Date: Jul 17, 2013 1:40 PM
Author: Dave L. Renfro
Subject: Re: Please nominate me for Abel Prize

Dave L. Renfro wrote:

>> Saharon Shelah has not won an Abel prize and he seems to fit the
>> above description better than Victor Porton. Let's say I want
>> to nominate someone. Why should I nominate Porton instead of Shelah?

Victor Porton wrote:

> For me to receive the prize is more important than for Shelah:
> 1. I have no scientific degree (for some subtle reasons which I am not going
> to explain here I've left study in university not finishing it). A prize
> would for me be a pass to academic circles as a replacement for a scientific
> degree, so that I would become allowed such things as speaking at scientific
> conferences. Shelah on the other hand already has a reputation and does
> probably not need to advance it further.
> 2. I've conducted some excellent research but right now I am stuck not
> knowing how to continue it. (Especially, I don't know how to prove the
> following important conjecture: the category of (proximally) continuous
> functions between endo-funcoids has direct products and moreover is
> cartesian closed.) My recognition would welcome other mathematicians to
> continue my work which as for now I am unable to continue myself.
> 3. I need to work as a programmer to have enough money. Prize money would
> help me to stop working for a boss and switch to that kinds of work which
> I myself consider more important. No such trouble with Shelah.

I think you misunderstand the purpose of the Abel prize. The Abel prize
is not intended to motivate and assist the winner in pursuing future
mathematical research, but rather it is intended to recognize already
existing mathematical achievement. The reasons you give argue for being
awarded a research grant or something like the MacArthur Fellows Program
(for U.S. citizens and U.S. residents only).

By the way, you do not need a scientific degree to speak at some
scientific conferences. For example, I've given talks at several
MAA conferences and I'm pretty sure the only requirement was to
be a member, which itself doesn't require a degree. (I joined
back in January 1974 when I was a 1st year high school student.)
In fact, I think you may not even have to be a member, at least
if you pay a relatively small fee (small compared to traveling
costs, even if you only have to drive 100 miles to the conference).

Dave L. Renfro