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 registration for the Abel week 25th and 26th of May is now open. All the events will be held online: The Award Ceremony, the Abel reception, and the Abel lectures. The events will honour both the 2020-winners, Hillel Furstenberg and Gregory Margulis, and the 2021-winners, Avi Wigderson and László́ Lovász.

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The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has decided to award the Abel Prize for 2021 to László Lovász of Alfréd Rényi Institute of Mathematics (ELKH, MTA Institute of Excellence) and Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Hungary, and Avi Wigderson of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, USA,

“for their foundational contributions to theoretical computer science and discrete mathematics, and their leading role in shaping them into central fields of modern mathematics”

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Announcement of the next Abel Prize laureate

The Abel Prize laureate for 2021 will be announced Wednesday March 17th at 12:00 (UTC/GMT+1).

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The Honouring of the 2020 Abel Prize Laureates

All events in connection to the Abel Prize Week in May are cancelled due to the Corona pandemic. The 2020 Abel Prize Laureates Hillel Furstenberg and Gregory Margulis will be honoured, together with the Abel Prize Laureate(s) of 2021 during next year’s Abel Prize Ceremony, May 25 2021.

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