Wolf Prize Laureate in Mathematics 2000
Affiliation at the time of the award:
College de France, France
“for his many fundamental contributions to topology, algebraic geometry, algebra, and number theory and for his inspirational lectures and writing”.
Professor Jean-Pierre Serre is a mathematician of enormous versatility, who has had a huge influence on an astonishingly wide range of subjects.
Serre’s initial work in algebraic topology and complex geometry made him the youngest recipient ever of the Fields Medal in 1954. His application of algebraic methods to infinite dimensional spaces was to become a major theme in all modern geometry. He transformed algebraic geometry and commutative algebra, through use of sheaf-theoretical and homological methods, constructed the first sheaf cohomology in characteristic p, created modern geometric class field theory, and made major contributions to Galois cohomology and to the theory of arithmetic groups. In number theory, Serre’s influence is inestimable. He introduced the notion of l-adic representations, gave spectacular applications to elliptic curves, abelian varieties, and the theory of modular forms. His conjecture about the modularity of Galois representations was a key step toward the eventual proof of Fermat´s Last Theorem.
Through his lectures, books, courses, each of which is a gem of mathematical exposition and clarity, Serre has inspired generations of mathematicians.