Indian-Australian Akshay Venkatesh wins ‘Nobel of mathematics’ Fields medal

Venkatesh won the honour on Wednesday for his “profound contributions to an exceptionally broad range of subjects in mathematics.”

Akshay Venkatesh, an Indian-Australian mathematician, is among the four winners of the Fields Medal, regarded as the Nobel prize in mathematics.

New Delhi-born Venkatesh, 36, won the honour on Wednesday for his "profound contributions to an exceptionally broad range of subjects in mathematics."

Venkatesh began his undergraduate degree in mathematics and physics at the University of Western Australia when he was 13, AFP reported. At Stanford University in the United States, Venkatesh specialises in number theory and describes his work in terms more often associated with the artistic fields.

"A lot of the time, when you do math, you're stuck. But you feel privileged to work with it: you have a feeling of transcendence and feel like you've been part of something really meaningful," Venkatesh was quoted by AFP as saying.

The citation for his medal, which was awarded at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Rio de Janeiro, highlights his "profound contributions to an exceptionally broad range of subjects in mathematics" and his "strikingly far-reaching conjectures."

The Fields medals are awarded every four years to the most promising mathematicians under the age of 40. The other three winners are: Caucher Birkar, a Cambridge University professor of Iranian-Kurdish origin; Germany's Peter Scholze, who teaches at the University of Bonn, and Alessio Figalli, an Italian mathematician at ETH Zurich.

Each winner receives a 15,000 Canadian-dollar cash prize. At least two, and preferably four people, are always honoured in the award ceremony.

The prize was inaugurated in 1932 at the request of Canadian mathematician John Charles Fields, who ran the 1924 Mathematics Congress in Toronto.

 

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