IMU Bulletin no. 43, October
PRESENTATION OF THE ROLF NEVANLINNA PRIZE
CHAIRMAN OF THE ROLF NEVANLINNA PRIZE COMMITTEE
The Rolf Nevanlinna Prize was established by the International Mathematical Union with funds donated by the University of Helsinki for the most outstanding work in ``Mathematical Aspects of Information Science" and has been awarded four times in 1983, 1986, 1990 and 1994. It is given at the ICM's with the belief that Information Science - including here theoretical computer science, analysis of algorithms, scientific computing, optimization and related fields -- are all in essence part of the umbrella of mathematics. A Committee consisting of Bjorn Engquist, F. Thomas Leighton, Alexander Razborov and myself as chairman decided on this year's prize. We solicited a wide variety of opinions and, after much deliberation, are awarding this prize to:
He found many deep and remarkable results prior to 1994 in the analysis of combinatorial algorithms, many with a geometric flavor such as his discovery with Lagarias of a tiling of 10-dimensional Euclidean space by cubes with no common faces. Since 1994, he has been the principal driving force behind the development of quantum computing. First he put it on the map, so to speak, by factoring numbers fast (thus breaking the RSA encryption scheme) by a quantum computer. And second he has led a major assault on error correction and fault tolerance in this new situation, the main obstacles to the realization of quantum computing. Let me invite Professor Olli Lehto to present the award on behalf of the University of Helsinki.