American mathematicians Nash, Nirenberg share Norwegian $820,000 Abel Prize

American mathematicians John F. Nash Jr. and Louis Nirenberg have won this year's Abel Prize in mathematics.

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters said Wednesday that the two "mathematical giants of the 20th century" made breakthroughs that have become "essential tools for the study of nonlinear partial differential equations."

The 86-year-old Nash, known for the 2001 film about him, "A Beautiful Mind," is author of a paper about game theory that helped him win the 1994 Nobel prize in economics.

The awarding committee said that Canadian-born Nirenberg, age 90, has had "one of the longest and most feted careers in mathematics" with many results named after him and his collaborators.

The annual 6 million kroner ($820,000) award will be presented in Oslo on May 19.