# Hungarian-American Endre Szemerédi named Abel Prize winner

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has decided to award the Abel Prize for 2012 to Endre Szemerédi, Alfréd Rényi Institute of Mathematics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest and Department of Computer Science, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, USA. He receives the Abel Prize *“for his fundamental contributions to discrete mathematics and theoretical computer science, and in recognition of the profound and lasting impact of these contributions on additive number theory and ergodic theory”*, to quote the Abel committee.

Discrete mathematics is the study of structures such as graphs, sequences, permutations, and geometric configurations. The mathematics of such structures forms the foundation of theoretical computer science and information theory. Szemerédi was one of the first to realize the importance of theoretical computer science. He has also made deep, important, and influential contributions to many other branches of mathematics and has published over 200 scientific articles.

The President of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Nils Christian Stenseth, announced the winner of the 2012 Abel Prize at the Academy in Oslo today, 21 March. Endre Szemerédi will receive the Abel Prize from His Majesty King Harald at an award ceremony in Oslo on 22 May. The Abel Prize recognizes contributions of extraordinary depth and influence to the mathematical sciences and has been awarded annually since 2003. It carries a cash award of NOK 6,000,000 (close to EUR 800,000 or USD 1 million).

**Enormously influential**

Endre Szemerédi is described as a mathematician with exceptional research power and his influence on today’s mathematics is enormous. Yet as a mathematician, Szemerédi started out late. He attended medical school for a year, and worked in a factory before he switched over to mathematics. His extraordinary talent was discovered when he was a young student in Budapest by his mentor Paul Erdös. Szemerédi lived up to his mentor’s great expectations by proving several fundamental theorems of tremendous importance. Many of his results have generated research for the future and have laid the foundations for new directions in mathematics.

Many of his discoveries carry his name. One of the most important is Szemerédi's Theorem, which shows that in any set of integers with positive density, there are arbitrarily long arithmetic progressions. Szemerédi’s proof was a masterpiece of combinatorial reasoning, and was immediately recognized to be of exceptional depth and importance. A key step in the proof, now known as the Szemerédi Regularity Lemma, is a structural classification of large graphs.

**“An Irregular Mind”**

In 2010, on the occasion of Szemerédi’s 70th birthday, the Alfréd Rényi Institute of Mathematics and the János Bolyai Mathematical Society organized a conference in Budapest to celebrate his achievements. In the book, An Irregular Mind, published prior to the conference, it is stated that “Szemerédi has an ‘irregular mind’; his brain is wired differently than for most mathematicians. Many of us admire his unique way of thinking, his extraordinary vision.”

The Abel Committee notes, “Szemerédi's approach to mathematics exemplifies the strong Hungarian problem-solving tradition. Yet, the theoretical impact of his work has been a game-changer.”

**Awards and honours**

Endre Szemerédi has received many awards and honours for his contributions to mathematics and computer science. In 2008 he was awarded the Leroy P. Steele Prize for Seminal Contribution to Research by the American Mathematical Society. The same year Endre Szemerédi received the Rolf Schock Prize in Mathematics from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Endre Szemerédi is a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and of the US National Academy of Sciences.

**The Abel Prize 10 years**

The prize is awarded by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. The choice of the Abel Laureate is based on the recommendation of the Abel Committee, which consists of five internationally recognized mathematicians. The Abel Prize was awarded for the first time in 2003. The Abel Prize and associated events are funded by the Norwegian Government.

### The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters deeply mourns the death of John F. and Alicia Nash

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters deeply mourns the sudden death of John Forbes Nash Jr. and Alicia Nash. On Tuesday May 19th, John Forbes Nash Jr. and Louis Nirenberg received the Abel Prize in mathematics from His Majesty King Harald. The Academy was greatly honoured that both laureates and their wives came to Norway to receive the Abel Prize for 2015. After memorable days with the Abel Prize ceremony in Oslo and Abel Prize lectures in Oslo and Bergen, it is deeply tragic that John Forbes Nash Jr. and Alicia Nash passed away during their journey home. Our heartfelt condolences go to the family of John F. and Alicia Nash.

(26.05.2015) More### John F. Nash, Jr. and his wife Alicia killed in car accident

John F. Nash, Jr., who together with Louis Nirenberg received the Abel Prize on Tuesday 19 May, was killed in a taxi accident on the New Jersey Turnpike on Saturday afternoon local time. Nash (86) and his wife Alicia (82) were on their way home after a week of Abel celebrations in Oslo and Bergen when they were both killed in the car crash.

(25.05.2015) More### Nash and Nirenberg received the Abel Prize from the King of Norway

John F. Nash Jr. and Louis Nirenberg received the 2015 Abel Prize from His Majesty King Harald V at the award ceremony in Oslo on 19 May. The two American mathematicians receive the prize "for striking and seminal contributions to the theory of nonlinear partial differential equations and its applications to geometric analysis." The laureates share the 6 mill NOK (about EUR 700,000 or USD 750,000) prize money.

(20.05.2015) More### Abel celebration in Oslo and Bergen

When the Abel laureates John F. Nash Jr. and Louis Nirenberg arrive in Oslo they can look forward to a week of mathematical celebrations in Oslo and Bergen. The highlight will be when they receive the Abel Prize from H.M. the King at the award ceremony on the 19th of May in the University Aula in Oslo. Earlier the same day they will be received in audience at the Royal Palace. The Abel Banquet at Akershus Castle will be hosted by Torbjřrn Rře Isaksen, Minister of Education and Research.

(11.05.2015) More### Soap Bubbles and Mathematics

Frank Morgan, Atwell Professor of Mathematics at Williams College, will give this year's Science Lecture titled "Soap Bubbles and Mathematics" at the University of Oslo on May 20th. Soap bubbles, with applications from cappuccino to universes, illustrate some fundamental questions in mathematics. The show will include some demonstrations.

(05.05.2015) More