2020 Abel Prize jointly awarded to mathematicians who explored probability and dynamics
Mathematicians Hillel Furstenberg and Gregory Margulis have been jointly awarded the 2020 Abel Prize, which is one of the most prestigious prizes in the field of mathematics. According to the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, the body that awards the prize, Furstenberg and Margulis were selected for “pioneering the use of methods from probability and dynamics in group theory, number theory and combinatorics.”
Both the mathematicians have contributed in transgressing the boundaries between pure and applied mathematics. They had an impact and influenced each other’s work, though they never collaborated. The committee says they “Stunned the mathematical world by their ingenious use of probabilistic methods and random walks to solve deep problems in diverse areas of mathematics.”
Furstenberg was born in Berlin and built a career in mathematics in the U.S. He has also won the Wolf Prize in the year 2007. Margulis hails from Moscow and displayed a talent in mathematics early in his life. At the age of 32, he was awarded the Fields Medal.
The Abel Prize was established in the year 2003 and is named after Neils Henrick Abel, a Norwegian mathematician. The winners will share the prize money of 7.5 million Norwegian kroner, which comes to US$ 625,000. Due to the ongoing COVID19 pandemic, the traditional award ceremony of presenting the prize to the winners has been canceled.
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