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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
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An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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For Mathematics, Abel = Nobel
30 August 2001 7:00 pm
Mathematicians have long groused about the lack of a Nobel Prize in math. The closest equivalent, the Fields Medal, is only awarded every 4 years, is restricted to the under-40 set, and comes with much less fanfare, not to mention cash.
But all that is about to change, courtesy of the Norwegian government. On 23 August, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg announced the establishment of a 200 million kroner ($22 million) fund for an annual "Abel Prize" in mathematics.
The fund is being set up to mark the 200th birthday of Norway's famous mathematician Niels Henrik Abel, who died in 1829 at the age of 26. The prize will raise the awareness of mathematics as the "lingua franca for all science," says Arnfinn Laudal, a mathematician at the University of Oslo. Worth about $500,000--comparable to the Nobel purse--it will be administered by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters and will be awarded annually starting in 2003.
The new prize "will change the landscape of mathematics," enthuses 1974 Fields Medal winner David Mumford. He thinks it will also be a big boost for math's public reputation. "Up to now, pure math especially has had very little PR and has been almost a private affair for its aficionados," he says.