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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 26, 2009

UI to host talk by world famous mathematician Maxim Kontsevich March 2

The University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Department of Mathematics will host a Distinguished Visitor Lecture by the world-famous mathematician Maxim Kontsevich at 3:30 p.m. Monday, March 2, in Lecture Room 1 of Van Allen Hall.

The title of his free, public talk is "Tropical K3 Surface."

Kontsevich, whose work focuses on geometric aspects of mathematical physics including knot theory, quantization and mirror symmetry, received the prestigious Fields Medal in 1998 from the International Congress of the International Mathematical Union. In 2008, he received the Crafoord Prize in mathematics, jointly with Edward Witten of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, N.J. The two were cited for their important contributions to mathematics inspired by modern theoretical physics.

The Crafoord Prize is awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm and presented by the King of Sweden. It is the highest award the Academy can bestow for research in a number of scientific fields and is the equivalent of the Nobel Prize. In 1989, Iowa native and UI Space Physicist James A. Van Allen received the Crafoord Prize in geosciences for space exploration.

Kontsevich currently is a professor at the Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques in France and Distinguished Professor at the University of Miami.

Additional information about the talk, as well as reservations and the cost of a dinner to be held in conjunction with the visit, may be obtained by e-mailing Laurent Jay of the Department of Mathematics by Friday, Feb. 27, at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009,