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Abel prize for 2022 goes to American mathematician Dennis P. Sullivan

  • Published
    24th Mar, 2022

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has awarded the Abel prize for the year 2022 to American Mathematician Dennis Parnell Sullivan.


About Dennis Parnell Sullivan:

  • Dennis Parnell Sullivan has been awarded the prestigious Abel Prize for 2022.
  • He is cited by the Abel Committee “for his ground breaking contributions to topology in its broadest sense, and in particular it’s algebraic, geometric and dynamical aspects.”

About Topology:

  • Topology is a field of mathematics which was born in the nineteenth century and has to do with properties of surfaces that do not change when they are deformed.
  • Topology studies properties of spaces that are invariant under any continuous deformation. It is sometimes called "rubber-sheet geometry" because the objects can be stretched and contracted like rubber, but cannot be broken.
    • For example, a square can be deformed into a circle without breaking it, but a figure 8 cannot. Hence a square is topologically equivalent to a circle, but different from a figure 8.

  • Similarly, surfaces of a doughnut and a coffee mug with one handle are topologically equivalent, however the surface of a sphere and a coffee mug are not equivalent.
  • Topology is used in many branches of mathematics, such as differentiable equations, dynamical systems, knot theory, and Riemann surfaces in complex analysis.
  • It is also used in string theory in physics, and for describing the space-time structure of universe.

The Abel Prize: International Prize of Mathematics:

  • The Abel Prize is named after Niels Henrik Abel, Norway’s greatest mathematician throughout the times.  
  • Abel left lasting marks on the mathematical world.
  • His mathematics has served as a base for a number of major technological breakthroughs, there amongst the development of the internet.
  • The Abel Prize was established by the Norwegian Parliament (The Storting) in 2002, on the occasion the 200-year anniversary of his birth.
  • The Prize is 5 million Norwegian Kroner; award prize money enhanced from 6 million NOK to 7.5 million NOK in 2019.
  • The Prize is awarded by The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, on behalf of the Ministry of Education.
  • The Abel Committee, consisting of five leading mathematicians from throughout the world, holds the task of appraising nominated candidates and recommends a worthy winner.

Awardee from India:

  • Srinivasa S. R. Varadhan was awarded in 2007.
  • He is India born American.
  • Awarded for his fundamental contributions to probability theory and in particular for creating a unified theory of large deviations.

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