The Niels Henrik Abel Memorial Fund was established on 1 January 2002, to award the Abel Prize for outstanding scientific work in the field of mathematics. The prize amount is 6 million NOK (about 750,000 Euro) and was awarded for the first time in 2003.

The Abel Prize is awarded annually by The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. The Abel Committee, consisting of five mathematicians, is appointed to rewiev the nominated candidates and submit its recommendation to Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. The Academy's board then selects the Abel Laureate on the basis of the recommendation from the committee.

The Abel Prize is an international prize for outstanding scientific work in the field of mathematics, including mathematical aspects of information technology, mathematical physics, probability theory, numerical analysis and computational science, statistics andapplications of mathematics in other sciences.

The prize is meant to recognize contributions of extraordinary depth and influence to pure and applied mathematics. Such work may have resolved fundamental problems, created powerful new techniques, introduced unifying principles or opened up major new fields of research.

**The Abel Prize laureates:**

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

**2004: **Sir Michael Francis Atiyah, University of Edinburgh and Isadore M. Singer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology “for their discovery and proof of the index theorem, bringing together topology, geometry and analysis, and their outstanding role in building new bridges between mathematics and theoretical physics”

**2005: **Peter D. Lax, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University “for his groundbreaking contributions to the theory and application of partial differential equations and to the computation of their solutions.”

**2006: **Lennart Carleson, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden “for his profound and seminal contributions to harmonic analysis and the theory of smooth dynamical systems.”