László Lovász

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Not to be confused with László M. Lovász, a different combinatorial mathematician who works with Jacob Fox.
László Lovász
Laszlo Lovasz mg 1867 flipped horizontally.jpg
László Lovász speaking in 2007 at the EPFL
Lovász László

(1948-03-09) March 9, 1948 (age 71)
Nationality Hungarian, American
Alma materEötvös Loránd University, Budapest
Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Awards Kyoto Prize (2010)
Hungary's Széchenyi Grand Prize (2008)
Bolyai Prize (2007)
John von Neumann Theory Prize (2006)
Gödel Prize (2001)
Knuth Prize (1999)
Wolf Prize (1999)
Fulkerson Prize (1982, 2012)
Best Information Theory Paper Award (IEEE) (1980)
Pólya Prize (SIAM) (1979)
Scientific career
Fields Mathematics, Computer Science
Institutions Eötvös Loránd University, Yale University, Princeton University
Doctoral advisor Tibor Gallai
Doctoral students András Frank
Tamás Szőnyi
Van Vu

László Lovász (Hungarian pronunciation:  [ˈlaːsloː ˈlovaːs] ; born March 9, 1948) is a Hungarian mathematician, best known for his work in combinatorics, for which he was awarded the Wolf Prize and the Knuth Prize in 1999, and the Kyoto Prize in 2010. He is the current president of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He served as president of the International Mathematical Union between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2010. [1]

Hungary Country in Central Europe

Hungary is a country in Central Europe. Spanning 93,030 square kilometres (35,920 sq mi) in the Carpathian Basin, it borders Slovakia to the north, Ukraine to the northeast, Austria to the northwest, Romania to the east, Serbia to the south, Croatia to the southwest, and Slovenia to the west. With about 10 million inhabitants, Hungary is a medium-sized member state of the European Union. The official language is Hungarian, which is the most widely spoken Uralic language in the world, and among the few non-Indo-European languages to be widely spoken in Europe. Hungary's capital and largest city is Budapest; other major urban areas include Debrecen, Szeged, Miskolc, Pécs and Győr.

Combinatorics is an area of mathematics primarily concerned with counting, both as a means and an end in obtaining results, and certain properties of finite structures. It is closely related to many other areas of mathematics and has many applications ranging from logic to statistical physics, from evolutionary biology to computer science, etc.

The Wolf Prize in Mathematics is awarded almost annually by the Wolf Foundation in Israel. It is one of the six Wolf Prizes established by the Foundation and awarded since 1978; the others are in Agriculture, Chemistry, Medicine, Physics and Arts. According to a reputation survey conducted in 2013 and 2014, the Wolf Prize in Mathematics is the third most prestigious international academic award in mathematics, after the Abel Prize and the Fields Medal. Until the establishment of the Abel Prize, it was probably the closest equivalent of a "Nobel Prize in Mathematics", since the Fields Medal is awarded every four years only to mathematicians under the age of 40.



Lovász was born on March 9, 1948 in the city of Budapest. [2] His father was a surgeon. [3] When Lovász was 14 he found a mathematical article written by Paul Erdős that fascinated him. One year later, he personally became acquainted with Erdős. They became friends and talked about mathematics and other subjects. This experience greatly inspired Lovász in searching for more knowledge. [4]

Budapest Capital city in Hungary

Budapest is the capital and the most populous city of Hungary, and the tenth-largest city in the European Union by population within city limits. The city had an estimated population of 1,752,704 in 2016 distributed over a land area of about 525 square kilometres. Budapest is both a city and county, and forms the centre of the Budapest metropolitan area, which has an area of 7,626 square kilometres and a population of 3,303,786, comprising 33 percent of the population of Hungary.

Paul Erdős Hungarian mathematician and freelancer

Paul Erdős was a renowned Hungarian mathematician. He was one of the most prolific mathematicians and producers of mathematical conjectures of the 20th century. He was known both for his social practice of mathematics and for his eccentric lifestyle. He devoted his waking hours to mathematics, even into his later years—indeed, his death came only hours after he solved a geometry problem at a conference in Warsaw.

In high school, Lovász won gold medals at the International Mathematical Olympiad (in 1964, 1965, 1966 with two special prizes). [5]

International Mathematical Olympiad International contest in mathematics for pre-collegiate students

The International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) is an annual six-problem mathematical olympiad for pre-college students, and is the oldest of the International Science Olympiads. The first IMO was held in Romania in 1959. It has since been held annually, except in 1980. More than 100 countries, representing over 90% of the world's population, send teams of up to six students, plus one team leader, one deputy leader, and observers.

Lovász received his Candidate of Sciences (C.Sc.) degree in 1970 at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. His advisor was Tibor Gallai.

Candidate of Sciences junior scientific degree in Soviet Union and post-sovetic countries

Kandidat nauk is the first of two doctoral level scientific degrees in some former Soviet countries. It is formally classified as UNESCO ISCED level 8, 'doctoral or equivalent', and is thus officially translated into English and other languages as Doctor of Philosophy and recognised as such.

