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The Abel Prize 2014

Today, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon presented the Abel Prize for 2014 to Yakov G. Sinai for scientific excellence in the field of mathematics.


On 26 March 2014, the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters announced its decision to award the Abel Prize for 2014 to Yakov G. Sinai of Princeton University, USA, and Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences. Professor Sinai has received the prize “for his fundamental contributions to dynamical systems, ergodic theory, and mathematical physics”.

Yakov G. Sinai is one of the most influential mathematicians of the 20th century. He has achieved numerous groundbreaking results in the theory of dynamical systems, mathematical physics and probability theory.  

In its citation, the Abel Committee states: “Sinai has trained and influenced a generation of leading specialists in his research fields. Much of his research has become a standard toolbox for mathematical physicists. His works had and continue to have a broad and profound impact on mathematics and physics, as well as on the ever-fruitful interaction of these two fields.”

Formal ceremony

The formal award ceremony was held at the Aula of the University of Oslo yesterday. Professor Nils Christian Stenseth gave the opening remarks on behalf of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.

The Chair of the Abel Committee, Professor Ragni Piene, read the committee’s citation. Professor Sinai then took the stage with Crown Prince Haakon to receive the Abel Prize. After the Crown Prince returned to his seat, the laureate held a speech, which was followed by a performance of the musical work “Baroque Bach Mountain”.

Earlier in the day Crown Prince Haakon granted the Abel Laureate audience at the Royal Palace.

The Abel Prize

The Niels Henrik Abel Memorial Fund was established on 1 January 2002, with the main purpose of awarding the Abel Prize for outstanding scientific work in the field of mathematics. The prize of NOK 6 million was awarded for the first time on 3 June 2003.

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters appoints the members of the Abel Committee, based on nominations from the International Mathematical Union and the European Mathematical Society. The committee consists of five outstanding research scientists in the field of mathematics.

Fosters interest in mathematics

The Abel Prize also supports various measures targeting children and young people to cultivate interest in mathematics. These include the KappAbel competition (Nordic competition in mathematics for school classes), the Norwegian Mathematical Olympiad (for upper-secondary school pupils), the Bernt Michael Holmboe Memorial Prize for the promotion of excellence in teaching mathematics, and the Abel Symposia for researchers.


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