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Abel Prize winners Avi Wigderson and László Lovász
Abel Prize winners Avi Wigderson and László Lovász

Wigderson and Lovász Win 2021 Abel Prize

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has decided to award the Abel Prize for 2021 to Avi Wigderson of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and László Lovász of Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, “for their foundational contributions to theoretical computer science and discrete mathematics, and their leading role in shaping them into central fields of modern mathematics.

”The theory of “computational complexity” – which concerns itself with the speed and efficiency of algorithms – first emerged in the 1970s and is now an established field of both mathematics and theoretical computer science.

Computational complexity is now a very important field, providing the theoretical basis for internet security. Also in the 1970s, a new generation of mathematicians realised that discrete mathematics had a new area of application in computer science. Today algorithms and internet security applications are an integral part of everyday life for all of us.

The work of Wigderson and Lovász has played an important part in this development.

“Lovász and Wigderson have been leading forces in this development over the last few decades. Their work interlaces in many ways, and, in particular, they have both made fundamental contributions to understanding randomness in computation and in exploring the boundaries of efficient computation,” said Hans Munthe-Kaas, chair of the Abel Committee. “Thanks to the ground-breaking work of these two, discrete mathematics and the relatively young field of theoretical computer science are now firmly established as central areas of modern mathematics.”

About the Abel Prize

The Abel Prize is awarded by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, based on the recommendation of the Abel Committee, which is composed of five internationally recognized mathematicians. It’s funded by the Norwegian Government in the amount of NOK 7.5 million (approx. US$ 880,000).

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