Milnor wins Abel Prize Mar23

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Milnor wins Abel Prize

Milnor wins Abel Prize

Milnor wins Abel Prize


As you may know, I’m a big fan of John Milnor, I posted about his video on D’Arcy Thompson. Well, today he won the Abel Prize.

My own research has been greatly influenced by Milnor. His seminal work on the topology of complex hypersurface singularities is the foundation for the work in my PhD thesis. What is amazing is that he seems to have come into the subject in the late 60s, knocked out a book on the subject and then left the field to do something else groundbreaking.

He was great at exposition. Really great. His early 60s book on Morse Theory has not been surpassed in the field for its clarity and choice of material. For me it’s one of the great books of the 20th century. It’s up there with Orwell’s 1984. As a postgraduate I read his book on the h-cobordism theorem when I was on holiday. How nerdy am I? (It’s also a great book but a bit more challenging shall we say.)

More information about his achievements, certainly more than I can fit here, can be found at the official winner’s page: http://www.abelprisen.no/en/prisvinnere/2011/

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