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  • DRIC VILLANI: This... is a Fields Medal.

  • In a way it's the dream of mathematicians, but

  • we would never say it openly.

  • It would be considered as

  • very outrageous.

  • And

  • the best thing you have to do to get the Fields Medal

  • is to do some good work, and not thinking about it.

  • BRADY HARAN: And for anyone watching,

  • this is Professor Villani's Fields Medalyou won this.

  • DRIC VILLANI: Yes.

  • But my name is there very discreet, you know?

  • Here is the date: 2010.

  • And here is my name.

  • It's very small, becauseYou know

  • We mathematicians are small in front of the mathematical accomplishment.

  • This is pure gold.

  • And this is Archimedes.

  • Maybe the greatest mathematician of antiquity.

  • The inscriptions here are in Greek and Latin language.

  • [reading inscription]

  • Means something like, you know,

  • "To get above oneself and conquer the world."

  • Something like that.

  • Which is about mathematical accomplishment.

  • Great mathematical accomplishment.

  • To really do things that you would not believe yourself are possible.

  • You have to find it within you.

  • With the help of many people, this Fields Medal

  • owes so, so, so much to my collaborators.

  • It was award for my works in statistical physics.

  • Study of the qualitative properties of the gases and the plasmas.

  • Please look at theWhat is on the other side.

  • Because this also is important.

  • [reading inscription]

  • It means something about the mathematicians who have come from all around the Earth,

  • to give this to the people who most deserve it.

  • Something like that.

  • And this is one thing with the Fields Medal:

  • It's really an award from the community.

  • And is attributing the public ceremony.

  • In front of thousands of mathematicians.

  • It is given by the head of state of the country in which this conference is taking [place].

  • BRADY HARAN: Who did you get yours from?

  • DRIC VILLANI: President of India. In 2010. Yes.

  • Such memories.

  • Here, you may see that

  • something like a sphere,

  • and here's something like a cylinder.

  • And it's an allusion to one of the most famous theorems of Archimedes.

  • The identity of the volume of the sphere

  • and of the cylinder in which you can inscribe the sphere.

  • The outer cylinder.

  • BRADY HARAN: How did you find out you'd won it?

  • When is the first time you're told that you're gonna get the medal?

  • DRIC VILLANI: I was exactly here.

  • This place.

  • And I was having an interview.

  • And then the phone rings.

  • "Hello?"

  • And the voice was saying,

  • "Hello. This isszló Lovász from Budapest."

  • And then my heart skipped a bit.

  • Because, you know

  • …I knewszló was the President of the International Mathematical Union.

  • So, the only person whom I knew to be on the jury of the... Fields Medal.

  • Related to the committee.

  • And so, "Yes, Professor Lovász.

  • "Nice to hear you."

  • And then, "I have news. Good news for you."

  • Then you can think of me becoming all white and so on.

  • And, "Yes?"

  • And then,

  • "You've won the Fields Medal!"

  • [mimes excited exclamations]

  • BRADY HARAN: What, did you shout? Or did you make noise?

  • DRIC VILLANI: "This is extraordinary! [incomprehensible]", et cetera.

  • "I can't believe it! Such beautiful day! Extraordinary!", blah blah blah.

  • And so on and so forth.

  • And then he explain me, "Yes, and please keep it strictly confidential.

  • "It's very important you keep it secret."

  • And then I, [exhales]

  • I shut down [the phone], then I was like, [exhales]

  • And then I realize, journalist was there.

  • Couple of metres away.

  • "Ah!"

  • Did I make a big blunder?

  • Turns out, he did not realize.

  • Maybe he did not speak English after all.

  • BRADY HARAN: The Fields Medal is often described as sort of a Nobel Prize of mathematics.

  • Like, it's a big prize.

  • Do you ever feel like you don't deserve it?

  • Or did youby that point, did you think,

  • "Yeah, I should get the Fields Medal for this!"

  • DRIC VILLANI: Um

  • We all have this feeling, at some moment, that we don't deserve it.

  • Or, most of us.

  • Andoften, I would say,

  • for a given round of Fields Medals,

  • there are those who do such amazing work,

  • that you know, "Okay, this guy WILL get it

  • "and everybody knows it."

  • Like Perelmanit was clear.

  • It was so extraordinary, that it was clear he should get it.

