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American wins Abel Prize

Robert Langlands, a researcher based in Princeton, United States, has won this year’s Abel Prize, a prestigious mathematics award offered by the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters.

Langlands is being presented with the award for his life’s achievements in developing links between number theory and harmonic analysis. He outlined his theory in 1967 in a letter to French mathematician Andre Weil, politely suggesting that if Weil didn’t like it he would surely “have a waste basket handy”.

In a statement announcing the decision, the academy said Langland’s insights revolutionised several mathematics fields and unified large swathes of mathematical theory.

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