Louis Nirenberg, winner of the Chern Medal, has nominated the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences of New York University to receive half of the cash prize the award carries.
Professor Nirenberg was the first recipient of the award that was instituted by the International Mathematical Union (IMU) and the Chern Medal Foundation (CMF) in memory of the outstanding Chinese-American mathematician Shiing-Shen Chern (1911-2004).
President Pratibha Patil gave away the medal at the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) in Hyderabad on Thursday.
The award, given to an individual for lifelong achievements in mathematics, consists of a medal and a cash prize of $500,000
Professor Chern had devoted his life to mathematics, both in research and education and in nurturing the field whenever the opportunity arose.
In keeping with Professor Chern's spirit, the award requires that the recipient donates half of the cash prize to organisations of his/her choice to support research, education, outreach or other activities to promote mathematics. This component is called “Organisation Award.”
Professor Nirenberg's journey in mathematics began at New York University in 1945 at the advice of Richard Courant after whom the institute is named.
Professor Nirenberg was one of the original members of the institute.
He has spent his entire career there and retired in 1999. Now he is an emeritus professor there.