Louis Nirenberg, Abel Prize laureate, dies at 94

Nirenberg was the Abel Prize recipient together with John F. Nash Jr. in 2015 and received the prize "for striking and seminal contributions to the theory of nonlinear partial differential equations and its applications to geometric analysis."

Louis Nirenberg. Photo: © Peter Badge/Typos1 Louis Nirenberg. Photo: © Peter Badge/Typos1

Louis Nirenberg has had one of the longest, most feted– and most sociable – careers in mathematics. In more than half a century of research, he has transformed the field of partial differential equations, while his generosity,  and modest charm have made him an inspirational figure to his many collaborators, students and colleagues.

Louis Nirenberg was born in Hamilton, Canada, in 1925 and grew up in Montreal, where his father was a Hebrew teacher. His first interest in mathematics came from his Hebrew tutor, who introduced him to mathematical puzzles.

- His legacy in mathematics will last forever. His passing is a great loss, and we extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends. Louis Nirenberg is considered one of the most outstanding mathematicians of the 20th century, says president of The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Hans Petter Graver.

Nirenberg has gathered a significant number of prestigious accolades. He won the American Mathematical Society’s Bôcher Memorial Prize in 1959. In 1969, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. He won the inaugural Crafoord Prize in 1982. He received the Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement from the American Mathematical Society in 1994, and he received the National Medal of Science in 1995. In 2010, he was awarded the first Chern Medal for lifetime achievement by the International Mathematical Union and the Chern Medal Foundation. He was a member of the American Mathematical Society.

John Nash Jr. og Louis Nirenberg receives The Abel Prize for 2015 by His Majesty King Harald at the University Aula. photo: ScanpixJohn Nash Jr. og Louis Nirenberg receives The Abel Prize for 2015 by His Majesty King Harald at the University Aula. photo: Scanpix

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The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters
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Telephone: + 47 22 84 15 00
E-mail: abelprisen@dnva.no
Web editor: Eirik Furu Baardsen
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