02 Aug 2018
India-born Akshay Venkatesh wins Fields Medal, the 'Nobel' of mathematics
New-Delhi born and Australia-bred Akshay Venkatesh has made India real proud.
He's one of the four winners of the prestigious Fields medal, which is often called the 'Nobel Prize' for mathematics (there's no Nobel for mathematics).
The 36-year-old, who recently shifted from Stanford University to teach at Princeton, won the medal for his "profound contributions" to a "broad range of subjects in mathematics."
Former child prodigy wins his subject's highest honor
Venkatesh, a former child prodigy, graduated from University of Western Australia (UWA) in Pure Mathematics when he was 16.
Yesterday, he received his subject's highest tribute, which included a 15,000 Canadian dollar cash prize, at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Rio de Janeiro.
He was honored for his use of dynamic-theory, which studies equations of moving objects to solve problems in number theory.
'You feel like you've been part of something really meaningful'
Venkatesh, who describes mathematics as an art that takes him "to a state of transcendence," said that, it felt "like you've been part of something really meaningful."
His mother Svetha, a Deakin University computer science professor, expressed pride on his achievement.
His mentor Cheryl Praeger, retired UWA mathematics professor, said Venkatesh had always been an extraordinary child and loved everything about mathematics.
Field of work
Solved subconvexity problem using own theory
Venkatesh's brilliance came through when he solved the "subconvexity problem" using his own techniques.
He's also known to use representation theory (represents abstract algebra in terms of linear algebra) and topology theory (study of properties of structures that are deformed through stretching or twisting).
Venkatesh is the second Australian to win the award after Terry Tao, who won in 2006.
Others: Professors of Cambridge, Bonn varsity, ETH Zurich
The Fields medal is given every four years to a minimum of two and maximum four mathematicians aged under 40.
Venkatesh is accompanied by Caucher Birkar, Cambridge University professor of Iranian-Kurdish origin; Germany's Peter Scholze, who teaches at University of Bonn; and Alessio Figalli, an Italian mathematician at ETH Zurich.
Bizarrely, Birkar's medal got stolen before the ceremony. Efforts are on to retrieve it.