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.

hn F. Nash Jr. and Louis Nirenberg receives the 2015 Abel Prize from His Majesty King Harald V. Photo: NTB/Scanpixhn F. Nash Jr. and Louis Nirenberg receives the 2015 Abel Prize from His Majesty King Harald V. Photo: NTB/Scanpix

The Abel Fanfare, composed by Klaus Sandvik, was performed by musicians from the Staff Band of the Norwegian Armed Forces as the Abel Laureates entered the University Aula. They were accompanied by members of the Abel committee, the chair of the Abel board and the president of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. H.M. the King entered the Aula escorted by Ole Petter Ottersen, rector at the University of Oslo, and Øivind Andersen, secretary general of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.

As a prelude to the award ceremony the audience was invited on a journey into the history of the Abel Prize presented in pictures and words. The president of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters Kirsti Strøm Bull also dwelled on the history of the prize in her opening speech. The first initiative to establish a mathematical prize in the name of Niels Henrik Abel was taken by another Norwegian mathematician, Sophus Lie, already in 1898. But it would take more than 100 years before the Abel Prize became a reality in 2002. Interestingly enough there is a mathematical connection between Sophus Lie and this year's Abel Laureates, Kirsti Strøm Bull explained.

The vocal group Pitsj performing at the ceremony. Photo: NTB/ScanpixThe vocal group Pitsj performing at the ceremony. Photo: NTB/Scanpix

Film about the laureates
The Berlin-based filmmaker and mathematician Ekaterina Eremenko had visited John Nash Jr. and Louis Nirenberg at their universities; Princeton University and Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University. Through the two short films we got a glimpse into the world of the mathematicians. The brilliant mathematicians shared their thoughts both about life and mathematics. Ekaterina Eremenko has also made the film «Colors of Math».

Watch the films here

After the showing of the films the chair of the Abel Committee, John Rognes, gave the reasons for the awarding of the 2015 Abel Prize to John F. Nash Jr. and Louis Nirenberg. He then asked H.M. the King to come forward to present the Abel Prize to the laureates.

After the award ceremony there was a reception at Det Norske Teatret (The Norwegian Theatre). During the reception the laureates were be interviewed by Vivienne Parry, a British science journalist and author. Parry is perhaps best known for presenting BBC TV science programs Tomorrow's World and Panorama.

Vivienne Parry interviews the Laureates. Photo: NTB/ScanpixVivienne Parry interviews the Laureates. Photo: NTB/Scanpix

Earlier the same day the Abel Laureates were received in audience at the Royal Palace. The Abel Banquet at Akershus Castle, hosted by Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, Minister of Education and Research, ended the day.

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Telephone: + 47 22 84 15 00
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Web editor: Anne-Marie Astad
Design and technical solutions: Ravn Webveveriet AS