Inter-universal Geometry Center 宇宙際幾何学センター
  • Prize
  • Event

Announcing IUGC best paper award of up to $1,000,000 and conference

The Preparatory Association of The Nippon Foundation and DWANGO Educational Institute (Representative Director: Shinichi Yamanaka) held a press release at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan on July 7, 2023 (Friday) and announced initiatives slated for the Inter-Universal Geometry Center (IUGC, Director: Fumiharu Kato), a research institute in ZEN University (provisional name) (currently under planning for establishment). The goal of the initiatives is to encourage the promotion and development of the IUT theory (Inter-Universal Teichmüller Theory). The initiatives are the establishing of the IUT Innovator Prize best paper award related to the IUT theory and the opening of the First IUGC Conference. The Institute also announced that DWANGO founder Nobuo Kawakami will establish his own personal IUT Challenger Prize.

--The IUT theory

The official name of the IUT theory is the Inter-Universal Teichmüller Theory. It was presented on the Internet in 2012 by Professor Shinichi Mochizuki of the Kyoto University Research Institute for Mathematical Sciences. It has garnered attention due to its nature as a ground-breaking theory that solves the abc conjecture, which is considered "the most difficult of unsolved problems." After undergoing a seven-year-plus peer-review period, the theory was published in the international technical journal PRIMS in 2021. Meanwhile, despite serious doubts about the correctness of IUT theory, there has been no mathematical discussion to resolve them. And this is an unusual state of affairs in the mathematical community.

One of the main reasons for this is that the IUT theory is very long and also highly original, necessitating a large amount of time and effort to comprehend even among superlative mathematicians. This is also thought to be a factor preventing young mathematicians from entering the field.

--The goal behind establishing IUGC

IUGC was born as an organization to provide support for the development of arithmetic geometry centered on the IUT theory. The operating expenses and allocated prize money are provided personally by DWANGO founder Nobuo Kawakami. Its basic philosophy is to avoid simply following in the research footsteps of the Kyoto University Research Institute for Mathematical Sciences, and instead operate based on its own judgement and action principals. Additionally, the Center will encourage mathematicians to work at researching the IUT theory through presenting awards and holding conferences, and also plans to provide introductory explanations and writing support.

--The two awards and the IUGC conference

The IUGC-sponsored IUT Innovator Prize will publicly commend and award prize money to papers and mathematicians who have contributed to innovations related to the IUT theory, such as the development of the IUT theory itself and the discovery of new applications. The plan is to award between $20,000 to $100,000 every year for ten years.

Additionally, the IUT Challenger Prize will also be established as an award provided personally by DWANGO founder Nobuo Kawakami. This prize will award $1,000,000 to the first paper or author who shows any fundamental flaws in the IUT theory. Soliciting papers that point out mistakes in something which has already been published in mathematical academic journals is an extremely rare phenomenon.

In April 2024, the First IUGC Conference is scheduled to be held in the Chuo City of Tokyo. Important mathematicians with connections to the IUT theory will be invited. The schedule includes most recent research result presentations, discussions, and presentation of IUT Innovator Prize winners. The organizers will be Associate Professor Yuichiro Hoshi (Kyoto University Research Institute for Mathematical Sciences), Professor Fumiharu Kato as a slated ZEN University professor, and Professor Shinichi Mochizuki (Kyoto University Research Institute for Mathematical Sciences).

--Speaker comments

Providing a research environment in which the motivated young generation can feel secure

Fumiharu Kato,Director of IUGC, Professor of ZEN University (provisional name) (currently under planning for establishment)

In addition to the IUT theory being a lengthy paper, it comes with a high technical hurdle of requiring intimate familiarity with highly technical theories in order to understand it. Thus, even after more than a decade from its release, there are still only a few related research groups even on a global scale. This is an extremely unusual state of affairs even across the entire scope of mathematics history to today. If a layer of people who understand the theory is not formed, it will not spread through society.

IUGC wants to provide an environment in which the motivated young generation can feel secure about participating in the research. Its sincere wish from a completely neutral standpoint is for the confusion surrounding the IUT theory can be rectified and resolved.

Expecting resolution of a historical case

Nobuo Kawakami , founder of Dwango Co., Ltd.

I am not a mathematician, but I study mathematics as a hobby. In my relationships with mathematicians, I have found them to be people who are sincerely devoted to the philosophy that "there is only one truth." In a mathematical culture that prizes this tradition, I was surprised to discover that doubts about the IUT theory persist in such a vague state. I feel as if we are "standing on a historic precipice," and yet we are also witnessing a situation in which returns are just too small compared to the great amount of effort required to understand the IUT theory. Therein, it became my hope to be able to contribute in some small way to the development of mathematical discussion in IUT theory by establishing this meager award. I do not care if the ultimate conclusion supports or refutes it. What is important is reaching a final resolution in this historical case in the world of mathematics.

Aiming for further development of IUT theory, which is already being applied in the quantum computer field.

Ivan Fesenko, Deputy Director of IUGC, Professor Professor of ZEN University (provisional name) (currently under planning for establishment)

For example, Chat GPT is based on about two or three new ideas at most, but the IUT theory contains a great deal of new ideas or concepts. The IUT theory is the most algorithmic theory in number theory, and simplifying the ideas within is expected to prove useful in a diverse range of fields. In fact, research towards applications in the quantum computer field is already underway. Further development of the IUT theory holds the potential to be widely useful in future society.

The press conference is available on YouTube.