(AFP) – Mar 24, 2010
OSLO — American mathematician John Tate on Wednesday won one of the world's leading mathematics awards, the Abel Prize, "for his vast and lasting impact on the theory of numbers," the prize committee said.
Tate, an 85-year-old mathematics professor who recently retired from the University of Texas, is a "prime architect" in the development of the theory of numbers, which "stretches from the mysteries of prime numbers to the way in which we store, transmit and secure information in modern computers," the jury at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters said.
"Many of the major lines of research in algebraic number theory and arithmetic geometry are only possible because of the incisive contributions and illuminating insights of John Tate," the jury said.
"He has truly left a conspicuous imprint on modern mathematics," it added.
Tate said he was "overwhelmed" in a broadcast telephone interview just after learning that he had won the prize.
When he got the call, he "was just getting in the shower," he said.
Before joining the University of Texas, the mathematician taught at other universities in the United States, including Princeton, Columbia and Harvard.
Norway's King Harald is set to present Tate with the six million kroner (750,000 euros, one million dollars) prize money at a ceremony in Oslo on May 25.
The Abel Prize, in memory of Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel (1802-1829), was created by the Norwegian government in 2003 to make up for the absence of a Nobel mathematics prize.
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