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Math History

Why isn't there a Nobel Prize for math?

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May 08, 2014 4:31PM

No one's exactly sure why there's no Nobel prize for math.

One story claims that Alfred Nobel decided against a prize for mathematics because Nobel believed Gösta Mittag-Leffler would be likely to win it, and Nobel had had a romantic rivalry with him over Signe Lindfors (Mittag-Leffler's wife).

However, there's no historical evidence to support this story, and it's not known exactly why no prize was created for mathematics. It's possible that Nobel simply didn't find it interesting enough.