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Presented the Abel Prize 2016

The 2016 Abel Prize was awarded to Sir Andrew J. Wiles of the University of Oxford for his proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem. His Royal Highness The Crown Prince presented the award today in the Aula of the University of Oslo.


Pierre de Fermat formulated his Last Theorem in the 1600s. It would take 350 years for someone to prove the theorem. The Abel Committee calls Professor Wiles’ proof “an epochal moment for mathematics” and states that it is “opening a new era in number theory”. According to the committee, “Andrew Wiles is one of the very few mathematicians – if not the only – whose proof of a theorem has been international headline news.”

Award ceremony in the Aula

Crown Prince Haakon granted the Abel Laureate an audience at the Royal Palace prior to the formal award ceremony in the Aula of the University of Oslo.

The President of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Professor Ole Sejersted, gave the opening remarks, while the Chair of the Abel Committee, Professor John Rognes, spoke about the Abel Laureate and his work. 

In a film shown during the event, Professor Wiles shares his thoughts about life and mathematics with filmmaker and mathematician Ekaterina Eremenko. The event also featured performances by the ensemble Music for a While.

This evening the Crown Prince attended a banquet at Akershus Castle in honour of the Abel Laureate.  

The Abel Prize

The award comprises a cash prize of NOK 6 million and has been presented annually by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters since 2003. The Abel Prize is named in honour of the Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel and is one of the most prestigious awards in the field of mathematics. Nominees must be alive at the time the nomination is submitted.

Sir Andrew J. Wiles was born in 1953 and has been a professor at Princeton University in the US and the University of Oxford in the UK. He is the recipient of numerous awards in the field of mathematics. 

Professor Wiles will hold his Abel Lecture at the University of Oslo on Wednesday, 25 May.


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