Isadore M. Singer, Abelprize laureate, dies at 96

Isadore M. Singer was the recipient together with Sir Michael Atiyah of the Abel Prize in 2004. They received the prize for their discovery and proof of the index theorem, one of the most significant discoveries in 20th century mathematics.

- Singer’s legacy in mathematics will last forever. His passing is a terrible loss, and we extend our deepest condolences to his family, says president of The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Hans Petter Graver.

Foto: Anne Lise FlavikFoto: Anne Lise Flavik

Singer is widely regarded as one of the central figures of 20th century mathematics. His deep mathematical insights unearthed fundamental connections between analysis, geometry and topology and later with theoretical physics.  The archetype of these connections was the Atiyah-Singer Index Theorem. Proved in the early 60s, the Index theorem had a profound influence on mathematics and high-energy physics. The legacy of his impeccable mathematical taste is very broad, resulting in nearly 100 publications. Among these, the Kadison-Singer problem - originally formulated in an attempt to formalize the foundations of quantum mechanics -  was found to be equivalent to key problems in applied mathematics, engineering and theoretical computer science and only resolved over fifty years after it was initially posed.  

Singer was Emeritus Institute Professor at the Department of mathematics at MIT.

Watch The Abel interview with Singer and Atiyah in 2004 on YouTube

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The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters
Drammensveien 78
N-0271 Oslo, Norway
Telephone: + 47 22 84 15 00
Web editor: Eirik Furu Baardsen
Design and technical solutions: Ravn Webveveriet AS