2020 Abel Prize goes to Humboldtian

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Gregory Margulis has been chosen to receive one of the most important international research awards for mathematics. He will share the prize with the Israeli mathematician Hillel Fürstenberg.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation congratulates its Humboldt Research Award winner Gregory Margulis on being awarded the 2020 Abel Prize. Margulis is being honoured together with the Israeli mathematician Hillel Fürstenberg for "pioneering the use of methods from probability and dynamics in group theory, number theory and combinatorics ", said the Norwegian Academy of Sciences which awards the prize.

Hillel Fürstenberg and Gregory Margulis invented random walk techniques to investigate  mathematical objects such as groups and graphs. They developed probabilistic methods  which they have used to solve many open problems in group theory, number theory, combinatorics and graph theory. 

Gregory Margulis was born in Moscow in 1946 and became one of the top mathematicians in the Soviet Union. Having been born into a Jewish family, Margulis could not find employment at Moscow University. Instead, he worked at the Institute for Information Transmission Problems . In 1978, he won the Fields Medal at the age of only 32. However, he could not personally accept the award in Helsinki because the Soviet authorities refused to issue him an exit visa. He has been a professor of mathematics at Yale University since 1991.  

In 1995, Margulis received the Humboldt Research Award. The following year he was awarded the Lobachevsky Prize by the Russian Academy of Sciences.  He received the Wolf Prize in 2005.

Due to the corona crisis, there are presently no plans to hold an award ceremony for the Abel Prize this year. 

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