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Seoul to host math congress this week

The International Congress of Mathematicians, referred to as the Math Olympics, will open this week in Seoul, South Korea’s ICT Ministry said Tuesday, with some 5,000 visitors from 120 countries expected to participate.

“The event will provide a venue where participants can discuss mathematical achievements over the past four years, and find ways for the development of the academic realm for the future,” the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning said.

The event, which will run from Wednesday to Aug. 21, was first held in Switzerland in 1897 and is hosted by the International Mathematical Union, a global nonprofit organization composed of 70 member states.

Held every four years since 1900, the event is famous for handing out the prestigious Fields Medal. The prize, given to promising scholars under 40, is considered an equivalent to the Nobel Prize in the mathematical community.

It marks the fourth time for an Asian country to host the event. In 2010, the ICM was held in India. Japan and China hosted the event in 1990 and 2002, respectively. (Yonhap)