Birzeit University hosts the 2010 Fields Medalist Cedric Villani

Birzeit University hosted on Saturday March 12, 2011 two prominent French mathematicians Cedric Villani and Etienne Ghys who gave two very interesting lectures on topics lying at the intersection between Physics and Mathematics.

Cedric Villani is the recipient of the  Fields Medal for 2010 and is a professor at the University of Lyon and the Henri Poincaré Institute. The Fields Medal is the highest honor in Mathematics and one of its conditions is that the recipient's age  must be less than 40 years. It is generally considered as equivalent to the Nobel Prize since no Nobel Prize is offered in the field of Mathematics. The title of his talk was: "Can one read the fate of the Universe in mathematics?" It dealt with the fate of stars and the universe which is one of the oldest problems of mathematical physics, and which has inspired the development of many theories. In this talk the speaker evoked some of these theories and connected them with his recent research.

Etienne Ghys is director of research at CNRS and a professor at the Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon. He talked about the "Shape of the Earth" and showed how this simple problem was behind a lot of research work and progress in many theoretical and abstract fields of mathematics, which illustrates the everlasting connection between the theoretical and the practical.

These lectures were organized by the UNESCO Chair in Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at Birzeit University and the Departments of Mathematics and Physics in the Faculty of Science.