Akshay Venkatesh, who was born in New Delhi and moved to Australia at the age two, has won the Fields Medal, which is often called the Nobel Prize of Mathematics.
The Fields Medal, first awarded in 1936, came into prominence after it was highlighted in the movie Good Will Hunting in 1997. It is awarded to mathematicians 40 years or younger, every four years.
Venkatesh, a 36-year-old Australian, who is presently teaching at Stanford University in the United States, is among four mathematicians to have received the prestigious award in 2018.
The others are Caucher Birkar, 40, a Kurdish refugee who became a Cambridge University Professor, Alessio Figalli, 34, an Italian mathematician at ETH Zurich and Peter Scholze, a mathematics professor at the University of Bonn, who is only 30-years-old.
The Indian-origin professor has been recognized for “profound contributions to an exceptionally broad range of subjects in mathematics, including number theory, homogeneous dynamics, representation theory and arithmetic geometry. He solved many longstanding problems by combining methods from seemingly unrelated areas, presented novel viewpoints on classical problems, and produced strikingly far-reaching conjectures.”
His short citation reads, “For his synthesis of analytic number theory, homogeneous dynamics, topology, and representation theory, which has resolved long-standing problems in areas such as the equidistribution of arithmetic objects.”
While discussing Venkatesh’s work, Jordan Ellenberg, a mathematician at the University of Wisconsin, told The New York Times,
“He truly is a universal mathematician,” said Dr. Ellenberg, who has worked on problems with Dr. Venkatesh. “His work has gone in a lot of different directions.”
Jordan Ellenberg, a mathematician at the University of Wisconsin, told The New York Times,