Hungarian Academy of Sciences

The Hungarian Academy of Sciences is the most important and prestigious learned society of Hungary. Its seat is at the bank of the Danube in Budapest, between Széchenyi rakpart and Akadémia utca. Its main responsibilities are the cultivation of science, dissemination of scientific findings, supporting research and development and representing Hungarian science domestically and around the world.

Tibor Gallai was a Hungarian mathematician. He worked in combinatorics, especially in graph theory, and was a lifelong friend and collaborator of Paul Erdős. He was a student of Dénes Kőnig and an advisor of László Lovász. He was a corresponding member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (1991).

Until 1975, Lovász worked at Eötvös Loránd University, between 1975–1982, he led the Department of Geometry at the University of Szeged. In 1982, he returned to the Eötvös University, where he created the Department of Computer Science. The former and current scientists of the department include György Elekes, András Frank, József Beck, Éva Tardos, András Hajnal, Lajos Pósa, Miklós Simonovits, Tamás Szőnyi.

Eötvös Loránd University public research university in Budapest, Hungary

Eötvös Loránd University is a Hungarian public research university based in Budapest. Founded in 1635, ELTE is one of the largest and most prestigious public higher education institutions in Hungary. The 28,000 students at ELTE are organized into eight faculties, and into research institutes located throughout Budapest and on the scenic banks of the Danube. ELTE is affiliated with 5 Nobel laureates, as well as winners of the Wolf Prize, Fulkerson Prize and Abel Prize, the latest of which was Abel Prize winner Endre Szemerédi in 2012.

University of Szeged university

The University of Szeged is a large research university in Hungary. It is located in Hungary's third-largest city, Szeged, in Csongrád County in the Southern Great Plain. The University is one of Hungary's most important universities and is among the most prominent higher education institutions in Central Europe. According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, it was ranked 203rd–300th in the complete list, 80th–123rd in the scientific ranking of European universities, and first in the Hungarian national ranking. In 2013 it was ranked 401-500 in the world, 124th–168th in the scientific ranking of European universities, and second in the national ranking. In 2014, the QS World University Rankings put the University of Szeged as 501-550 among universities globally. Its highest ranked subject area was Modern Languages with 101-150 globally. The University's operating budget for 2014 was US$220 million.

György Elekes was a Hungarian mathematician and computer scientist who specialized in Combinatorial geometry and Combinatorial set theory. He may be best known for his work in the field that would eventually be called Additive Combinatorics. Particularly notable was his "ingenious" application of the Szemerédi–Trotter theorem to improve the best known lower bound for the sum-product problem. He also proved that any polynomial-time algorithm approximating the volume of convex bodies must have a multiplicative error, and the error grows exponentially on the dimension. With Micha Sharir he set up a framework which eventually led Guth and Katz to the solution of the Erdős distinct distances problem.

Lovász was a professor at Yale University during the 1990s and was a collaborative member of the Microsoft Research Center until 2006. He returned to Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, where he was the director of the Mathematical Institute (2006–2011).

Yale University private research university in New Haven, Connecticut, United States

Yale University is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701, it is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine Colonial Colleges chartered before the American Revolution.

In 2014 he was elected the President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA). [6]

Lovász is married to Katalin Vesztergombi; [7] as high school students, he and Vesztergombi both participated in the same program for students gifted in mathematics, [8] and Vesztergombi continues to be one of Lovász's frequent research collaborators.


Lovász was awarded the Brouwer Medal in 1993, the Wolf Prize in 1999, the Bolyai prize in 2007 and Hungary's Széchenyi Grand Prize (2008). He received the Advanced Grant of the European Research Council (2008). He was elected foreign member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (2006) [9] and Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (2007), honorary member [10] of the London Mathematical Society (2009). He received the Kyoto Prize for Basic Science (2010). In 2012 he became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society. [11] Lovász is listed as an ISI highly cited researcher. [12]

See also


  1. The IMU Executive Committee 2007-2010 Archived 2007-12-29 at the Wayback Machine
  2. Sooyoung Chang (2010) . Academic Genealogy of Mathematicians, Hungarian School: pp. 245-264. ISBN   978-981-4282-29-1.
  3. Educatio – "Interjú Lovász László matematikussal" (Biró Zsuzsanna Hanna) 2009/2 valóság pp. 219–240. (in Hungarian)
  4. O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "László Lovász", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive , University of St Andrews .
  5. Laszlo Lovasz
  6. Magyar Tudományos Akadémia: "Lovász László a Magyar Tudományos Akadémia új elnöke", 2014/05/06 (in Hungarian)
  7. "Édes teher: zseni az apám (interview with László Lovász)", NOL (in Hungarian), July 12, 2013
  8. Taber, Keith S.; Sumida, Manabu; McClure, Lynne, eds. (2017), Teaching Gifted Learners in STEM Subjects: Developing Talent in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, Routledge Research in Achievement and Gifted Education, Routledge, pp. 92–93, ISBN   9781317448969
  9. "L. Lovász". Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 8 February 2016. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  10. LMS homepage [ permanent dead link ]
  11. List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved 2013-02-02.
  12. Thomson ISI, Lovász, László, ISI Highly Cited Researchers , retrieved 2010-02-02
Cultural offices
Preceded by
József Pálinkás
President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Succeeded by

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