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Abel Prize shared by Laszlo Lovas and Avi Wigderson

The Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Literature has awarded one of the most significant mathematical awards – the Abel Prize – for 2021 to Hungarian Laszlo Lovas and Israeli Avi Wigderson. Scientists will share 7.5 million Norwegian kroner (about 64.6 million rubles) among themselves. They were helped in receiving the award:

The award was presented with the wording “for fundamental contributions to theoretical computer science and discrete mathematics and for their leadership in making them central areas of modern mathematics.”

Both scientists have invested heavily in the development of the so-called theory of computational complexity and, which deals with the speed and efficiency of algorithms. This area of ​​mathematics began to develop in the 1970s, and has now become a recognized branch of both mathematics and theoretical computer science, becoming the theoretical basis for Internet security.

Lovas works at the Alfred Renyi Mathematical Institute at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and at the University of Budapest, Wigderson at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (USA). Both are recipients of numerous awards: Lovas has received the Knut Prize, the Wolf Prize in Mathematics, the Gödel Prize and the Kyoto Prize; Wigderson – also Knut and Gödel Prizes, as well as the Nevanlinna Prize.

About the award
The award was named after the Norwegian mathematician Niels Abel (1802-1829). He was the founder of the theory of elliptic functions and family word list and made significant contributions to the theory of series. In 2002, on the occasion of the bicentennial of the 26-year-old scientist, the Norwegian government allocated 200 million kronor ($ 23.4 million) to establish the Abel Foundation and the Prize of the same name. It is designed not only to celebrate the merits of outstanding mathematicians, but also to promote the growth of the popularity of this scientific discipline among young people. The first prize was awarded in 2003.

Anyone can nominate scientists for the Abel Prize. The laureate is determined by the Norwegian Academy of Sciences on the basis of the recommendations of the Abel Committee, whose membership changes every two years.

The size of the monetary component of the Abel Prize is 7.5 million crowns ($ 834 thousand). The award ceremony is traditionally held at the end of spring; the laureate receives the award from the hands of the King of Norway. The laureates also give a series of lectures to Norwegian students. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, these plans may be adjusted, the details of how the awards will be held will be announced by the academy later.

Over the years of the existence of the Abel Prize, it was awarded several times to representatives of the Soviet mathematical school: in 2009 to Mikhail Gromov, who has been working in France since the early 1980s, and in 2014 to Yakov Sinai, who now lives in the United States, in 2020 – Russian-American scientist Grigory Margulis.