The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has decided to award the Abel Prize for 2008 to John Griggs Thompson, University of Florida and Jacques Tits, Collège de France. Thompson and Tits receives the Abel Prize “for their profound achievements in algebra and in particular for shaping modern group theory”.
The committee's citation can be read here. Thompson and Walter Feit are the authors of the famous Odd Order Paper, filling a whole issue of the Pacific Journal of Mathematics. Georges Gonthier is leading an effort that aims to produce a computer-checked proof of this famous result in group theory.