Do Mathematicians get Nobel Prize?

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Offline Mohammad Hassan Murad

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Do Mathematicians get Nobel Prize?
« on: May 27, 2012, 06:02:18 PM »
He [Abel] has left mathematicians something to keep them busy for five hundred years.
CHARLES HERMITE

Do Mathematicians get Nobel Prize? No. They get Abel Prize. It is not a joke. The name comes from a Norwegian mathematician who died at the age of 26.

NIELS HENRIK ABEL, one of the foremost mathematicians of the 19th century, was born in Norway on August 5, 1802. At the age of 16, he began reading the classic mathematical works of Newton, Euler, Lagrange, and Gauss. When Abel was 18 years old, his father died, and the burden of supporting the family fell upon him. He took in private pupils and did odd jobs, while continuing to do mathematical research. At the age of 19, Abel solved a problem that had vexed leading mathematicians for hundreds of years. He proved that, unlike the situation for equations of degree 4 or less, there is no finite (closed) formula for the solution of the general fifth-degree equation. Although Abel died long before the advent of the subjects that now make up abstract algebra, his solution to the quintic (fifth degree equation) problem laid the groundwork for many of these subjects. Just when his work was beginning to receive the attention it deserved, Abel contracted tuberculosis. He died on April 6, 1829, at the age of 26. In recognition of the fact that there is no Nobel Prize for mathematics, in 2002 Norway established the Abel Prize as the Nobel Prize in mathematics in honor of its native son. The amount of money that comes with the prize is usually close to US$ 1 million, similar to the Nobel Prizes (10 million kr. or US$ 1.46 million), which are awarded in Sweden and Norway and do not have a category for mathematics. Norway gave the prize an initial funding of NOK (Norwegian Krone) 200,000,000 (about US$23,000,000) in 2001. The prize is an attempt at creating publicity for mathematics, making the discipline more prestigious, especially for young people. It is a prize of 6 million kronor or approximately (in 2012) 1.06 million US dollars. The Abel Prize is now seen as an award equivalent to the Nobel Prize.

To see the winners of Abel Prize please visit the following webpage
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abel_Prize#Laureates

JEAN-PIERRE SERRE of the College de France has been awarded the first Abel Prize of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. Serre is honored “for playing a key role in shaping the modern form of many parts of mathematics, including topology, algebraic geometry and number theory.” The prize amount is 6 million Norwegian kroner (approximately US$825,000).

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in Oslo awarded Endre Szemer the one million dollar Abel prize on 21st march for "fundamental contributions to discrete mathematics and theoretical computer science". His specialty was combinatorics, a field that deals with the different ways of counting and rearranging discrete objects, whether they be numbers or playing cards.

References
Holden, H., Piene, R. (ed.) The Abel Prize 2003-2007 The First Five Years, Springer, 2010.
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21616-pattern-master-wins-milliondollar-mathematics-prize.html
http://www.nature.com/news/mathematician-s-irregular-mind-scoops-abel-award-1.10278
Jackson, A. Norway Establishes Abel Prize in Mathematics, Notices of the AMS, 49, 39-40,
Jackson, A. Serre Receives Abel Prize, Notices of the AMS, 50, 693, June/July 2003
Atiyah & Singer Receive 2004 Abel Prize, Notices of the AMS, 51, 650-651, June/July 2004.

Further reading
http://forum.daffodilvarsity.edu.bd/index.php?topic=12652.msg46956#msg46956
« Last Edit: April 23, 2013, 05:06:22 PM by Mohammad Hassan Murad »
Senior Lecturer (Mathematics)
Department of Natural Sciences,
Daffodil International University,
Faculty of Science and Information Technology.