Madrid, 17 (Europe Press)
The Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters decided, on Wednesday, to award the 2021 Abel Prize, which is considered a “Nobel” in mathematics, to Laszlo Lovaasz from Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest (Hungary) and Avi Weddersson from the Institute for Advanced Studies. Princeton (United States).
The jury decided to award this award to both of them “for their essential contributions to theoretical computational science and discrete mathematics”, thus in recognition of their “outstanding role in making them central areas of modern mathematics”.
According to the academy in a statement, the “computational complexity” theory, which deals with the speed and efficiency of algorithms, was born in the 1970s and has become a unified field of both mathematics and science. It is currently an area of great interest that provides the theoretical basis for Internet security.
The works of Laszlo Lovache and Avi Wedgadron played an important role in this development. “Luvas and Wigderson have led this progress in recent decades; their work is intertwined in many ways, and in particular, the two have contributed greatly to understanding randomness in computing and exploring the limits of effective computing,” he explained. Hans Munthey-Cass is Chairman of the Appel Committee.
As Munthe-Kaas points out, thanks to the innovative work of both, discrete mathematics and the relatively small field of theoretical computation have established themselves as central areas of modern mathematics.
The Abel Prize is valued at 7.5 million Norwegian kroner (approximately 740,000 euros).
A major implication of Lovász’s work (Hungary, 1948) was to define how discrete mathematics could address fundamental theoretical questions in the computational sciences. In addition to his work on the primary support of computer science, Lovász has also created powerful algorithms with a variety of applications.
One of them, the LLL algorithm, named after Lovász and the brothers Arjen and Hendrik Lenstra, has represented a conceptual advance in understanding synapses and has remarkable applications in areas such as number theory, coding, and computation. Currently, the only known cryptographic systems that are able to resist a quantum computer attack are based on the LLL algorithm.
Lovász has won several awards, including the 1999 Wolf Prize, the 1999 Knuth Prize, the 2001 Gödel Prize, and the 2010 Kyoto Prize. In addition, he was President of the International Mathematics Federation between 2007 and 2010.
As the Academy notes, the contribution of Wijderson (Israel, 1956) to broadening and deepening the field of “complex theory” “may be better than anyone else’s contribution.”
Wijderson developed a paper on major open problems in complexity theory. He has co-authored articles with over 100 people and researched the links between mathematics and computer science.
The most important application of complexity theory today is cryptography on the Internet. Early in his career, Wigdroson made essential contributions to the field, such as the zero-knowledge offering, currently used in cryptocurrency technology.
In 1994, Wigderson was awarded the Rolf Nevanlinna Prize for Computer Science. Among his many other prizes are the 2009 Gödel Prize and the 2019 Knuth Prize.