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.

The 2014 Abel Prize Winner Yakov G. Sinai (Photo: Princeton University, Department of Mathmatics)The 2014 Abel Prize Winner Yakov G. Sinai (Photo: Princeton University, Department of Mathmatics)

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 750,000 or USD 1 million).

Yakov Sinai is one of the most influential mathematicians of the twentieth century. He has achieved numerous groundbreaking results in the theory of dynamical systems, in mathematical physics and in probability theory. Many mathematical results are named after him, including Kolmogorov–Sinai entropy, Sinai’s billiards, Sinai’s random walk, Sinai-Ruelle-Bowen measures, and Pirogov-Sinai theory.

Sinai is highly respected in both physics and mathematics communities as the major architect of the most bridges connecting the world of deterministic (dynamical) systems with the world of probabilistic (stochastic) systems. During the past half-century Yakov Sinai has written more than 250 research papers and a number of books. He has supervised more than 50 Ph.D.-students.

Yakov Sinai has trained and influenced a generation of leading specialists in his research fields. Much of his research has become a standard toolbox for mathematical physicists. The Abel Committee says, “His works had and continue to have a broad and profound impact on mathematics and physics, as well as on the ever-fruitful interaction between these two fields.”

Awards and honours

Yakov G. Sinai has received many distinguished international awards. In 2013 he was awarded the Leroy P. Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement from the American Mathematical Society. Other awards include the Wolf Prize in Mathematics (1997), the Nemmers Prize in Mathematics (2002), the Henri Poincaré Prize from the International Association of Mathematical Physics (2009) and the Dobrushin International Prize from the Institute of Information Transmission of the Russian Academy of Sciences (2009).

Many mathematical societies and academies have elected Sinai to membership or honorary membership: the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1983), the Russian Academy of Sciences (1991), the London Mathematical Society (1992), the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (1993), the United States National Academy of Sciences (1999), the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (2000), the Academia Europaea (2008), the Polish Academy of Sciences (2009) and the Royal Society of London (2009).

Nils Chr. Stenseth, President of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Yakov G. Sinai as  the winner of the 2014 Abel Prize. Photo: Cornelius PoppeNils Chr. Stenseth, President of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Yakov G. Sinai as the winner of the 2014 Abel Prize. Photo: Cornelius Poppe

The Abel 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 is composed of five internationally recognized mathematicians. The Abel Prize and associated events are funded by the Norwegian Government.

Read more about the Prize Winner at the Prize Winner page.

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