March 20, 2018
Robert P. Langlands, Institute for Advanced Study, has been named the winner of the 2018 Abel Prize for his visionary program, which bears his name, that connects representation theory to number theory. Langlands will receive an award of 6 million Norwegian kroner (about US$760,000).
It is my great pleasure to congratulate Professor Robert P. Langlands, winner of the 2018 Abel Prize. Robert Langlands is one of the most distinguished mathematicians alive today and a towering figure in the history of modern mathematics. His insights, which grew out of penetrating technical work early in his career, have transformed and enriched both number theory and representation theory. The deep relations between the two subjects that he predicted and probed have guided the work of countless mathematicians over the last 50 years.---AMS President Kenneth A. Ribet
From "A biography of Robert P. Langlands," by Alexander Bellos:
"In January 1967, Robert Langlands, a 30-year-old associate professor at Princeton, wrote a letter to the great French mathematician André Weil, aged 60, outlining some of his new mathematical insights. 'If you are willing to read it as pure speculation I would appreciate that,' he wrote. “If not – I am sure you have a waste basket handy.' Langlands’ modesty now reads like an almost comic piece of understatement. His 17-page letter introduced a theory that created a whole new way of thinking about mathematics: it suggested deep links between two areas, number theory and harmonic analysis, that had previously been considered unrelated."
Among his many honors, Langlands has previously received the Cole Prize in Number Theory (1982, shared with Barry Mazur), the Wolf Prize (1995-96, shared with Andrew Wiles), the Steele Prize for Seminal Contribution to Research (2005), the Nemmers Prize (2006), the Shaw Prize (2007, shared with Richard Taylor), and was a member of the inaugural class of AMS Fellows (2012). Langlands will receive the Abel Prize in Oslo on May 22.
First awarded in 2003, the Abel Prize is given by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. Read more about Langland’s life and work, including the full citation, "A biography of Robert P. Langlands," by Alexander Bellos, and "17 handwritten pages that shaped a whole area of mathematical research," by Arne B. Sletsjøe. (Photo: Randall Hagadorn/Institute for Advanced Study )
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