Luis Caffarelli Has Been Awarded The 2023 Abel Prize

Luis Caffarelli Has Been Awarded The 2023 Abel Prize

March 25, 2023 - 8:00 am

Mathematics’ Highest Prize For Work On Partial Differential Equations

Argentina-born mathematician Luis Caffarelli,74, has been awarded the 2023 Abel prize — one of the most coveted awards in mathematics —which is colloquially known as the Nobel prize for mathematics by The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, on behalf of the Ministry of Education, for his work on a group of equations that describe a variety of real-world physical phenomena, from melting ice to jet engines. He is the first recipient of the honour who was born in South America. On May 23, Caffarelli will receive the Abel Prize from King Harald V of Norway at a ceremony in Oslo.

What is the Abel Prize?

Niels Henrik Abel, a Norwegian mathematician, is honoured with the Abel Prize. In 2002, the award was established to honour his 200th birthday. The two most significant awards given internationally for mathematics are the Fields Medal and the Abel Prize. The Abel Prize has no age restriction and is more of a lifetime achievement award honouring significant contributions made to an area of mathematics, in contrast to the Fields Medal, which recognises outstanding work by a mathematician under the age of forty. The French mathematician Jean-Pierre Serre won the first Abel Prize, which was given out in 2003. Srinivasa S.R. Varadhan is the only person of Indian descent to have earned this award. He received it in 2007 and attends the Courant Institute at New York University. Only one female mathematician, Karen Keskulla Uhlenbeck of the University of Texas in the United States, has received the award thus far. The award consists of a certificate and 7.5 million Norwegian Kroner in cash.

Who is Niels Henrick Abel?

Abel was a youthful genius who, at the age of 22, demonstrated the quintic equation's impossibility, which had baffled mathematicians for 250 years. He presented a significant theory at Paris in 1826, but the manuscript was lost. He got tuberculosis while trying to find his missing treatise, and three years later, on April 6, 1829, he was only 26 years old. The Paris treatise was found two days after his passing. His discovery has since become the mathematical foundation for the CT scan. Today, ECC-cryptography, which is used to encrypt data online, still makes use of his work.

Luis Caffarelli's Biography

Caffarelli is the first Abel laureate from South America born in 1948 in Buenos Aires. After earning his doctorate in 1972 from the University of Buenos Aires, he relocated to the University of Minnesota, where he first encountered the barrier problem. He relocated to the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University in 1980, where he worked on the Navier-Stokes study with Drs. Nirenberg and Kohn. Before joining Courant again in 1994, he later worked at the University of Chicago and the Center for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. He relocated to the University of Texas in 1997. He is wed to fellow Argentine mathematician Irene Martnez Gamba, who works and teaches at the University of Texas at Austin. For more than 50 years, Cafarelli has been one of the most influential researchers in the field of partial differential equations.

Partial Differential Equations (PDEs)

Caffarelli has been a key player in the study of partial differential equations for five decades. This expansive area is based on techniques developed in the 17th century by Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz to explain entities that change constantly in relation to one another. Caffarelli, who is based at the University of Texas at Austin, began researching partial differential equations (PDEs) in the late 1970s and has since made hundreds of publications in this field. He is renowned for drawing links between seemingly unrelated mathematical ideas, like in the case of how an extreme PDE may be described using a theory explaining the smallest possible regions that surfaces can occupy. PDEs have been researched for centuries and are used to represent practically all physical processes, including fluids, combustion engines, and financial models. The most significant work of Caffarelli dealt with nonlinear PDEs, which represent complex connections between several variables. Compared to other PDEs, these equations are more challenging to solve and frequently provide results that defy physical sense. With the use of concepts from geometry, Caffarelli developed regularity theory, which outlines how to handle solutions that are troublesome. Throughout the course of his more than four-decade career, he solved a wide range of difficulties by thoroughly elucidating the problematic elements of the equations. So-called free boundary problems, which describe real-world situations where two objects in touch share a changing surface, such as when ice melts into water or when water seeps through a filter, are prevalent among the nonlinear PDEs that Caffarelli contributed to the description of.

Caffarelli's Innovations Offer Significant Potential

Caffarelli is an incredibly prolific mathematician who is also incredibly social. Caffarelli's innovations offer significant potential applications across a range of domains, such as in economics, modelling stock price fluctuations, and in medicine and the energy industry, where they can help us comprehend the dynamics of how oil or blood pass through our bodies. Effective models in the age of supercomputing need to be able to imitate real-world phenomena and have a sophisticated understanding of the mathematics underlying them.