The Brouwer Lecture and the Brouwer Medal
L.E.J. Brouwer was perhaps The Netherlands’ most distinguished mathematician. Shortly after his death in 1966, the Royal Dutch Mathematical Society (KWG) and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences (KNAW) established a triannual event referred to as the Brouwer Prize. To that purpose, once every three years the KWG chooses a subfield of mathematics and an expert committee then selects a lecturer from that field. If the selected person agrees to give this lecture, on that occasion he or she receives the Brouwer memorial medal^{1}.Traditionaly, this lecture is delivered during the annual Dutch Mathematical Congress.
The Brouwer lecture with the Brouwer medal is The Netherlands’ most prestigious award in mathematics and it also enjoys great international prestige. Previous laureates are given in the following table.
year 
name 
field of mathematics 
1970 
R. Thom topology 
topology 
1973 
A. Robinson 
foundations 
1978 
A. Borel 
Lie groups 
1981 
1981 H. Kesten 
probability theory 
1984 
1984 J. Moser 
analysis 
1987 
1987 Y. Manin 
number theory 
1990 
1990 W.M. Wonham 
control theory 
1993 
1993 L. Lovász 
discrete mathematics 
1996 
1996 W. Hackbusch 
numerical mathematics 
1999 
1999 G. Lusztig 
algebra 
2002 
2002 M. Aizenman 
mathematical physics 
2005 
2005 L. Birgé 
mathematical statistics 
2008 
2008 P.A. Griffiths 
geometry 



For 2011, the Society has selected the field of History of Mathematics. An expert committee consisting of Jan Hogendijk (chair), Teun Koetsier, Hendrik Lenstra, Jan van Maanen, Steven Wepster and Gert Vegter (in his capacity of president of the KWG) unanimously proposed Kim Plofker of the Department of Mathematics of Union College in Schenectady, USA as the 2011 Brouwer Lecturer. She is an expert in the History of Science in Antiquity and in the Middle Ages, and in Sanskrit. In 1995 she got her PhD degree under David Pingree at Brown University, USA. After that she worked in Cambridge (Massachusetts), Delhi and Utrecht. Her book ’Mathematics in India’ appeared in 2009 with Princeton University Press. She was invited speaker during the International Congress of Mathematicians 2010 in Hyderabad, India.
Kim Plofker will present the Brouwer lecture during this congres on Thursday evening and after her lecture she will receive the Brouwer medal. Her lecture will be preceded by a laudatio by the chair of the Brouwer committee Jan Hogendijk.
1 Originally this was made of pure gold but for economic reasons this year it is made of goldplated silver.