The Clay Mathematics Institute (CMI) 2002 Annual Meeting took place on Wednesday, October 30, 2002, from 2:30 to 5:30 PM, at the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Annual Meeting brought together an international assembly of mathematicians to celebrate the universality of mathematical thought. This meeting provided a public forum for discussion among leading mathematicians and scientists, and it strengthened relations between mathematicians, the public, and the scientific research community.
The meeting began with the presentation of the 2002 Clay Research Award to Oded Schramm (for his work on the Loewner equation) and to Manindra Agrawal (for his work on primality testing). CMI President Arthur Jaffe and Directors Landon Clay and Lavinia Clay gave the awards. This Research Award recognizes major recent breakthroughs in two mathematical directions, and represents the pinnacle of recognition of research achievement by CMI. Each prizewinner becomes a Clay Research Scholar, and receives a bronze model of the CMI logo, an elegant sculpture "Figureight Knot Complement vii/ CMI" by sculptor Helaman Ferguson. Former winners are: Andrew Wiles, Laurent Lafforgue, Alain Connes, Stanislav Smirnov and Edward Witten.
Two talks followed the awards ceremony. Manindra Agrawal of the Indian Institute of Technology surprised all experts in August 2002 by solving an ancient problem (working with two undergraduate students). They showed that one could determine the primality of a number in polynomial time. This was the first talk in the United States by the inventor of the new method. Vladimir Voevodsky from the Institute of Advanced Study gave the second talk. He spoke about the mathematical breakthroughs that led to his receiving the Fields Medal in August 2002.
"We have a very impressive set of ground-breaking mathematicians at this year's meeting as award winners and speakers. The meeting certainly will inspire young mathematicians who attend, as well as all those who read about it or view the meeting on the web," said Arthur Jaffe, President of the Clay Mathematics Institute. "Agrawal will discuss his exciting discovery - the ASK algorithm for primality testing, and Voevodsky will explain his novel approach to the mathematical modeling of shapes known as "motivic homotopy theory."