László Lovász

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]

Not to be confused with László M. Lovász, a different combinatorial mathematician who works with Jacob Fox.

László Lovász
László Lovász speaking in 2007 at the EPFL
Lovász László

(1948-03-09) March 9, 1948
NationalityHungarian, American
Alma materEötvös Loránd University, Budapest
Hungarian Academy of Sciences
AwardsKyoto 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
FieldsMathematics, Computer Science
InstitutionsEötvös Loránd University, Yale University, Princeton University
Doctoral advisorTibor Gallai
Doctoral studentsAndrás Frank
Tamás Szőnyi
Van Vu


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]

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


Lovász received his Candidate of Sciences (C.Sc.) degree in 1970 at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. His advisor was Tibor Gallai.[6]

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. Former and current scientists of the department include György Elekes, András Frank, József Beck, Éva Tardos, András Hajnal, Lajos Pósa, Miklós Simonovits, Tamás Szőnyi.

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).[7]

In 2014 he was elected the President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA).[8]

Lovász is married to Katalin Vesztergombi;[9] as high school students, he and Vesztergombi both participated in the same program for students gifted in mathematics,[10] 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)[11] and Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (2007), honorary member[12] 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.[13] Lovász is listed as an ISI highly cited researcher.[14]

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. "László Lovász,Director, Institute of Mathematics , Eötvös Loránd University Budapest, Hungary". fields. 11 February 2008. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  7. "LOVÁSZ, László". World Science Forum. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  8. Magyar Tudományos Akadémia: "Lovász László a Magyar Tudományos Akadémia új elnöke", 2014/05/06 (in Hungarian)
  9. "Édes teher: zseni az apám (interview with László Lovász)", NOL (in Hungarian), July 12, 2013
  10. 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
  11. "L. Lovász". Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 8 February 2016. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  12. LMS homepage
  13. List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved 2013-02-02.
  14. 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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