Stephen Cook, a mathematician and scientist at the University of Toronto will take home Canada's top science prize for cracking one of the world's toughest math problems Wednesday.
The science and math whiz will get the gold medal 'Gerhard Herzberg' which comes along with $ 1 million. The medal is named after the Nobel Prize Winner who was granted the award for Chemistry in 1971.
Besides his fundamental contributions to the fields of science and mathematics, Stephen Cook's 'Theorem' on what can and can't be cracked by computers and mathematics has become an important requirement-subject for modern computer science students, according to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
"Cook's theories on what the computer can and cannot do are at the root of the privacy and security codes used on the Internet for everything from buying a book online to transferring vast sums between banks. The security assumption is based on the idea that no computer can figure out the code as explained by Cook's P vs NP theorem," reported Post Media News.
Saying Cook's 'complexity theory' has made fundamental contributions to algorithm and computational theory, the Canadian Council said that Cook's ongoing researches are likely to be cited by many in the future.
"His still-growing body of work is likely to be cited for many decades to come," the paper quoted the Council as saying.
Stephen Cook, 73, joined the University of Toronto in 1970 after graduating with a PhD from Harvard University.
Along with Cook, several other scientists and mathematicians Wednesday will also receive honorary awards from Governor General David Johnston of Canada.
"Investing in science and technology has a direct impact on our quality of life," said Gary Goodyear, Minister of Science and Technology in a press release, "The accomplishments of these winners demonstrate how these investments benefit Canadians and our economy."
Since 1991, the Gold Medal has been awarded every year to an individual whose contributions had substantially advanced the fields of science and mathematics.
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