# Robert P. Langlands receives the Abel Prize

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has decided to award the Abel Prize for 2018 to Robert P. Langlands of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, USA “for his visionary program connecting representation theory to number theory.”

Robert P. Langlands has been awarded the Abel Prize for his work dating back to January 1967. He was then a 30-year-old associate professor at Princeton, working during the Christmas break. He wrote a 17-page letter to the great French mathematician André Weil, aged 60, outlining some of his new mathematical insights.

“If you are willing to read it as pure speculation I would appreciate that,” he wrote. “If not – I am sure you have a waste basket handy.”

Fortunately, the letter did not end up in a waste basket. His letter introduced a theory that created a completely new way of thinking about mathematics: it suggested deep links between two areas, number theory and harmonic analysis, which had previously been considered as unrelated.

Robert P. Langlands will receive the Abel Prize for his work from His Majesty King Harald V at an award ceremony in Oslo on 22 May. Langlands’ insights were so radical and so rich that the mechanisms he suggested to bridge these mathematical fields led to a project named the Langlands program. The program has enlisted hundreds of the world’s best mathematicians over the last fifty years. No other project in modern mathematics has as wide a scope, has produced so many deep results, and has so many people working on it. Its depth and breadth have grown and the 1 Langlands program is now frequently described as a grand unified theory of mathematics.

The President of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Ole M. Sejersted, announced the winner of the 2018 Abel Prize at the Academy in Oslo today, 20 March.

### Biography

Robert P. Langlands was born in New Westminster, British Columbia, in 1936. He graduated from the University of British Columbia with an undergraduate degree in 1957 and an MSc in 1958, and from Yale University with a PhD in 1960. He has held faculty positions at Princeton University and Yale University, and is currently a Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. He has won several awards as recognition of his outstanding contributions to the theory of automorphic forms.

### Awards and recognitions

The Shaw Prize in Mathematical Sciences

The Nemmers Prize in Mathematics

The Wolf Prize in Mathematics (jointly with Sir Andrew Wiles)

The Leroy P. Steele Prize

The Grande Médaille d’Or of the French Academy of Sciences

The inaugural National Academy of Sciences Award in Mathematics

The Common Wealth Award

The American Mathematical Society’s Cole Prize

## Read more about Robert P. Langlands

### Would you like to attend the 2018 Abel Prize award ceremony?

The Abel Prize award ceremony takes place at 22 may 2018, 14:00 in the University Aula in Oslo, Norway. His Majesty King Harald V will present the prize to this year’s laureate, Robert P. Langlands. The ceremony is open, but requires registration. For registration, click here.

(11.04.2018) More### AMS President congratulates Robert P. Langlands

"It is my great pleasure to congratulate Professor Robert P. Langlands, winner of the 2018 Abel Prize. Robert Langlands is one of the most distinguished mathematicians alive today and a towering figure in the history of modern mathematics. His insights, which grew out of penetrating technical work early in his career, have transformed and enriched both number theory and representation theory. The deep relations between the two subjects that he predicted and probed have guided the work of countless mathematicians over the last 50 years."

- Kenneth A. Ribet, AMS President, University of California, Berkeley

### Who will win this year’s Abel prize?

The President of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Ole M. Sejersted, will announce the winner of the Abel Prize for 2018 at the Academy on March 20. The Academy's choice of laureate is based on the Abel Committee's recommendation. The chair of the Abel Committee, John Rognes, will give the reasons for the awarding of the prize. Writer and broadcaster, Alex Bellos, will then give a popular science presentation of the prize winner’s work.

(13.03.2018) More### Abel in Oxford" with lecture by Sir Andrew Wiles

It has become a tradition that the Abel Committee after its final meeting hosts an Abel seminar. This year the committee meeting at London Mathematical Society was followed by "Abel in Oxford" with Abel Laureate Andrew Wiles as the main speaker. Martin Bridson, head of the Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford and Camilla Serck-Hanssen, Vice President of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters gave introductory talks.

(02.02.2018) More### Yves Meyer received the Abel Prize from H.M. King Harald

H.M. King Harald presented the Abel Prize to Yves Meyer of the École normale supérieure Paris-Saclay, France at an award ceremony in Oslo on 23 May. He receives the prize for his pivotal role in the development of the mathematical theory of wavelets, says John Rognes, chair of the Abel committee. Among the prominent guests attending the award ceremony was the French ambassador to Norway, Jean-François Dobelle and the Norwegian Minister of Education and Research, Torbjørn Røe Isaksen.

(26.05.2017) More