  • And there are people who did somegood stuff.

  • But then it's not clear. You know?

  • And it's… partly a matter of appreciation. And of luck.

  • And on this I think that I was lucid.

  • BRADY HARAN: Another thing that's famous about the Fields Medal,

  • and different from the Nobel Prize,

  • is the age limit.

  • What do you think about that rule?

  • It seems arbitrary.

  • DRIC VILLANI: There is some dose of arbitrariness,

  • in particular in the fact that

  • changes of perspective depending on your birth date.

  • But there are many arbitrary rules in life.

  • You know, once I was discussing this with one of my colleagues.

  • Back in 2006, maybe.

  • In the International Congress of Mathematicians in Madrid.

  • And I was saying,

  • "Well, it's unfair, because this and it depends on your birth date, etc., your chance to get it."

  • And he looked at me with a smile, and said,

  • "Are you saying that life is unfair?"

  • You knowThere are so many rules, and so much in life.

  • So you should not strive for perfect, um, you knowfairness.

  • It makes no sense.

  • And it's good to have rule of age limitation.

  • Because it favours the young.

  • And, um

  • Historically, it's clear that the Fields Medal was conceived as an encouragement,

  • rather than a crowning achievement.

  • Then it kind of took the place in the media, that Nobel Prize usually takes,

  • because there was no Nobel Prize in math.

  • There is the Abel Prize.

  • Which in some sense is closer to Nobel.

  • I would say that it's good to have this age limit.

  • Also, it makes sure that

  • people who do something real great

  • get honoured

  • you knowon time.

  • Sometimes people, for the Nobel Prize, they have to wait thirty years.

  • Sometimes they are dead, and we say,

  • "Okay, this guy should really have got it."

  • But nowtoo late.

  • BRADY HARAN: When you win the thing that every mathematician dreams of winning,

  • how do you keep motivating yourself?

  • How do you keep doing good mathematics?

  • What makes you wake up in the morning and think, "I wanna make a new discovery"?

  • 'Cause you've won a Fields Medal!

  • LikeYou've done the best thing you could do!

  • DRIC VILLANI: It's a recurring question, "What makes you wake up in the morning?"

  • You knowWe all have our missions to do, that we have to complete.

  • And it would be very silly to think that when you have won the crowning achievement,

  • [it's] the end of the mission.

  • Most of the time, people get rewarded for work which is not the one they dreamed of.

  • There are exceptions.

  • Take Andrew Wiles.

  • He solved his child[hood] dream, the Fermat Theorem.

  • But for most of us, you know

  • I did not solve the question that was most dear to my heart.

  • And most of us, rewarded, we can say the same.

  • Our big problem, the ones we are most motivated aboutThey are still open.

  • So much to do.

  • But if I had all this time, there would be a list that long, of things that I really would like to work on.

  • And at least four projects of books that I would like to write.

  • A real mathematician, a true mathematician at heart

  • always keeps in his heart issues that are extremely dear to him.

  • And that he wants or that she wants

  • to go on, and to dig, and to explore.

  • And a real, true mathematician can put these questions in the fridge for twenty years

  • and get back to them after.

  • Still with the same motivation.

  • BRADY HARAN: Andrew Wiles had Fermat's Last Theorem, very famously.

  • What's Cédric Villani's "Fermat's Last Theorem"?

  • What's the one that

  • What's yourWhat's your "White Whale"?

  • What's your, you know, what's your great

  • Great one that you can't crack?

  • What would be your dream?

  • DRIC VILLANI: Please allow me to keep my heart for myself

  • until I solve it.

  • BRADY HARAN: Is it the Riemann Hypothesis?

  • DRIC VILLANI: Wow, it would be lovely.

  • But no.

  • That one is not for me.

  • That one will be for somebody else.

  • I hope.

  • CHARLES FEFFERMAN: "…That is not the same thing as the full Kakeya problem,

  • "because maybe as the direction varies smoothly, maybe the pole would have to jump around."

  • BRADY HARAN: Will the Riemann Hypothesis be solved whiledric Villani is still alive?

  • DRIC VILLANI: I would not take bets.

DRIC VILLANI: This... is a Fields Medal.

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フィールズ・メダル(セドリック・ヴィラニとの共演) - Numberphile (The Fields Medal (with Cédric Villani) - Numberphile)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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