.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}


Thursday, March 27, 2008

French and US Mathematicians Share Abel Prize

Thompson & TitsJohn Griggs Thompson and Jacques Tits (Photo credit: Renate Schmid of Oberwolfach Photo Collection & Jean-François Dars of CNRS Images)

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has decided to award the Abel Prize for 2008 to John Griggs Thompson, University of Florida and Jacques Tits, Collège de France. The Abel prize is known popularly as the "Nobel Prize for mathematics". Thompson, 75, and Tits, 77, share the prize worth 6 million kroner (1.2 million dollars).

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters cited their "profound achievements in algebra and in particular for shaping modern group theory." Group theory is the "science of symmetries," the academy said citing examples like "the relation between reflections and rotations of a icosahedron, to reveal the secrets of (the) Rubik's cube."

Thompson revolutionized the theory of finite groups by proving extraordinarily deep theorems that laid the foundation for the complete classification of finite simple groups. Tits created a new and highly influential vision of groups as geometric objects. The Abel committee says: “The achievements of John Thompson and of Jacques Tits are of extraordinary depth and influence. They complement each other and together form the backbone of modern group theory”.

The Abel Prize was created in 2002 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Niels Henrik Abel. The Norwegian is acknowledged as one of the great names in mathematics although he died only aged 26. The prize was first awarded in 2003. King Harald is scheduled to present this year's award at a ceremony in Oslo on May 20.

Former winners include Srinivasa S R Varadhan, Lennart Carleson, Peter D Lax, Sir Michael Francis Atiyah, Isadore M Singer and Jean- Pierre Serre.

See our past postings on Abel laureates.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Visualization Software: Avizo 5

Surface Rendering in Avizo. Avizo displays and explores detailed 3D surface models. A multitude of drawing styles and color schemes help to yield even more meaningful and informative visualizations [image courtesy: Mercury Computer Systems]

Mercury Computer Systems has launched Avizo, which is a software product line that provides 3D data visualisation and analysis capabilities within an intuitive workflow and easy-to-use graphical user interface.

Avizo™ software is a powerful, multifaceted tool for visualizing, manipulating, and understanding scientific and industrial data, wherever three-dimensional datasets need to be processed, in material sciences, geosciences or engineering applications.

Avizo offers an application framework that is based on Open Inventor by Mercury, Avizo delivers 3D graphics capabilities, including Flow data, Scalar, Vector and Tensor visualiSation; as well as image segmentation and 3D reconstruction tools; and a Matlab connection module for integrating complex calculus.

Initially marketed under the 'Amira' brand, and widely used in the Life Sciences and biomedical research markets, the Avizo product line is suitable for applications in all visual simulation fields, including computer-aided engineering, materials science, geosciences, and general scientific activities. The new version, Avizo 5 is now available for Linux® and Windows®, 32- and 64-bit environments, with more platforms to be supported soon.

For more details, visit Avizo website.