KF Online Programs

Mathematical concepts, some research questions and a bit of history - A webinar with Prof. Henryk Iwaniec

Wednesday, May 12, 2021, at 4:00pm


Join us for the Foundation's first webinar discussing mathematical concepts, and featuring, as a speaker, distinguished scientist, recipient of the Shaw Prize in mathematics, and member of the KF Collegium of Eminent Scientists, Professor Henryk Iwaniec of Rutgers University. Prof. Iwaniec will illustrate what kind of ideas drive old and modern mathematics by answering a few notorious questions. Is mathematics a science or an art, in other words, do we discover or create the rules of mathematics? He will describe a mathematical argument that leads to an operation that is inconsistent with common sense (a magic duplication of a ball for free). Examples of ineffective results will be given. Questions about the distribution of prime numbers will be discussed. Prof. Iwaniec will also speak about the history of mathematics, in particular about the achievements of Polish mathematicians.

Mathematical Concepts, Some Research Questions and a bit of History

- A lecture by Prof. Henryk Iwaniec

Watch the webinar recording HERE

The lecture is meant for a general audience. It is part of the KF Collegium of Eminent Scientists Lecture Series. Free and open to the public. Space is limited. Registration required. 


Henryk Iwaniec, Ph.D. is a Polish-American mathematician, and since 1987 New Jersey State Professor at Department of Mathematics, Rutgers University. Iwaniec studied at the University of Warsaw, where he got his Ph.D. in 1972 under Andrzej Schinzel. He then held positions at the Institute of Mathematics of the Polish Academy of Sciences until 1983 when he left Poland. He held visiting positions at the Institute for Advanced Study, University of Michigan, and the University of Colorado Boulder before being appointed Professor of Mathematics at Rutgers University.

Iwaniec studies both sieve methods and deep complex-analytic techniques, with an emphasis on the theory of automorphic forms and harmonic analysis. In 1997, Iwaniec and John Friedlander proved that there are infinitely many prime numbers of the form a2 + b4. Results of this strength had previously been seen as completely out of reach: sieve theory—used by Iwaniec and Friedlander in combination with other techniques—can not usually distinguish between primes and products of two primes, say.

In 2001 Iwaniec was awarded the seventh Ostrowski Prize. The prize citation read, in part, "Iwaniec's work is characterized by depth, profound understanding of the difficulties of a problem, and unsurpassed technique. He has made deep contributions to the field of analytic number theory, mainly in modular forms on GL(2) and sieve methods."

Prof. Iwaniec became a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1995. He was awarded the fourteenth Frank Nelson Cole Prize in Number Theory in 2002. In 2006, he became a member of the National Academy of Science and received the Leroy P. Steele Prize for Mathematical Exposition in 2011. In 2012 he became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society. In 2015 he was awarded the Shaw Prize in Mathematics.


<< Return to KF Online Programs