# Belgian-born Pierre Deligne named Abel Prize winner

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has decided to award the Abel Prize for 2013 to Pierre Deligne, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey, USA. He receives the Abel Prize “for seminal contributions to algebraic geometry and for their transformative impact on number theory, representation theory, and related fields”, to quote the Abel committee. The Academy’s President, Kirsti Strøm Bull, made the announcement today, 20 March. Deligne will receive the Abel Prize from H.M. King Harald at an award ceremony in Oslo on the 21st of 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 (about EUR 800,000 or USD 1 million).

Pierre Deligne is a research mathematician who has excelled in finding connections between various fields of mathematics. His research has led to several important discoveries. Deligne’s best known achievement is his spectacular solution of the last and deepest of the Weil conjectures. This earned him both the Fields Medal (1978) and the Crafoord Prize (1988), the latter jointly with Alexandre Grothendieck.

Deligne’s brilliant proof of the Weil conjecture made him famous in the mathematical world at an early age. This first achievement was followed by several others that demonstrate the extreme variety as well as the difficulty of the techniques involved and the inventiveness of the methods. He is best known for his work in algebraic geometry and number theory, but he has also made major contributions to several other domains of mathematics.

**The Abel Committee says:** “Deligne’s powerful concepts, ideas, results and methods continue to influence the development of algebraic geometry, as well as mathematics as a whole”.

Pierre Deligne was born in 1944 in Brussels, Belgium. He is Professor Emeritus in the School of Mathematics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, USA. Deligne came to Princeton in 1984 from Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques (IHÉS) at Bures-sur-Yvette near Paris, France, where he was appointed its youngest ever permanent member in 1970.

Deligne was only 12 when he started to read his brother’s university math books. His interest prompted a high-school math teacher, J. Nijs, to lend him several volumes of “Éléments de mathématique” by Nicolas Bourbaki, the pseudonymous grey eminence of French mathematics. For the 14-year old Deligne this became a life changing experience. His father wanted him to become an engineer and to pursue a career that would afford him a good living. But Deligne knew early on that he should do what he loved, and what he loved was mathematics. He went to the University of Brussels with the ambition of becoming a high school teacher, and of pursuing mathematics as a hobby for his own personal enjoyment. There, as a student of Jacques Tits, Deligne was pleased to discover that, as he says, “one could earn one’s living by playing, i.e. by doing research in mathematics”.

Pierre Deligne has received many distinguished international awards. He was awarded the Fields Medal at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Helsinki in 1978. Other prizes include the above mentioned Crafoord Prize (1988) from the Royal Swedish Academy of Science and the Balzan Prize in Mathematics (2004). In 2008 Deligne was awarded the Wolf Prize in Mathematics, jointly with P. Griffiths and D. Mumford.

In 2006 Deligne was honoured by King Albert II of Belgium, who made him a Viscount.

Pierre Deligne is an honorary member of the Moscow Mathematical Society and of the London Mathematical Society. He is a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the American Philosophical Society. He is also a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

### First step towards the Abel Prize 2016

The 15th of September 2015 is the deadline for nominating candidates for the Abel Prize 2016. The Abel Committee met for the first time at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters on the 26th and 27th of September to embark on the task of selecting a deserving candidate. The Academy's choice of Laureate is based on the Abel committee's recommendation. The Abel Committee is led by Professor John Rognes (left). To the right: Kristian Ranestad, chair of the Abel board.

(19.08.2015) More### The 3rd Heidelberg Laureate Forum opened

From August 23 to 28, the third Heidelberg Laureate Forum gathers 26 recipients of the Turing Award, the Fields Medal, the Abel Prize and the Nevanlinna Prize. Five Abel Laureates take part this year. They will meet with young researchers from over 50 nations. Kirsti Strøm Bull, President of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, pointed out in her speech at opening ceremony that intellectual exchange between the laureates of mathematics and computer science and the young researchers is in the spirit of the Abel Prize that also supports activities for children and young people.

(25.08.2015) 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 Torbjørn Røe 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