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Statement from the Directors and Scientific Advisory Board

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In order to celebrate mathematics in the new millennium, The Clay Mathematics Institute of Cambridge, Massachusetts (CMI) has named seven “Millennium Prize Problems.” The Scientific Advisory Board of CMI selected these problems, focusing on important classic questions that have resisted solution over the years. The Board of Directors of CMI have designated a $7 million prize fund for the solution to these problems, with $1 million allocated to each. During the Millennium meeting held on May 24, 2000 at the Collège de France, Timothy Gowers presented a lecture entitled “The Importance of Mathematics,” aimed for the general public, while John Tate and Michael Atiyah spoke on the problems. The CMI invited specialists to formulate each problem.

One hundred years earlier, on August 8, 1900, David Hilbert delivered his famous lecture about open mathematical problems at the second International Congress of Mathematicians in Paris. This influenced our decision to announce the millennium problems as the central theme of a Paris meeting.

The rules that follow for the award of the prize have the endorsement of the CMI Scientific Advisory Board and the approval of the Directors. The members of these boards have the responsibility to preserve the nature, the integrity, and the spirit of this prize.

Scientific Advisory Board:

Alain Connes

Arthur Jaffe

Andrew Wiles

Edward Witten


Finn M. W. Caspersen

Landon T. Clay

Lavinia D. Clay

William R. Hearst, III

Arthur M. Jaffe

David B. Stone

 Paris, May 24, 2000

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