# 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.

### Mathematical billiards and chaos

#### Abel Lectures 2014 at the University of Oslo, Norway

The Abel Laureate Yakov Sinai will give his prize lecture at the University of Oslo on 21 May. This will be followed by two Abel Lectures by Gregory Margulis and Konstantin Khanin. Domokos Szász will give the popular science lecture titeled "Mathematical billiards and chaos". See lecture summaries below.

(08.05.2014) More### Abel celebration in Oslo, Stavanger and Stockholm

When Abel Laureate Yakov G. Sinai arrives in Oslo on 18 May together with his wife Elena B. Vul, who is also a mathematician, they can look forward to a week of mathematics celebration in Oslo, Stavanger and Stockholm. The highlight will be when Yakov G. Sinai receives the Abel Prize from HRH The Crown Prince at the award ceremony on 20 May in the University Aula in Oslo. Earlier the same day Sinai will be received in audience at the Royal Palace. The Minister of Education and Research, Torbjřrn Rře Isaksen, will be among the many prominent guests at the award ceremony.

(13.05.2014) More### Congratulations from AMS President David Vogan

"On behalf of the American Mathematical society, it is a great pleasure to congratulate Yakov Sinai of Princeton University and the Landau Institute, recipient of the 2014 Abel Prize. Sinai's work has changed our understanding of change; his influence can be seen from number theory to physics. Congratulations!"

(26.03.2014) More### Russian mathematician receives the 2014 Abel Prize

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has decided to award the Abel Prize for 2014 to Yakov G. Sinai (78) of Princeton University, USA, and the Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, *"for his fundamental contributions to dynamical systems, ergodic theory, and mathematical physics". *The President of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Nils Chr. Stenseth, announced the winner of the 2014 Abel Prize at the Academy in Oslo today, 26 March. Yakov G. Sinai will receive the Abel Prize from His Royal Highness The Crown Prince at an award ceremony in Oslo on 20 May.

### Abel Prize announcement 26 March

The President of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Nils Chr. Stenseth, (picture) will announce the winner of the Abel Prize for 2014 at the Academy on the 26th of March. The Academy's choice of laureate is based on the recommendation of the Abel Committee. The chair of the Abel Committee, Ragni Piene, will give the reasons for the awarding of the prize. The internationally renowned mathematician Jordan Ellenberg will give a popular science presentation of the prize winner's work.

(17.03.2014) More