Watch: The Abel lectures

The lectures took place May 23 at the University of Oslo.

Abel Laureate Robert Langlands will give his prize lecture at the University of Oslo on the 23th of May, with following Abel lectures by Jim Arthur and Edward Frenkel. 


Welcome by Rector of the University of Oslo, Svein Stølen, The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Ole M. Sejersted, and Chair of the Abel Committee, John Rognes

Robert Langlands, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton:

On the geometric theory

James Arthur, University of Toronto:

The Langlands program: arithmetic, geometry and analysis


James Arthur is a professor of mathematics at the University of Toronto. In 1970 he received his PhD at Yale University, where his advisor was Robert Langlands. He is considered as one of the few leading mathematicians in the central fields of representation theory and automorphic forms, and an excellent teacher.

As the Abel Prize citation points out, the Langlands program  represents a grand unified theory of mathematics. we shall try to explain in elementary terms what this means. We shall describe an age old question concerning the arithmetic prime numbers, together with a profound generalization of the problem that lies at the heart of algebraic geometry. We shall then discuss the tenets of the Langlands program that resolve these questions in terms of harmonic analysis. Finally, we shall say something of Langlands' many fundamental contributions to the program, with the understanding that there is still much to be done.



Edward Frenkel, UC Berkeley:

Langlands Program and Unification



Edward Frenkel is a professor of mathematics at UC Berkeley. He is the author of the bestselling book "Love and Math", and is a well-known lecturer. "Love and Math" is the first account of the Langlands Program for a general audience in a book form. Frenkel has also published joint papers on different aspects of the Langlands Program with both Langlands and Witten. 

Abstract: Sophia Kovalevskaya wrote, "It is not possible to be a mathematician without being a poet at heart. A poet should see what others can't see, see deeper than others. And that's the job of a mathematician as well." The work of Robert Langlands sets a great example for this maxim, as it is marked by originality, imagination, and penetrating insights. At the core of the Langlands Program is the idea of unification: uncovering deep connections between areas of mathematics that at first glance seem far apart, such as number theory, analysis, geometry, and even quantum physics. These links enable us to find order in apparent chaos, and they also point to something rich and mysterious lurking beneath the surface, giving us glimpses of hidden structures underlying modern mathematics.

Det Norske Videnskaps-Akademi
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The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters
Drammensveien 78
N-0271 Oslo, Norway
Telephone: + 47 22 84 15 00
Fax: + 47 22 12 10 99
Web editor: Anne-Marie Astad
Design and technical solutions: Ravn Webveveriet AS