Abel Prize Ceremony 2008

Last updated: 08/06/2009 // The Abel Prize 2008 was presented by His Majesty King Harald to American, John Griggs Thompson and French – Belgian, Jacques Tits, at the Abel Prize Award Ceremony in Oslo, 20 May. The prize is awarded by The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.

”The Norwegian Academy has made a wonderful gift to the mathematical community, by creating a prize which honours the memory of one of the greatest mathematicians of all times, Nils Henrik Abel”, Jacques Tits one of the laureates said in his speech to a full hall.
The prize is awarded the two academics “for their profound achievements in algebra and in particular for shaping modern group theory.”

Abel Prize Award Ceremony 2008: John Griggs Thompson, Jacques Tits and His Majesty King Harald. Photo: Pierre de Brisis/ MFA.

The Abel Prize 2008 is shared between the American professor in mathematics, John Griggs Thompson at the University of Florida in Gainesville, and the “The achievements of John Thompson and of Jacques Tits are of extraordinary depth and influence. They complement each other and together form the backbone of modern group theory”, the Abel committee said when the names of the Abel Laureates was announced in March 2008.

Thompson and Tits have invented important new concepts and proved fundamental results in this field, and their names now appear prominently in the history of group theory.

Thompson revolutionised the theory of finite groups by proving extraordinarily deep theorems that laid the foundation for the complete classification of finite simple groups. Tits created a new and highly influential vision of groups as geometric objects.

At the moment John Griggs Thompson is a professor at the University of Florida in Gainesville, and Jacques Tits is with the Collége de France in Paris.

The prize amount is 6 million NOK (about 750,000 Euro), and is awarded for outstanding scientific work in the field of mathematics. The main purpose of the prize is to boost the status of mathematics in society and to encourage an interest in mathematics in children and young people. The Abel Prize was first presented in 2003, in memory of the Norwegian mathematician, Nils Henrik Abel (1802–1829), who despite his short life left an enduring mathematical legacy.

John Griggs Thompson and  Jacques Tits. Photo: Pierre de Brisis/ MFA.

Source: Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs   |   Share on your network   |   print