# Lars V. Ahlfors

Wolf Prize Laureate in Mathematics 1981

The Wolf Prize Committee for Mathematics has unanimously decided that the award for 1981 should be equally divided among Lars V. Ahlfors and Oscar Zariski.

**Lars V. Ahlfors**

**Harvard University**

**Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA**

“for seminal discoveries and the creation of powerful new methods in geometric function theory.”

For over half a century the theory of functions of a complex variable was guided by the thought and work of Professor (Emeritus) Lars Ahlfors. His achievements include the proof of the Denjoy conjecture, the geometric derivation of the Nevanlinna theory, an important generalization of the Schwarz lemma, the development (with Beurling) of the method of extremal length, and numerous decisive results in the theories of Riemann surfaces, quasi-conformal mappings and Teichmuller spaces. Ahlfors celebrated finiteness theorem for Kleinian groups, and his work on the limit set, revitalized an important area of research. He is now doing pioneering work on quasiconformal deformations in higher dimensions.

Ahlfors influence was pervasive and beneficial. His methods combine deep geometric insight with subtle analytic skill; he presents them with utter clarity and simplicity. Time and again he attacked and solved the central problem in a discipline. Time and again other mathematicians were inspired by work he did many years earlier. Every complex analyst working today is, in some sense, his pupil.