At the January 2007 Annual meeting of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) in New Orleans, the David P. Robbins prize was awarded to Thomas C. Hales and Samuel P. Furgeson for their solution of the Kepler conjecture about the densest arrangement of spheres in space. Their paper "A proof of the Kepler conjecture" was published in Annals of mathematics, 2005, Vol. 162, pp. 1065-1185.
In their proof, Dr. Hales and Dr. Furgeson use interval computations. In his response to this award, Dr. Hales explicitly thanked those who developed the tools of interval computations (Notices of the American Mathematical Society, 2007, Vol. 54, No. 4, pp. 534-535). According to the official announcement, the Robbins Prize was established in 2005 in memory of David P. Robbins, a prolific mathematician whose work (much of it classified) was in discrete mathematics. The prize is given for a paper that (1) reports on novel research in algebra, combinatorics, or discrete mathematics, (2) has a significant experimental component, (3) is on a topic broadly accessible, and (4) provides a simple statement of the problem and clear exposition of the work. This prize is awarded by the AMS Council every three years. This is the first time the prize was awarded.
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