Why Mathematics Misses the Nobel Prize


As we all know, in the academic field, the most famous and top award in the world is the Nobel Prize. This world-renowned award covers six disciplines including literature, physics, chemistry, medicine and physiology to recognize people who have made extraordinary achievements in the above fields. In addition to receiving huge bonuses, the winners will also have lofty academic status and influence in the industry, be respected by others, and leave their names in history.

What is confusing is that mathematics, known as the "crown of science", does not appear in the Nobel Prize awards. Although this is incredible, it is an indisputable fact. Because in Nobel's will, there was indeed no mathematics prize. It is said that in the first draft of the will, there was a proposal to establish a mathematics prize, but it was later canceled for unknown reasons. This has also become a hot topic among people.

The academic community has discussed this issue, but in the end it came to nothing, but there are two theories that have been widely circulated.

The first is a popular saying in France and the United States. The famous Swedish mathematician Mittag Leveriel, who was a contemporary of Nobel, was a foreign academician of the Petersburg Academy of Sciences in Russia, and later became a foreign academician of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. It is said that this person was disrespectful to Mrs. Nobel. Nobel disliked him very much and was angry at the work he was engaged in - mathematical research, so there was no Nobel Prize in Mathematics.

The second is a popular saying in Sweden. During the period when Nobel was making his will, the most famous mathematician in Sweden was Mittag Leveriel. Nobel knew in his heart that if a mathematics prize was established, the prize would inevitably be awarded to this mathematician. However, Nobel disliked him very much, so he did not establish a mathematics prize in his will.

Of course, the authenticity of these two statements cannot be verified and cannot withstand scrutiny. Historians do not believe that Nobel would be so narrow-minded as to mix personal grudges with the sacred cause of scientific research; but the fact that mathematics is absent from the Nobel Prize can not help but make people regret that this hugely influential award is not satisfactory. Mathematicians with outstanding achievements are not fair enough. This huge irreparable shortcoming should have been unexpected by Nobel himself.

What is a little comforting and fortunate is that although there are no mathematics-related awards in the Nobel Prize, mathematicians are not insulated from the Nobel Prize. Mathematicians can often be seen in the various Nobel Prize awards. For example, on October 11, 1994, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced that John Nash, a mathematician from Princeton University in the United States, and two other mathematicians won the Nobel Prize in Economics that year in recognition of their work on the equilibrium analysis theory of non-cooperative games. Pioneering contributions to the economic field. This is the first time that the "93-year-old Nobel Prize" has been awarded to "scholars who conduct pure mathematical research." There is also the French-American mathematician Rollard Debreu of the University of California, Berkeley, who won the 1983 Nobel Prize in Economics for his mathematical proof of the theory of supply and demand. The media believes that this is a huge encouragement to researchers engaged in mathematical economics.