Wolf Prize Laureate in Mathematics 1979
The Prize Committee for Mathematics has decided that the prize for this year should be divided between Jean Leray and Andre Weil
Institute for Advanced Study
Princeton, New Jersey, USA
“for his inspired introduction of algebro-geometry to the theory of numbers.”
Both these mathematicians have made outstanding contributions in many different areas of mathematics and their work has had very great impact on the development of mathematics over the past decades.
Professor (Emeritus) Jean Leray’s major contributions include his work on the equations of fluid mechanics, his use of topological methods in analytical problems, his development of entirely new techniques, which have altered the whole direction of algebraic topology, and very significant work on the theory of hyperbolic differential equations. He is a member of the Academies of Science of Paris, Belgium, U.S.A., U.S.S.R., Italy, Poland and others, and Doctor Honoris Causa of many Universities. His work is of very unusual broadness, spanning from the most abstract part of Mathematics – where Leray himself invented extremely general abstract tools – to very concrete applications and at the same time of a remarkable unity; all the new concepts and methods are applied to very specific problems taken amongst the most challenging of the science of our time.
Professor (Emeritus) Andre Weil has made important contributions in harmonic analysis, differential geometry, and aspects of Lie group theory, but his most outstanding achievement has been in the development of algebraic geometry and its application to important problems in number theory. Since 1957, he is Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and his career is singularly rich in achievements. Among his contemporaries, he has long occupied a unique position by combining originality and creativity to the highest degree, with an encyclopedic knowledge and deep understanding of most areas of contemporary mathematics. He is furthermore a formidable scholar of classical mathematics, whose historical insight and perspective -particularly in the field of number theory- is unequaled among mathematicians today.