The 2014 Abel Prize was awarded on Wednesday to Yakov G Sinai, a Russian mathematician based at Princeton University in the USA and the Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics at the Russian Academy of Sciences. The NOK 6 million (USD 1 million) prize is awarded annually by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters for outstanding scientific work in the field of mathematics.
The committee chose Sinai “for his fundamental contributions to dynamical systems, ergodic theory, and mathematical physics. His works had and continue to have a broad and profound impact on mathematics and physics, as well as on the ever-fruitful interaction between these two fields.” Norway’s Crown Prince Haakon will bestow the award on Sinai at a ceremony in Oslo on 20 May.
The 78-year-old has written more than 250 research papers and several books over the past 50 years, won dozens of awards, and has many mathematical theories named after him. He is one of the most influential mathematicians of his generation, particularly in the theory of dynamical systems, mathematical physics and probability theory.
The Abel Prize has been awarded annually since 2003, with the laureate chosen by a committee comprised of five international mathematicians. It commemorates Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel and is funded by the government.