The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has decided to award the Abel Prize for 2009 to the Russian-French mathematician Mikhail Leonidovich Gromov (65) for “his revolutionary contributions to geometry”. The Abel Prize recognizes contributions of extraordinary depth and influence to the mathematical sciences and has been awarded annually since 2003. It carries a cash award of NOK 6,000,000 (close to € 700,000, US$ 950,000). Mikhail L. Gromov will receive the Abel Prize from His Majesty King Harald at an award ceremony in Oslo, Norway, May 19.

Mikhail L. Gromov (right) together with Jean-Pierre Serre who received the Abel Prize in 2003. Foto: Jean-François Dars.
Mikhail L. Gromov is one of the leading mathematicians of our time. He is known for important contributions in many areas of mathematics, especially geometry. Geometry is one of the oldest fields of mathematics; it has engaged the attention of great mathematicians through the centuries, but has undergone a revolutionary change in the last 50 years. Gromov has led some of the most important developments, producing profoundly original general ideas which have resulted in new perspectives on geometry and other areas of mathematics.

The Abel Committee says: “Mikhail Gromov is always in pursuit of new questions and is constantly thinking of new ideas for solutions to old problems. He has produced deep and original work throughout his career and remains remarkably creative. The work of Gromov will continue to be a source of inspiration for many future mathematical discoveries”.

Mikhail Leonidovich Gromov was born on December 23, 1943 in Boksitogorsk, USSR. He obtained his Masters degree (1965), his Doctorate (1969) and his Post-doctoral Thesis (1973) from Leningrad University where he also was Assistant Professor from 1967 to 1974.

Since 1982, Gromov has held a position as Permanent Professor at the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques, Bures-sur-Yvette, France. IHÉS is an institute for advanced research in mathematics, theoretical physics and other related scientific fields. He has been a French citizen since 1992. Mikhail L. Gromov is currently also Jay Gould Professor of Mathematics at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University.

Mikhail L. Gromov has received many distinguished international awards, including the Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences (2002), the Balzan Prize (1999), the Leroy P. Steele Prize (1997), the Lobatchewski Medal (1997) and the Wolf Prize (1993). He is a foreign member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of l’Académie française de Sciences.

Abelprisen. Foto: Nora Bremnæs Petersen
The Niels Henrik Abel Memorial Fund was established in 2002 to award the Abel Prize for outstanding scientific work in the field of mathematics. The prize is awarded by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, and the choice of Abel Laureate is based on the recommendation by the Abel Committee consisting of five internationally recognized mathematicians.