Dennis Parnell Sullivan, American mathematician, receives the Abel Prize

The Abel Prize in Mathematics was awarded on Wednesday March 23 to the American Dennis Parnell Sullivan, for his contributions to research on topology, and in particular for his work on chaos theory, announced the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Sciences. letters. Mr Sullivan, a professor at Stony Brook University in New York, was awarded “for his groundbreaking contributions to topology in the broad sense, and in particular its algebraic, geometric, and dynamical aspects”.

Topology “study properties of objects that do not change when deformed”and has “significant applications in fields ranging from physics to economics to data science”explained the academy.

Combination of multiple domains

Described as a “active and charismatic member of the mathematical community”Mr. Sullivan, 81, was rewarded for finding “deep connections between a dazzling variety of areas of mathematics”. “Mr. Sullivan moved from one field to another, seemingly effortlessly, using algebraic, analytical and geometric ideas like a true virtuoso”said Hans Munthe-Kaas, chairman of the Abel Prize committee, in a press release.

Born in Michigan, the mathematician moved as a child to Houston, Texas, where he then attended Rice University, before completing his doctorate at Princeton University. At the end of the 1970s, he began his research on dynamical systems, better known under the formulation “chaos theory”, since many dynamical systems exhibit chaotic behavior.

Dennis Parnell Sullivan notably solved a conjecture that had eluded mathematicians for sixty years. He will receive his prize, which includes 7.5 million Norwegian kroner (780,000 euros), on May 24 in Oslo.

The World with AFP

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