Ngo Bao Chau elected to American Academy

Professor Ngo Bao Chau is among 220 scholars, scientists, writers, artists, businessmen and leaders to become new members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS).

They are historian David W. Blight, volcanologist Katherine V. Cashman, director Clint Eastwood, musician Sir Paul McCartney, playwright Neil Simon and mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, chemist James Fraser Stoddart, biological engineer Angela M. Belcher, astrologer Debra Fischer A and electrical engineer Robert P. Cowell.

Other members include sustainability expert Kamaljit Singh Bawa, former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, Jr., veteran diplomat R. Nicholas Burns, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, television journalist Judy Woodruff and Boston Globe editor Martin Baron.

They are all winners of the National Medal of Science, the Lasker Award, the Pulitzer and the Shaw prizes, the Fields Medal, MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships, the Kennedy Center Honors, Grammy, Emmy, Academy, and Tony awards, the Avery Fisher Prize, and election to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

"Election to the Academy is both an honor for extraordinary accomplishment and a call to serve," said Academy President Leslie C. Berlowitz. "We look forward to drawing on the knowledge and expertise of these distinguished men and women to advance solutions to the pressing policy challenges of the day."

The new academicians will be inducted at a ceremony on October 6, at the Academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

As the US’s most prestigious honorary societies, the Academy is a leading center for independent policy research. Members contribute to Academy publications and studies of science and technology policy, energy and global security, social policy and American institutions, the humanities and culture, and education.

Since its founding in 1780, the Academy has elected leading "thinkers and doers" from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the eighteenth century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the nineteenth, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the twentieth. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.

Prof. Chau is the first Vietnamese mathematician who has received the Fields Medal for his project to prove the fundamental lemma for automorphic forms as proposed by Robert Langlands.

Born in Hanoi in 1972, Chau participated in the 29th and 30th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) and became the first Vietnamese student to win two IMO gold medals.