The Fields Institute Turns Twenty-Five 170725 Final book with covers - Page 132

110 Ed Bierstone Institute which is an inspiration to those who share in his vision of the Institute’s future. The Fields Medal Symposium was conceived as a four-to-five-day annual event with several ambitious goals: to bring together researchers and help take the area of the honoured Fields Medallist to the next level, to raise public awareness of mathematics and the Fields Medal, and to inspire the next generation. The scientific goals parallel those of John Charles Fields, who created the Medal not as a distinguished career award, but rather as a recognition of great discoveries, and to provide the encouragement and freedom needed to take on even greater challenges. The Symposium is meant to include public lectures and activities for high-school and undergraduate students involving the medallist. The aim is to inspire scientific activity in Canada by raising the awareness of Canada as the home of the Fields Medal. The inaugural Fields Medal Symposium was held with great success in October 2012, as one of the highlights of the Institute’s twentieth anniversary year, celebrated in 2012—13. Ngô Bau Châu was invited as the honoured medallist for the inaugural Symposium, both because of the incredible impact of his achievements and also because of their Canadian connection. Ngô’s Fields Medal work was a stunning advance in the Langlands program, named after Canadian mathematician Robert Langlands, whose far-reaching conjectures have inspired many of the deepest advances in mathematics during the last fifty years. Ngô’s proof of the Fundamental Lemma is crucial to the application of some of the most important ideas in the field, such as the trace formulas of Jim Arthur, who graciously served as the lead scientific organizer of the first Fields Medal Symposium and put together a wonderful program.