Nevanlinna Prize

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The Rolf Nevanlinna Prize (named in honor of Rolf Nevanlinna) is awarded once every 4 years at the International Congress of Mathematicians, for outstanding contributions in Mathematical Aspects of Information Sciences including:

  1. All mathematical aspects of computer science, including computational complexity theory, logic of programming languages, analysis of algorithms, cryptography, computer vision, pattern recognition, information processing and modelling of intelligence.
  2. Scientific computing and numerical analysis. Computational aspects of optimization and control theory. Computer algebra.

The prize was established in 1981 by the Executive Committee of the International Mathematical Union IMU and named to honour the Finnish mathematician Rolf Nevanlinna who had died a year earlier. The award consists of a gold medal and cash prize. Like the Fields Medal the prize is targeted at younger mathematicians, and only those younger than 40 on January 1 of the award year are eligible.[1]

The medal features a profile of Nevanlinna, the text "Rolf Nevanlinna Prize", and very small characters "RH 83" on its obverse. RH refers to Raimo Heino, the medal's designer, and 83 to the year of first minting. On the reverse, two figures related to the University of Helsinki, the prize sponsor, are engraved. The rim bears the name of the prizewinner.[2]

The appropriateness of the naming of the prize had been questioned due to Nevanlinna's involvement with the Nazis.[3] [4] Shortly after July-2016, Alexander Soifer, President of the World Federation of National Mathematics Competitions, forwarded his personal and his organization’s requests to the Executive Committee of IMU to change the Prize’s name. On July 30-31, 2018, the 18th General Assembly of the IMU decided to remove the name of Rolf Nevanlinna from this prize for achievement in mathematics for computer science, and replace it with a new name. See Resolution 7 of the 2018 resolutions.


Year Laureate Nationality
1982 Robert Tarjan  United States
1986 Leslie Valiant  United Kingdom
1990 Alexander Razborov  Russia
1994 Avi Wigderson  Israel
1998 Peter Shor  United States
2002 Madhu Sudan  India/ United States
2006 Jon Kleinberg  United States
2010 Daniel Spielman[5]  United States
2014 Subhash Khot[6]  India/ United States
2018 Constantinos Daskalakis[7]  Greece

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Rolf Nevanlinna Prize". International Mathematical Union. 2004-09-07. Archived from the original on 2008-05-13. Retrieved 2007-01-30.
  2. ^ Lehto, Olli (August 12, 1998). "History of the Rolf Nevanlinna Prize". International Mathematical Union. Archived from the original on May 13, 2008. Retrieved 2007-01-30.
  3. ^ "The Secretive Life of the International Mathematics Union". Alexander Soifer. 2017-07-01.
  4. ^ "The Scholar and the State: In Search of Van der Waerden, pages 189 and 286-288". Alexander Soifer. Birkhäuser, Basel; 1st edition. 2015.
  5. ^ Live video of ICM 2010 Archived 2010-08-18 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "Rolf Nevanlinna Prize 2014".
  7. ^ "Rolf Nevanlinna Prize 2018".

External links[edit]