Akshay Venkatesh: What the genius mathematician did to become a Field Medal winner

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New Delhi | Published: August 3, 2018 1:35:26 PM

Akshay Venkatesh, the Indian-born Australian mathematician who recently won the Fields Medal for Mathematics, also known as the Nobel prize for Math, managed to create a path for himself at a small age.

Akshay Venkatesh, Field Medal,Field Medal winner, Australian mathematician, Fields Medal for Mathematics, Nobel prize for Math, International Congress of Mathematicians, world newsIndia-born Australian mathematician Akshay Venkatesh. (Photo: IE)

Akshay Venkatesh, the Indian-born Australian mathematician who recently won the Fields Medal for Mathematics, also known as the Nobel prize for Math, managed to create a path for himself at a small age. Akshay Venkatesh was awarded to recognise his efforts for his synthesis of analytic number theory, homogeneous dynamics, topology, and representation theory.

He was awarded at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday for his “profound contributions to an exceptionally broad range of subjects in mathematics” and his “strikingly far-reaching conjectures.” Along with this, Venkatesh along with three other people also received a 15,000 Canadian-dollar cash prize.

Son of two Indian nationals, Venkatesh was born in the country but he moved to Perth, Australia, with his parents at the age of 2. He has had quite a journey from being a child prodigy to becoming a genius mathematician. When he was just 11 years old, Venkatesh won an award in Physics Olympiad. At 12, he won the same for Maths. At the age of 13, he completed his high school and then at the age of 16, he graduated from the University of Western Australia with first class honours in mathematics in 1997.

By the time Venkatesh turned 20, he had earned his PhD. He has won awards that include the Ostrowski Prize, the Infosys Prize, the Salem Prize and Sastra Ramanujan Prize. He holds a post-doctoral position at MIT and has also become a Clay Research Fellow. In the present, Venkatesh is a professor at Stanford University.

Venkatesh is the second person of an Indian descent after Manjul Bhargava to win the Fields Medal. Bhargava who is a Canadian-American mathematician had set a record in 2014 by winning the Fields Medal for Mathematics. Apart from his this year, three more people won the award the reputable award, including Cambridge University’s Caucher Birkar, Germany’s Peter Scholze and ETH Zurich’s Alessio Figalli.

The Fields medal is awarded to most promising mathematicians under the age of 40 every 4 years. The first prize was given back in 1932 at the inauguration of the ceremony.

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