László Lovász awarded the Kyoto Prize and the Barcelona Hypatia European Science Prize


Among recent prizes, László Lovász was awarded
(1) the 2010 Kyoto Prize by the Inamori Foundation
(2) the 2019 Barcelona Hypatia European Science Prize.

Below we give extracts from announcements of these awards.


1.       The 2010 Kyoto Prize
László Lovász was awarded the 2010 Kyoto Prize for "Outstanding Contributions to Mathematical Sciences Based on Discrete Optimization Algorithms." He was presented with the award, which consists of a diploma, a Kyoto Prize medal of twenty-karat gold, and a cash prize totalling 50 million yen (approximately US$550,000) at a ceremony held at the Kyoto International Conference Centre on 10 November 2010.

The Citation for the prize is as follows:

Through his advanced research on discrete structures, Dr Lovász has provided a link among various branches of mathematics in terms of algorithms, thereby influencing a broad spectrum of the mathematical sciences - including discrete mathematics, combinational optimization and theoretical computer science. In so doing, Dr Lovász has made outstanding contributions to the advancement of both the academic and technological possibilities of the mathematical sciences.

Dr László Lovász has made outstanding contributions to the advancement of both the academic and technological possibilities of the mathematical sciences. Through his advanced research on discrete structures he has provided a link among many branches of mathematics in terms of algorithms. Many of his concrete research results are presented in the form of elucidation of the properties of graphs and their algorithmic designs. However, his methodologies go beyond the framework of graph theory to exert significant influence on a broad spectrum of mathematical sciences, including discrete mathematics, combinational optimization and theoretical computer science.

In 1972 Dr Lovász proved the weak perfect graph conjecture, a well-known open problem in graph theory. This was one of his early representative achievements. The methodology shown in the proof holds high value as a culmination of the paradigm of expressing discrete structures by systems of linear inequalities. In 1979 he succeeded in solving a famous and long-standing open problem on Shannon capacity in the field of information theory. In this work he introduced quadratic forms to express discrete structures. It served as the very first instance of semidefinite programming, which went on to become one of the central topics in mathematical optimization. By further advancing those pioneering achievements he played a role in the development of the geometric methodology of algorithms based on the ellipsoid method, which led to the solution of a major open problem on submodular function minimization. His contributions are significant in clarifying the deeper relationship between computation theory and optimization theory. Through the renowned Lovász local lemma, he provided a fundamental tool of probabilistic methods for the analysis of discrete structures. He also contributed to the creation of a framework for probabilistically checkable proofs, and to the construction of important algorithms such as the matroid matching algorithm and the basis reduction algorithm for integer lattices. The reduction algorithm, commonly known as the LLL algorithm, is one of the basic tools in the theory of cryptography.

Going back and forth between algorithm theory and its peripheral areas in various mathematical topics, Dr Lovász elucidated the connection and interaction of diverse fields within the mathematical sciences.

For these reasons, the Inamori Foundation is pleased to present the 2010 Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences to Dr László Lovász.

The lecture given by László Lovász at the presentaton of the prize is at THIS LINK.

2.       The 2019 Barcelona Hypatia European Science Prize

We give extracts from two reports of this prize which was set up by the Barcelona City Council in collaboration with the Academia Europaea-Barcelona Knowledge Hub within the framework of the "Barcelona City of Science" programme, which seeks to project the city as a European capital of research and innovation.

2.1. Barcelona Hypatia European Science Prize recognises president of the Academy László Lovász, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

https://mta.hu/english/barcelona-hypatia-european-science-prize-recognises-president-of-the-academy-laszlo-lovasz-109320

The first edition of the Barcelona Hypatia European Science Prize recognises Hungarian mathematician László Lovász for his contribution to science and service to society.

The Barcelona Hypatia European Science Prize in its first edition recognises Dr László Lovász, mathematician and President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (2014-present), for his outstanding career in the field of mathematics and for his contribution to social progress.

From the twenty-three candidates nominated for the first edition of the Prize, corresponding to the area of Science and Technology, Dr Lovász was chosen by the Selection Jury in recognition of his outstanding career and research conducted at the highest international level, which has generated social impact in Hungary and abroad, putting mathematics as a scientific discipline to the service of society. Dr Lovász, considered one of the best mathematicians alive, especially stands out in the fields of combinatorial optimisation, algorithms, complexity, graph theory and random walk (RW). His main contributions include the weak perfect graph conjecture, the Lovász local lemma, and the Lenstra-Lenstra-Lovász (LLL) lattice basis reduction algorithm.

Dr. Lovász has received numerous awards and prizes, such as the Fulkerson, Grünwald, Pólya, Kyoto, John von Neumann, Gödel, Széchenyi, Knuth and Wolf prizes, and he has been appointed to more than a dozen academic and scientific societies, in the United States, Europe (Academia Europaea), Germany (Leopoldina), Holland and Sweden. As former President of the International Mathematical Union, he promoted collaborations with mathematicians and the public acceptance of mathematics as a scientific discipline to the service of society.

As President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences since 2014 and current President of the World Science Forum (WSF), Dr Lovász has been a champion of scientific freedom, having made significant, lasting contributions toward dialogue between science and society throughout the world.

2.2. Academia Europaea Prize is Awarded First to László Lovász, Eötvös Loránd University (25 March 2019).

https://www.elte.hu/en/content/academia-europaea-prize-is-awarded-first-to-laszlo-lovasz.t.988

The President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and professor emeritus of the ELTE Faculty of Science is the first scientist to be awarded the new scientific recognition of the Academia Europaea-Barcelona Knowledge Hub, an independent international learned society bringing together natural and social scientists. László Lovász received the prize from the hands of Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona, at a solemn ceremony on 5 February 2019.

The Barcelona Hypatia European Science Prize is awarded to eminent researchers who have significantly contributed to our knowledge and made an impact on society with their outstanding results. From the twenty-three researchers nominated for the first edition of the prize, it was László Lovász whose scientific career and research was awarded by the five-member evaluation committee this year. The committee awarded him the prize in recognition of his commitment to mathematics, his outstanding international work in the field of the discipline, and his efforts to promote the interests and development of society.

László Lovász was born in Budapest, in 1948. He earned his Candidate s Degree of Mathematical Sciences in 1970. He graduated in mathematics and received his doctorate (Dr. rer. nat.) from the Eötvös Loránd University in 1971. He was awarded the title Doctor of Mathematical Sciences in 1977. He became a corresponding member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1979, and was elected a full member in 1985. Considered one of the greatest mathematicians alive, his fields of research include combinatorics and graph theory, as well as their application in computer science and operations research. His has to his name the "Lovász local lemma", the "Lovász theta function", and the "Lenstra-Lenstra-Lovász algorithm".

He has had a major role in making combinatorics (one of the priority fields of mathematical research in Hungary) a defining branch of modern mathematics. Recently, he has focused on the mathematical bases of large networks, and developed the theory of graph limits together with his co-authors. He was awarded the Bolyai Prize in 2007 and the Széchenyi Grand Prize in 2008. Of the great international awards, he also holds the Kyoto Prize and the Wolf Prize. He was elected President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 2014, and was re-elected in 2017.

Last Updated February 2020