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Zimbabwe Bank Governor Easily Wins 2009 Ig Nobel in Mathematics

October 19, 2009

Gideon Gono, governor of Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank, has captured the 2009 Ig Nobel Prize in Mathematics. He won it "for giving people a simple, everyday way to cope with a wide range of numbers―from very small to very big―by having his bank print bank notes with denominations ranging from one cent ($.01) to one hundred trillion dollars ($100,000,000,000,000)," according to the prize committee.

On Oct. 1, 2009, Gono was proclaimed the math winner at the gala 19th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, at Harvard's Sanders Theatre. So as to get an even better understanding of his numbers, the prize committee invited Gono to the Ig Informal Lectures at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on October 3. Those who couldn't make it to hear his keen mathematical exposition, however, can read his book, Zimbabwe's Casino Economy―Extraordinary Measures for Extraordinary Challenges, which was released by ZPH Publishers, Harare.

Gono's prize and other Ig Nobel Prizes "honor" accomplishments that first make people laugh, and then make them think. The prizes "come with little cash, but much cachet," Nature has observed. The Ig Nobel Prizes are organized by the magazine Annals of Improbable Research. The event, attended by 1200 people and webcast live this year, is co-sponsored by the Harvard-Radcliffe Society of Physics Students, the Harvard-Radcliffe Science Fiction Association, and the Harvard Computer Society.

Source: Improbable Research

Start Date: 
Monday, October 19, 2009