Alumnus John Nash Wins Prestigious Abel Prize From Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters
By Jocelyn Duffy
Carnegie Mellon University Alumnus John F. Nash, Jr. (S’48) has been awarded the 2015 Abel Prize from the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters “for striking and seminal contributions to the theory of nonlinear partial differential equations and its application to geometric analysis.” Nash, a faculty member at Princeton University, shares the prize with New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences’ Louis Nirenberg.
The Abel Prize is the most important prize honoring contributions to mathematics over the course of a career, and is considered by many to be equivalent to a Nobel Prize.
Nash won the 1994 Nobel Prize in Economics for his contributions to game theory. The Abel Prize recognizes his work with partial differential equations, which have contributed to the fundamental understanding of structures that describe the physical world. Many mathematicians consider this work to be Nash’s deepest and most important.
Nash earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics from CMU, then the Carnegie Institute of Technology, in 1948. After graduating from Carnegie Tech, he earned his doctoral degree at Princeton and was a member of the mathematics faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1951-58. He later returned to join the faculty at Princeton, where he remains a senior research mathematician.
Carnegie Mellon honored Nash with an honorary degree in 1999. In 2002, Universal Pictures released “A Beautiful Mind,” a movie about Nash.
Nirenberg, the co-recipient of the award, has been a frequent visitor to Carnegie Mellon’s Center for Non-Linear Analysis and collaborator with Carnegie Mellon faculty.
Nash and Nirenberg will receive the award from King Harald of Norway at a ceremony in Oslo on May 19.