The Abel Prize 2009 – Mikhail Gromov

Russian mathematician Mikhail Gromov has been awarded the 2009 Abel Prize. The announcement of the first Abel Prize was made in 2002, in connection with the 200th anniversary of Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel‘s birth. Although the prize has a fairly recent history, it is already called “The Mathematicians’ Nobel“. The idea of having an annual mathematics prize like this was proposed as early as in 1899 by Norwegian mathematician Sophus Lie, when it was made clear that there would be no Nobel prize in mathematics. These early attempts ended for several reasons, amongst others because Sophus Lie himself died in this same year (1899), and the dissolution of the union between Sweden and Norway in 1905 also made it difficult to create such a prize.

Mikhail Gromov (born 1943) was announced as this year’s winner today, by the President of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Øyvind Østerud. Gromov will receive the prize from His Majesty King Harald in a ceremony in Oslo, May 19. The prize carries a cash award of NOK 6,000,000 (about USD 950,000). Gromov was given the prize because of his revolutionary contributions to the field of geometry.

My guess is by the way, that the rather small Wikipedia article about Gromov will increase in the next couple of days 🙂


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