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The Abel Prize for 2009

His Majesty The King presented the Abel Prize to Professor Mikhail Leonidovich Gromov during a formal ceremony at the historic Gamle Logen banquet and concert hall in Oslo. Her Majesty The Queen was also in attendance.


Earlier that same day, King Harald and Queen Sonja granted the Abel Laureate an audience at the Royal Palace.

Professor Gromov received the prize for his revolutionary contribution to geometry. The Abel Committee’s citation states:

“Geometry is one of the oldest fields of mathematics; it has engaged the attention of great mathematicians through the centuries, but has undergone revolutionary change during the last 50 years. Mikhail Gromov has led some of the most important developments, producing profoundly original general ideas, which have resulted in new perspectives on geometry and other areas of mathematics. […] Mikhail Gromov is always in pursuit of new questions and is constantly thinking of new ideas for solutions of old problems. He has produced deep and original work throughout his career and remains remarkably creative. The work of Gromov will continue to be a source of inspiration for many future mathematical discoveries.”

The Abel Prize

The Abel Prize is an international award for scientific excellence in the field of mathematics. The prize seeks to enhance the status of mathematics within society at large and heighten interest in the field among children and young people. The prize of NOK 6 million was awarded for the first time in 2003.

The prize is named in honour of the mathematician Niels Henrik Abel, who during his short life developed several theories instrumental to the development of the field. Abel died of tuberculosis in 1829 at age 26.

It is traditional for the Abel Laureate to lay a wreath at the Niels Henrik Abel monument. The monument, sculpted by Gustav Vigeland, stands on Abel knoll in the Palace Park. Professor Gromov laid a wreath there on Monday.

Banquet at Akershus Fortress

In keeping with tradition, this evening the Government will host a banquet at Akershus Fortress in honour of the Abel Laureate. King Harald will attend the banquet.

The Abel lectures

The Abel lectures will be held on Wednesday, 20 May. The purpose of the lectures is to provide insight into the Abel Laureate’s work in mathematics and communicate this to researchers in all areas of the mathematics field. Other lectures are targeted toward a more general public. The complete schedule is available on the official Abel Prize website.

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