László Lovász and Avi Wigderson will receive the Abel Prize this year

Sandra Loyd

“I’ve always been excited about how to connect different disciplines: that’s why I started to deal with the connections between theoretical computer science and discrete mathematics at the time,” he told MTI. László Lovász is a mathematician, after it was announced in Oslo that he was one of the winners of the Abel Prize this year.

László Lovász won the Nobel Prize for Mathematicians together with mathematician Avi Wigderson. László Lovász said that they know each other well with the Israeli mathematician, but they do not have a regular working relationship.

“Wigderson is on both sides of the same field, we look at science from a slightly different focus,” he explained. He recalled that the relationship between discrete mathematics and computer science developed in the 1960s and 1970s. “At that time, discrete mathematics was not a mainstream part of mathematics, but rather a puzzling curiosity,” said the scientist, who at that time was dealing with graph theory as a mentor of Pál Erdős.

As he said, discrete mathematics was separate deals with structural structures consisting of elements. When the first computers appeared, it soon became clear that they also work on this principle: they perform operations in discrete steps, digitally, bit by bit. It was from this time that the intertwining of the two fields began, followed by an explosive joint development, and finally discrete mathematics became the basis of computer science. Exciting results have been achieved that have been embedded in the operation of computers within a few decades.

In addition, this relationship has brought about a fundamental personal expansion within mathematics. Concepts have emerged, such as chance, which was not much dealt with in mathematics before, he explained. Mathematicians’ research was often motivated by practical problems, and one such conceptual advance usually opened up a multitude of applications, he added.
“Although graph theory has been at the heart of my thinking and research, I have always been interested in computer science, even then. even when there were only sprouts in Hungary, “he said.”

“This period was marked by great enthusiasm, we knew that something exciting was happening that went beyond what we had learned at university.” – recalled László Lovász, who also spoke about the fact that in addition to the connection of graph theory with computer science, he was also always excited about his connection with the traditional chapters of mathematics. He published a book two years ago in which he connected graph theory with geometry.

In addition to Pál Erdős, the mathematician highlighted the names of Tibor Gallai, Vera Sós and András Hajnal when asked who influenced him in his career. . “It was a strong community, where there were more, so I could list others, but they were the most important,” he said.

the dynamics of large networks in a European Union tender According to László Lovász, the epidemic is also a big challenge from a mathematical point of view, with his research group he examines the dynamics of the spread of the epidemic through the network of people.

In his view, it is worth presenting the operation of cell phones or GPS, which are such exciting things that they can make this science interesting at the curriculum level as well. It is important that the love of mathematics is passed on to students in the education system, as dealing with mathematics is an experience like solving a puzzle – said László Lovász

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