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

In war-torn Iran Caucher Birkar found solace in mathematics

In war-torn Iran Caucher Birkar found solace in mathematics

Akshay Venkatesh is now a professor of mathematics at Stanford University, in the United States, and will soon be moving to join the faculty at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton.

The 36-year-old has been recognised with the Fields Medal, which is awarded once every four years to between two and four people under the age of 40 "to recognize outstanding mathematical achievement for existing work". He established himself as an exceptional mathematical mind.

He grew up in Perth and, at 13, became the youngest person to study at the University of Western Australia, where he went straight into second-year maths courses after he proved he could write the exam papers for all the first-year subjects.

Praeger, a professor of mathematics at UWA and a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, has known Venkatesh since he was 12, and supervised his honours thesis when he was 15.

"At Akshay's request I explained what the problem was".

In 2010, a 22-year-old graduate student named Peter Scholze won widespread acclaim after condensing a 288-page proof into a svelte 37 pages.

After graduating from UWA in 1997 with a science degree with first-class honours, aged just 16, he went on to complete his PhD at Princeton University in the United States when he was 20.

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Number theory, Akshay's main area of research, is one of the central areas of mathematics.

One of the main tools used in the study of prime numbers is what are called L-functions - the most famous of which is the Riemann zeta function introduced in the 1800s.

This problem had been identified in 1999 as one of the four most important problems in the area, and involved providing good upper bounds on the values that these functions can take.

Who are the other Fields Medal winners of 2018?

Recipients of the medal are also rewarded £8,750 for their contributions to the field of mathematics. He conceived the award to celebrate the great achievements in the area.

Caucher Birkar, a Cambridge University professor, was awarded the prize on Wednesday during a ceremony at the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Each victor receives a cash prize of 15,000 Canadian dollars (Rs 7.88 lakh). Figalli, now 34 and at the university ETH Zurich, jokes that the one equation still baffling him is how to spend more time with his professor wife.

As for Germany's Peter Scholze, who was awarded the Fields medal for his work in arithmetic algebraic geometry, he says there'll never be an end to the challenges he faces.

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