Events & Awards

2019 Bolyai Prize goes to Albert-László Barabási

Internationally-recognized mathematician, philosopher and author of numerous books, Albert-László Barabási won the 2019 Bolyai Prize.

Awarded every five years to a mathematician who has made paradigm-changing scientific contributions, the Bolyai Prize is one of the most esteemed awards in the field of mathematics. Barabási earned the prestigious prize with his soon-to-be-published Formula, a volume about social network theory, alongside decades of invaluable research achievements. An associate member of the Center of Cancer Systems Biology at the Dana-Farer Cancer Institute of Harvard University, the Distinguished Professor and Director of Northeastern University’s Center for Complex Network Research and a visiting professor at the Center for Network Science of Central European University, there’s hardly any accomplishment in his field that Barabási hasn’t achieved. 

Albert-László Barabási, author of an influential network theory

As a leading scholar of network theory, Barabási wrote revolutionary volumes including Network Science in 2016, Bursts in 2010, and Linked in 2002. Formula, his next book will be published in September 2019. In a previous interview with Corvinus Kiosk, the academic said that the volume revolves around several years of research into how success is evaluated. Differentiating between the two main concepts, success and performance, Barabási writes that the former is socially-mediated, while the latter is an individual-focused phenomenon. Having studied the geniuses who transformed their respective fields, Barabási notes that vast numbers have failed to attain nation-wide, sector-wide, or even community-wide recognition, despite the incredible work produced.

Another important aspect of the book is that it outlines how digital innovation can be used to track movement and make precise predictions about human behavior. As Barabási explained to Corvinus Kiosk, technology has evolved so significantly in recent years that by using data about a person’s movements and activities taking place within the course of 24 hours, they can foretell where the person will be at 3 pm the following day with nearly 100 percent accuracy.

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