Akshay Venkatesh, an Indian-Australian researcher, is the winner of the Fields Medal, also known as the “Nobel Prize of Mathematics”. He is the 2nd Australian to bag the most prestigious award in mathematics in the world.
Once every four years, the Fields Medal is awarded by the International Mathematics Union. The award recognizes outstanding achievements of mathematical scholars under 40 years of age.
Professor Venkatesh, 36, has been working at Stanford University and has been noted for a wide range of subjects in mathematics. His subjects include arithmetic geometry, number theory, representation theory, and homogeneous dynamics.
According to SBS, the Fields Medal citation read that Prof. Venkatesh had solved many longstanding problems. He did so by combining methods from apparently unconnected areas, presented a unique perspective on classical problems, and produced remarkably extensive conjectures.
Prof. Venkatesh’s work encompasses number theory, representation theory and ergodic theory, and automorphic forms.
Born in New Delhi, India in 1981, Prof. Akshay Venkatesh, later on, moved to Perth in Australia. A child prodigy, he went on to become the only Australian to win medals at the International Mathematics Olympiad and International Physics Olympiad. And, he did all that at the tender age of just 12.
At 13, he was the youngest ever student to enter the University of Western Australia. He graduated with a BSc in Maths and Physics at just 16 years of age. He enrolled for his doctoral degree at Princeton University at 17 and received his PhD when he was 21.
Prof. Venkatesh’s mother works at Deakin University as a professor of Computer Science. She describes him as a normal and happy child while growing up in a normal family.
Others who won the Fields Medal 2018 are Alessio Figalli, Peter Scholze, and Caucher Birkar.
Prof. Venkatesh also won the Infosys Prize in Mathematical Science in 2016. In the past, he has also received the Salem Prize and the Packard Fellowship in 2007. He is also the recipient of the SASTRA Ramanujam Prize in 2008 and the Ostrowski Prize in 2017.
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