American mathematician John Tate, seen here this undated handout from Charlie Fonville of the Abel Prize Foundation(APF), won one of the world's leading mathematics awards, the Abel Prize, "for his vast and lasting impact on the theory of numbers," the prize committee said. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)
OSLO, March 24 (Xinhua) -- The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (NASL) announced on Wednesday that U.S. mathematician John Torrence Tate has won this year's Abel Prize.
Tate, who has just retired from his position as professor and Sid W. Richardson Chair in mathematics at University of Texas at Austin, won the prize "for his vast and lasting impact on the theory of numbers."
The citation said Tate's 1950 thesis on Fourier analysis in number fields paved the way for the modern theory of automorphic forms and their L-functions and he revolutionized global class field theory with Emil Artin, using novel techniques of group cohomology.
With Jonathan Lubin, he recast local class field theory by the ingenious use of formal groups. Tate's invention of rigid analytic spaces spawned the whole field of rigid analytic geometry. He found a p-adic analogue of Hodge theory, now called Hodge-Tate theory, which has blossomed into another central technique of modern algebraic number theory.
The Abel Prize, which has been awarded annually since 2003 for outstanding scientific work in mathematics, carries a cash award of 6,000,000 Norwegian kroner (about 1 million U.S. dollars).
Tate is scheduled to receive the award from the King of Norway at a ceremony on May 25.
Tate, born on 13 March 1925 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, took an interest in mathematics from an early age and grew up with a fascination for mathematical puzzles.
He received his A.B. (Bachelor of Arts) from Harvard College in 1946 and his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1950 with Emil Artin as his thesis advisor.
Tate was a research assistant and instructor at Princeton from 1950 to 1953 and a visiting professor at Columbia University between 1953 and 1954. In 1954, he moved to Harvard University where he was a professor and taught for thirty-six years.
In 1990, he accepted his last academic position as professor and Sid W. Richardson Chair in Mathematics at the University of Texas at Austin.