Volume 74, Number 45 | March 16 - 22, 2005

N.Y.U. math professor wins coveted Abel Prize

Peter D. Lax, emeritus professor and former director of New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, won the $980,000 Abel Prize, awarded by the Norwegian Academy of Science on March 17, for his work in theoretical and applied mathematics.

Lax, who received his bachelor’s degree in 1947 and his Ph.D. in 1949 from N.Y.U., became a faculty member of the university in 1949. He worked on the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos from 1945-’46, and has received many awards and prizes. Named to the National Academy of Sciences in 1962, he was president of the American Mathematical Society 1977-’80.

The Norwegian Academy’s citation credits Lax with laying the foundations for the modern theory of nonlinear differential equations and for devising methods of computing solutions that have practical applications ranging from weather prediction to aircraft design. He is expected to receive the Abel Prize from King Harold V of Norway on Oslo on May 24.

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