The Abel Prize is awarded annually by the King of Norway to outstanding mathematicians. In 2001 the government of Norway announced that the bicentennial of Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel's birth (the year 2002) would mark the commencement of a new prize for mathematicians, named after Abel.
Every year from 2003 onwards The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters will declare the winner of the Abel Prize after selection by a committee of five international mathematicians; the amount of money that comes with the prize is similar to the Nobel Prize, which is awarded in Sweden and Norway. The reason for this prize is that the Nobel Prize excludes mathematics. Norway gave the prize an initial funding of NOK 200,000,000 in 2001. The prize is an attempt at creating publicity for mathematics, making the science more prestigious especially for young people.
In April 2003, the first candidate to win the prize was announced, and the following June the prize was awarded for the first time. In March 2004, the winners of the second annual prize were announced; this time two mathematicians shared the prize.
Last updated: 05-08-2005 04:59:26