Overview of the Rolf Nevanlinna Prize

The Rolf Nevanlinna Prize is one of three awards given at the International Congress of Mathematicians. The International Congress of Mathematicians is an assembly that is held every four years. It is orchestrated by the International Mathematical Union. The other two awards given out during that assembly would be the Fields Medals and the Gauss Prize. All of these prizes were established in honor of famous mathematicians.

Like the other two awards, the Rolf Nevanlinna Prize is given out every four years at the International Congress of Mathematicians. This award is for “outstanding contributions in Mathematical Aspects of Information Sciences.”

It would be in regards to all mathematical aspects of computer science, scientific computing, and numerical analysis. In a nutshell, this is an award with regards to mathematics used in computer science. One could call this a reward in computational mathematics.

The Rolf Nevanlinna Prize was established in honor of the famous Finnish mathematician Rolf Herman Nevanlinna. He was born in 1895 and died in 1980. Not only was he a mathematician, Nevanlinna was a political activist. However, his political views were controversial at times. He was part of the Patriotic People’s Movement and the Finnish pro-German Movement.

One of the most controversial political views was sympathizing with the Nazis. He had become the chairman of the Committee for the Finnish Volunteer Battalion of the Waffen-SS. In regards to mathematics, he is known for his theory of functions. One such work of complex analysis developed by Nevanlinna would be the “Nevanlinna Theory.”

This deals with the value distribution theory of holomorphic functions in one variable. It deals with meromorphic functions.

The Rolf Nevanlinna Prize is the second most recent prize to be awarded by the International Congress of Mathematicians. It was first established in 1981. It would be the year after the death of Nevanlinna. The Executive Committee of the International Mathematical Union would establish it. It would be a gold medal and a cash prize. The Gauss Prize is the most recent award as of 2006.

It parallels the Fields Medals. The requirement is that before January 1 of the year that the next International Congress of Mathematicians assembly that the nominees do not turn forty years of age. The Nevanlinna Prize is also geared towards the younger mathematicians.

The first Nevanlinna Prize was rewarded in 1983 in Warsaw, Poland. The 1982 recipient would be Robert Tarjan of the United States. Tarjan received it in information science. The recent assembly was in Madrid, Spain in 2006. The 2006 recipient was John Klienberg of the United States.

The next Nevanlinna Prize will be given at its next assembly in Hyderabad, India.