Q & A from the 2023 WLA Prize Laureate in Computer Science or Mathematics--Yurii Nesterov
Date: 2023-09-14
Source: WLA
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Picture credit to: Yurii Nesterov

(1) What were you doing when informed of winning the WLA Prize? Can you share your emotions upon receiving the notification from the Chair please? 
I got a call from the President of the Prize Committee Prof. Michael Jordan in the late evening, when we were finishing a very lively conference dinner at Budapest. But from my life experience, I learned that the chances for such a prize are infinitely small. I have already received several international prizes, some of them were very prestigious. However, for all of them the remuneration, if any, was extremely moderate. All applications for a reasonable prize amount failed. To my great surprise, he informed me that we are the winners. At the first moment I did not believe in what I have heard, trying to get over the noise around. However, after several dull questions, I got convinced that this is indeed true.


(2) What thoughts or opinions do you have regarding the award please?
In my opinion, this is a very timely and generous initiative, which will definitely help in accelerating the developments in Computer Sciences and Mathematics. These two disciplines are responsible for the progress of our society in the last decades. So, an appropriate attribution of this honor can help to young people in finding the most promising directions for their scientific activity.


(3) We are delighted to know that you will attend the award ceremony and the 6th WLA Forum in Shanghai. What are your expectations for both the Ceremony and Forum? 
For me this is a completely new experience. I hope to share with other participants my thoughts and expectations on the development of our fields and see their feedback. The idea of organizing an interdisciplinary meeting of so high level is very new. And I believe it will result in a very interesting and productive exchange of opinions on the most important challenges of our life.


Additionally, do you have any particular anticipations regarding your travels to Shanghai?
Our stay there will be quite short. Therefore, we are going to see only the most standard but famous places: Forbidden City, Botanical Garden and Shanghai Tower. In one of the evenings, a boat trip with dinner would be very nice. It seems that all these goals are quite standard and I think we will be able to manage this program ourselves. But of course, any help or advises from the organizing committee are very welcome. Thanks!