Canadian Mathematician Robert Langlands wins 2018 Abel Prize for his Grand Unified Theory

Robert Langlands was awarded for his visionary program connecting representation theory to number theory.

Mar 26, 2018 11:15 IST
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Canadian mathematician Robert Langlands was on March 20, 2018 awarded with the 2018 Abel Prize for his revolutionary 'Grand Unified Theory of Maths'.

The Abel Committee of the Norwegian Academy of Science honoured Langlands “for his visionary program connecting representation theory to number theory.”

Langlands will receive the award from Norway's King Harald V at an award ceremony in Oslo on May 22, 2018.

Grand Unified Theory of Maths

Langlands expressed the early ideas for his 'Grand Unified Theory of Maths' in a 17-page letter addressed to his French colleague Andre Weil in 1967.

The letter, like a vision, was circulated among renowned mathematicians, with hundreds of researchers coming together to explore the 'unified theory' as part of the Langlands program, which is widely considered the largest project of its kind in contemporary mathematical research.


About Robert Langlands

• Langlands was born in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada in 1936.

• He graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1957, earned his MSc in 1958 and did his PhD from Yale University of the US in 1960.

• He is currently working as a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the United States.

• He has held faculty positions at Princeton University and Yale University as well.

• His work in the field of Maths has brought him several accolades including Shaw Prize in Mathematical Sciences, the Frederic Esser Nemmers Prize in Mathematics, the Grande Medaille d’Or of the French Academy of Sciences, the Common Wealth Award, etc.

About Abel Prize

• Named after a Norwegian mathematician Niels Hendrik Abel, the Abel Prize was first awarded in 2003.

• The award acknowledges outstanding scientific work in the field of mathematics.

• The award comes with a monetary reward of USD 776000.

• Some of the previous winners of award are Andrew J. Wiles, a mathematician who proved Fermat’s Last Theorem; Peter D Lax of New York University and John F. Nash Jr, whose life was portrayed in the movie 'A Beautiful Mind'.


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