# Lovász and Wigderson to share the Abel Prize

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”

**László Lovász**A brilliant mathematician since he was a teenager, László Lovász more than delivered on his early promise. Born in 1948 in Budapest, Hungary, he has also served his community as a writer of books, noted for their clarity and accessibility, as an inspirational lecturer, and as a leader, spending a term as president of the International Mathematical Union (2007-2010).

In the 1970s graph theory became one of the first areas of pure mathematics able to illuminate the new field of computational complexity. Lovasz later said that he was very lucky to experience one of those periods when mathematics was developing completely together with an application area. In addition to his work on the foundational underpinning of computer science, Lovász has also devised powerful algorithms with wide-ranging applications, such as the LLL algorithm, which has had remarkable applications in areas including number theory, cryptography and mobile computing.

Lovász has won many awards including the 1999 Wolf Prize, the 1999 Knuth Prize, the 2001 Gödel Prize and the 2010 Kyoto Prize.

**Avi Wigderson**Wigderson is known for his ability to see links between apparently unrelated areas. He has deepened the connections between mathematics and computer science. He was born in Haifa, Israel, in 1956. His contribution to enlarging and deepening the field of 'complexity theory’ – which concerns itself with the speed and efficiency of algorithms – is arguably greater than that of any single other person.

Wigderson has conducted research into every major open problem in complexity theory. In many ways, the field has grown around him. He has co-authored papers with more than 100 people.

The most important present-day application of complexity theory is internet cryptography. Early in his career Wigderson made fundamental contributions in this area, including the zero-knowledge proof, which today is being used in cryptocurrency technology.

In 1994, Wigderson won the Rolf Nevanlinna Prize for computer science. Among his many other prizes is the 2009 Gôdel Prize and the 2019 Knuth Prize.

**Algorithms and internet security**The theory of ‘computational complexity’ – which concerns itself with the speed and efficiency of algorithms – was in its infancy in the 1970s, and is now an established field of both mathematics and theoretical computer science. Computational complexity has become important, providing the theoretical basis for internet security. Also in the 1970s a new generation of mathematicians realised that discrete mathematics had, in computer science, a new area of application. Today algorithms and internet security aspects are an integral part of everyday life for all of us. The work of László Lovász and Avi Wigderson has played an important part of this development.

“Lovász and Wigderson have been leading forces in this development over the last decades. Thanks to their leadership discrete mathematics and the relatively young field of theoretical computer science are now established as central areas of modern mathematics,” says Hans Munthe-Kaas, chair of the Abel committee.

### More about the prize winners

### Watch the announcement live

### About the Abel Prize

- The honoring of the Abel Prize laureates will be announced later.
- The Abel Prize is established by the Norwegian Government and consists of MNOK 7.5.
- The prize is awarded by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.
- The choice of the Abel laureates is based on the recommendation of the Abel Committee, which is composed of five internationally recognized mathematicians.
- For more information, please visit www.abelprize.no

### Registration for the online Abel Prize celebrations

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.

(26.04.2021) More### 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).** **

### 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.

(12.02.2021) More### Sir Vaughan F.R. Jones, outstanding mathematician and incoming member of the Abel committee, has passed away

(11.09.2020) More### 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.