The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation congratulates László Lovász on winning the 2021 Abel Prize. The Humboldtian was chosen to receive the award together with the Israeli mathematician Avi Wigderson. The two are being honoured for their foundational contributions to theoretical computer science and discrete mathematics, and their leading role in shaping these areas into central fields of modern mathematics, stated the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, which awards the prize.
Through their theoretical work, both prize winners have made key contributions to the development of cryptography and data security in the internet and in digital communication - areas of application that are of great importance for everyone in day-to-day life. In addition to his theoretical underpinnings of computer science, the Humboldtian László Lovász also found powerful algorithms. Among his achievements, he helped develop the LLL algorithm which was named after him and the brothers Arjen and Henrik Lenstra. The LLL algorithm provides the basis for encryption systems which can still resist the processing power of a quantum computer.
László Lovász was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1948 and has been regarded as a star in the mathematics field since he was a teenager. As early as the 1960s, he won gold medals at the International Mathematics Olympiad. Lovász studied at the Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) in Budapest where he earned his doctorate at the age of 22. Following stints at the József Attila University in Szeged, Yale University, USA, and Microsoft Research, he returned to Budapest in 2006 where he became head of the Institute of Mathematics at ELTE. In 1984, he was a guest professor at the University of Bonn with funding from the Humboldt Foundation.
Lovász received the Wolf Prize in 1999 and the Knuth Prize for his work in the area of discrete mathemathics. He received the John von Neumann Theory Prize in 2006. He has been a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences since 2006, as well as of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences since 2007, and the National Academy of Sciences since 2012.
The date of the award ceremony will be announced later.