Luis Caffarelli won the 2023 Abel Prize

Abel Prize 2023

Luis Caffarelli, 74, has won the 2023 Abel Prize “for his seminal contributions to regularity theory for nonlinear partial differential equations including free-boundary problems and the Monge-Ampère equation”. The prize includes a monetary award of 7.5 million kroner (roughly $ 720,000) and a glass plaque designed by Norwegian artist Henrik Haugan. It is awarded by The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, on behalf of the Ministry of Education.

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Who is Luis Caffarelli and why did he win the Abel prize?

Caffarelli was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, making him the first Abel laureate from South America. Currently, he is a professor at the University of Texas, Austin. He is married to fellow Argentinian mathematician Irene Martínez Gamba, who teaches at UT, Austin as well.

Cafarelli has been one of the leading figures in the study of partial differential equations for over five decades. According to his Abel citation, “Partial differential equations arise naturally as laws of nature, whether to describe the flow of water or the growth of populations. These equations have been a constant source of intense study since the days of Newton and Leibniz.”

According to the Abel citation, Caffarelli’s contributions to the field of partial differential equations have been groundbreaking, having significantly altered our comprehension of various classes of nonlinear partial differential equations that have numerous applications. These outcomes are noted for their technical excellence, covering a broad range of mathematical fields and applications. Caffarelli’s work is also acknowledged for his exceptional combination of geometric perception with analytical tools and techniques in this area of mathematics.

What is the Abel Prize?

The Abel Prize is an international mathematics award, often considered to be the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for mathematics. It is named after the Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel, and was first awarded in 2003 by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. The prize recognizes exceptional contributions to the field of mathematics, including pure and applied mathematics, and is open to mathematicians from any country. The award comes with a monetary prize of 7.5 million Norwegian kroner (roughly $720,000) and is presented annually in Oslo, Norway.

The Abel Prize is administered and awarded by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, acting on behalf of the Norwegian government. The prize is fully financed by the government, and the prize money is not subject to taxation. The selection of recipients is carried out by the Abel Committee, which is composed of renowned mathematicians appointed by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, with guidance from the International Mathematical Union (IMU) and the European Mathematical Society (EMS).

Who was Niels Henrick Abel?

Niels Henrik Abel (1802-1829) was a Norwegian mathematician who made important contributions to the field of mathematics, particularly in the areas of algebra and analysis. He is known for proving the impossibility of solving fifth-degree polynomial equations by radicals, a problem that had puzzled mathematicians for centuries. This proof laid the groundwork for the development of the theory of algebraic equations. Abel also made significant contributions to the theory of elliptic functions and the study of infinite series. Despite his short life, Abel’s work has had a lasting impact on mathematics and he is widely regarded as one of the greatest mathematicians of the 19th century. The Abel Prize was established in his honor to recognize outstanding contributions to mathematics.

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