John Milnor ’51 *54 has, to borrow a sporting term, completed the “grand slam” of mathematics honors. The former Princeton professor and current co-director of the Institute for Mathematical Sciences at Stony Brook University had already won the Fields Medal, the Wolf Prize in Mathematics, and three Steele prizes. On March 23, he was chosen to receive the 2011 Abel Prize from the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters – a $1 million award given annually for outstanding work in the field of mathematics.
“All of Milnor’s works display marks of great research: profound insights, vivid imagination, elements of surprise, and supreme beauty."Milnor’s discovery of exotic smooth spheres in seven dimensions was completely unexpected. It signaled the arrival of differential topology and an explosion of work by a generation of brilliant mathematicians; this explosion has lasted for decades and changed the landscape of mathematics." … Click here to read the full citation