The Abel Prize has been awarded to the famous American mathematician John Milnor (b. 1931).

The Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters chose him, according to the press release, “for pioneering discoveries in topology, geometry and algebra”. Professor Milnor, who is co-director of the Institute for Mathematical Sciences at Stony Brook University in New York, has shaped the mathematical landscape in the last 50 years.

The Abel Prize was awarded for the first time in June 2003. Previous laureates include:

*** ****Jean-Pierre Serre** (2003) “for playing a key role in shaping the modern form of many parts of mathematics, including topology, algebraic geometry and number theory”.

*** Sir Michael Atiyah and Isadore M. Singer** (2004) “for their discovery and proof of the index theorem, bringing together topology, geometry and analysis.”

*** Peter D. Lax** (2005) “for his groundbreaking contributions to the theory and application of partial differential equations and to the computing of their solutions.”

*** Lennart Carleson** (2006) “for his profound and seminal contributions to harmonic analysis and the theory of smooth dynamical systems.”

*** Srinivasa S. R. Varadhan** (2007) for his fundamental contributions to probability theory and in particular for creating a unified theory of large deviations.”

*** John Griggs Thompson and Jacques T****its** (2008) “for their profound achievement in algebra and in particular for shaping modern group theory.”

*** Mikhail Leonidovich Gromov** (2009) “for his revolutionary contributions to geometry.”

*** John Torrence Tate** (2010) “for his vast and lasting impact on the theory of numbers.”

Milnor will receive the Abel Prize from His Majesty King Harald at a ceremony in Oslo in May.