Akshay Venkatesh, Australian-Indian, wins Fields Medal

New-Delhi born Akshay Venkatesh is one of the four winners of this years Fields Medal. This prestigious medal is awarded once in every four years to the most promising mathematicians under the age of 40. The prize was inaugurated in 1932 due to the request of Canadian mathematician John Charles Fields, who ran the 1924 Mathematics Congress in Toronto. Each winner receives a 15,000 Canadian-dollar cash prize. At least two, and preferably four people, are always honored in the award ceremony.

Who is Akshay Venkatesh?

Akshay was a child prodigy. He was born in New Delhi but moved to Perth with his parents when he was 2. He participated in physics and maths Olympiad and won medals in the two subjects at ages 11 and 12, respectively.

At 13, became the youngest person to study at the University of Western Australia. He went straight into second-year maths courses after he proved he could write the exam papers for all the first-year subjects. He earned first-class honors in pure mathematics aged 16 – again the youngest to do so – before studying at Princeton.

In 2002, he earned his PhD at the age of 20. Since then, he has gone from holding a post-doctoral position at MIT to becoming a Clay Research Fellow and, now a professor at Stanford University.

Venkatesh has worked at the highest level in number theory, arithmetic geometry, topology, automorphic forms and ergodic theory.

His research has been recognized with many awards, including the Ostrowski Prize, the Infosys Prize, the Salem Prize and Sastra Ramanujan Prize.


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