Challenges of the 21st Century" are available on the Web:


Mathematics and the biological and life sciences:

Mathematics and computer science:

Mathematics and physics:

Deadlines Exhibits August 2000
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