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

  • Published
    24th Mar, 2022
Context

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

About

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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