April 20, 2014



Turbulent Times in Mathematics: The Life of J.C. Fields and the History of the Fields Medal
Elaine McKinnon Riehm and Frances Hoffman

One of the little-known effects of World War I was the collapse of international scientific cooperation. In mathematics, the discord continued after the war's end and after the Treaty of Versailles had been signed in 1919. Many distinguished scientists were involved in the war and its aftermath, and from their letters and papers, now almost a hundred years old, we learn of their anguished wartime views and their struggles afterwards either to prolong the schism in mathematics or to end it.

J.C. Fields, the foremost Canadian mathematician of his time, was educated in Canada, the United States, and Germany, and championed an international spirit of cooperation to further the frontiers of mathematics. It was during the awkward post-war period that J.C. Fields established the Fields Medal, an international prize for outstanding research, which soon became the highest award in mathematics. J. C. Fields intended it to be an international medal, and a glance at the varying backgrounds of the fifty-two Fields medallists shows it to be so.

Who was Fields? What carried him from Hamilton, Canada West, where he was born in 1863, into the middle of this turbulent era of international scientific politics? A modest mathematician, he was an unassuming man. This biography outlines Fields' life and times and the difficult circumstances in which he created the Fields Medal. It is the first such published study.

A co-publication of the AMS and Fields Institute.

This volume is available for purchase via the AMS On-Line Bookstore. To order, click the volume image.


The Coxeter Legacy: Reflections and Projections
Edited by: Chandler Davis and Erich W. Ellers, University of Toronto, ON, Canada

The Institute and the AMS jointly published The Coxeter Legacy, an account of the talks at the conference "The Coxeter Legacy: Reflections and Projections" which took place at the Institute in May, 2004. This collection captures the essence of the Donald Coxeter's life and work - it is a mixture of surveys, research articles, history, story-telling, and personal memories, and includes a bibliography of all of his research publications.

This volume is available for purchase via the AMS On-Line Bookstore. To order, click the volume image.


Harmonic Analysis, the Trace Formula, and Shimura Varieties
Edited by: James Arthur, University of Toronto, ON, Canada, David Ellwood, Clay Mathematics Institute, Cambridge, MA, and Robert Kottwitz, University of Chicago, IL

The Clay Mathematics Institute and the AMS have published the volume Harmonic Analysis, The Trace Formula, And Shimura Varieties, edited by James Arthur, David Ellwood and Robert Kottwitz. Its stated goal is to provide an entry point into modern theory of automorphic forms, embodied in what has come to be known as the Langlands program, which proposes fundamental relations that tie arithmetic information from number theory and algebraic geometry with analytic information from harmonic analysis and group representations. The volume is centered around the trace formula and Shimura varieties and is based on the courses given at the Clay Mathematics Institute Summer School held at the Fields Institute in the summer of 2003.

This volume is available for purchase via the AMS On-Line Bookstore. To order, click the volume image.