Looking back at 2018 | University of Chicago News


Two UChicago mathematicians awarded one of field’s top prizes

In February, Profs. Alexander Beilinson and Vladimir Drinfeld were awarded the prestigious Wolf Prize for Mathematics “for their groundbreaking work in algebraic geometry, representation theory and mathematical physics.” Several mathematical techniques and conjectures bear their names, including the Beilinson Conjectures, cited as a guiding influence in number theory and algebraic geometry; and the Drinfeld module, which Drinfeld used in 1974 to prove parts of the Langlands program.

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UChicago, Obama Foundation announce program for emerging leaders

The Obama Foundation and the University of Chicago on Feb. 28 announced the Obama Foundation Scholars Program, a new program at the Harris School of Public Policy to support the next generation of leaders making an impact on issues in their communities and around the world. In August, UChicago welcomed the first class of 25 scholars, who come from Asia, Africa, Latin America, South Asia, the Middle East and Europe, for the yearlong immersive program. Scholars pursue a master’s degree with an emphasis on international development and policy, and they engage with the local community in a range of leadership activities outside the classroom.

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UChicago launches test-optional admissions process

The University of Chicago on June 14 launched the UChicago Empower Initiative, a test-optional admissions process to enhance the accessibility of its undergraduate College for first-generation and low-income students. The first top-ranked college to institute a test-optional policy, along with increased financial aid and programmatic resources, UChicago will enable more students to pursue higher education, regardless of background, geographic location or ability to pay.

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Ninety-year-old receives bachelor’s degree—74 years after leaving College

When June Gordon Marks Patinkin received her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Chicago in June, she was the only student to have five grandchildren there to celebrate. Patinkin, who turned 90 last year, arrived at UChicago as a 16-year-old student, taking college classes with some of the era’s most illustrious scholars. But before graduating, she left school to work for the Marshall Plan, the ambitious American effort to rebuild postwar Europe. When she received her diploma on June 9, she became the oldest graduate of the College on record.

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