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Cannonballs and Honeycombs
Award: Chauvenet Prize
Year of Award: 2003
Publication Information: Notices of AMS, April 2000, vol. 47, no. 4, pp. 440-449
Summary: This article describes some recent theorems that might have been proved centuries ago if available mathematical tools had matched intuition. It describes the proof that the pyramid stacking of spheres is optimal.
About the Author: Thomas C. Hales received his M.S. from Stanford in the School of Engineering and his Ph.D. (1986) from Princeton in mathematics. He has taught at Harvard, the University of Chicago, and the University of Michigan. He is currently the Andrew Mellon Professor of Mathematics at the University of Pittsburgh. His honors include the Chauvenet Prize (2003) of the MAA and the Moore Prize (2004) for applications of interval analysis. His research interests include representation theory, motivic integration, discrete geometry, and formal proofs.