British mathematician Sir Andrew J. Wiles has won the Abel Prize in math for cracking a centuries-old hypothesis.

Norway's Academy of Science and Letters said Tuesday he was given the annual award "for his stunning proof of (French mathematician Pierre de) Fermat's Last Theorem by way of the modularity conjecture for semi-stable elliptic curves, opening a new era in number theory."

It said in 1994, the 62-year-old cracked the theorem, which was "the most famous, and long-running, unsolved problem in the subject's history." It was first conjectured by de Fermat in 1637.

Wiles, who has honorary degrees from a string of British and American universities, including Oxford, Cambridge, Columbia and Yale, will receive the 6 million kroner ($710,000) award at a ceremony on May 24 in Oslo.

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