Clay Mathematics Institute

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This article incorporates material from Millennium Problems on PlanetMath, which is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

The Clay Mathematics Institute (CMI) is a private, non-profit foundation, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Institute is dedicated to increasing and disseminating mathematical knowledge. It gives out various awards and sponsorships to promising mathematicians. The institute was founded in 1998 through the vision and generosity of Boston businessman Landon T. Clay and his wife, Lavinia D. Clay. Harvard mathematician Arthur Jaffe was the first president of CMI.

While the institute is best known for its Millennium Prize Problems, it carries out a wide range of activities, including a postdoctoral program (ten Clay Research Fellows are supported each year) and an annual summer school, the proceedings of which are published jointly with the American Mathematical Society.

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Governance

The Institute is run according to a standard structure comprising a board of directors that decides on grant-awarding and research proposals, and a scientific advisory committee that oversees and approves the board's decisions. As of February, 2008, the board is made up of members of the Clay family, whereas the advisory committee is composed of leading authorities in mathematics, namely Sir Andrew Wiles, Yum-Tong Siu, Richard Melrose, Gregory Margulis, James Carlson, and Simon Donaldson. James Carlson is the current president of CMI.

Millennium Prize Problems

The institute is best known for its establishment on May 24, 2000 of the Millennium Prize Problems. These seven problems are considered by CMI to be "important classic questions that have resisted solution over the years". For each problem, the first person to solve it will be awarded $1,000,000 by the CMI. In announcing the prize, CMI drew a parallel to Hilbert's problems, which were proposed in 1900, and had a substantial impact on 20th century mathematics. Of the initial twenty-three Hilbert problems, most of which have been solved, only one (the Riemann hypothesis, formulated in 1859) is one of the seven Millennium Prize Problems.[1]

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