President Obama today named 100 beginning researchers as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on young professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.  The recipient scientists and engineers will receive their awards in the Fall at a White House ceremony.

Markus Buehler, Joel Dawson and Scott Sheffield have received 2009 Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the nation's highest honor for professionals at the outset of their independent scientific research careers. 

Buehler, Dawson and Sheffield are among 100 researchers to receive the honor this year. These scientists and engineers will receive up to a five-year research grant to further their study in support of critical government missions.

Professor says Vegas gambling machines designed to get people to 'play to extinction'

Natasha Schull recalls how in the late 1990s she began observing people in Las Vegas transfixed for hours at video poker and slot machines. What, she wondered, kept them glued to machines until they lost all they had to lose?

After more than a decade of research that included lengthy observations and interviews focused on gambling machines, Schull is publishing her conclusions on how closely guarded, proprietary mathematical algorithms and immersive, interactive technology are used to keep people gambling until they -- in the industry jargon -- "play to extinction."

Two MIT students placed in the top five in the prestigious William Lowell Putnam intercollegiate mathematics competition for 2008. Junior math majors Yufei Zhao and Bohua Zhan earned recognition as Putnam Fellows for their top five finishes, an award that carries a $2,500 prize. More than 3,600 students from across the country took the six-hour mathematics exam on Dec. 6, 2008. The 12-question test is given annually on the first Saturday in December. For the second year in a row, MIT's math team took third place in the team competition. Overall, 23 MIT students finished in the top 79, earning honorable mentions.

Robert P. LanglandsRobert P. Langlands was born in New Westminster, British Columbia, in 1936. He graduated from the University of British Columbia with an undergraduate degree in 1957 and an M.Sc. in 1958, and from Yale University with a Ph.D. in 1960. He has held faculty positions at Princeton University and Yale University, and is currently a Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton New Jersey. He has won several awards recognizing his outstanding contributions to the theory of automorphic forms. 

Esteemed Minister
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Ladies and Gentlemen

The creation of the Abel Prize by the Norwegian Government is a major event for the Mathematics Community worldwide. Since the Abel Prize is comparable with the Nobel Prizes and will be awarded annually, it will enhance the visibility of Mathematics and heighten the esteem in which Mathematics is held.

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