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Tenth anniversary of the Abel Prize

His Majesty King Harald presented the prestigious Abel Prize to the Hungarian-American mathematician Endre Szemerédi today in a formal ceremony at the Aula (the Hall) of the University of Oslo.


Professor Szemerédi received the award for his “fundamental contributions to discrete mathematics and theoretical computer science.”

The Abel Committee also stated that Szemerédi received the award “in recognition of the profound and lasting impact of these contributions on additive number theory and ergodic theory.” Prior to the ceremony the King granted the Abel Laureate an audience at the Royal Palace.

The Abel Prize

The prize is named in honour of the Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel, who during his short life developed several theories instrumental to the development of mathematics as a field. Abel died of tuberculosis in 1829, a few months shy of his 27th birthday.

The prize of NOK 6 million is awarded by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. This year’s recipient, Endre Szemerédi, is affiliated with the Alfréd Rényi Institute of Mathematics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest. Since 1986 he has also been the State of New Jersey Professor of Computer Science at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey , in the US.

Award ceremony at the Aula

The Abel Prize was awarded for the tenth time this year. Trumpet soloist Tine Thing Helseth performed during the award ceremony, which was held at the Aula of the University of Oslo.

Speeches were given by the President of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Professor Nils Christian Stenseth, and the Chairman of the Abel Committee, Professor Ragni Piene, before the prize was presented.

Wreath-laying ceremony and banquet

In keeping with tradition, the Abel Laureate laid a wreath at the Niels Henrik Abel monument on Monday afternoon. Unveiled in 1908 in the Palace Park, the monument marks Gustav Vigeland’s (1869-1943) definitive breakthrough as a sculptor. To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Abel Prize, the Vigeland Museum is featuring the exhibition “Vigeland’s Abel”. The exhibition will run through 26 August.

This evening the King will attend the banquet at Akershus Fortress hosted by the Government in honour of the Abel Laureate. Minister of Education and Research Kristin Halvorsen and Professor Ivar Ekeland, a French mathematician and member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, are scheduled to speak.



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