Renowned Indian-origin mathematician Akshay Venkatesh is amongst four winners of prestigious Fields Medal award, considered to be the Nobel Prize of mathematics. 36-year-old Venkatesh has been awarded Fields Medal for his profound contributions in mathematics. The award was announced on Wednesday at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Rio de Janeiro. The award is given to most promising mathematicians under the age of 40 and is announced every fourth year. New Delhi-born Venkatesh, is a professor at Stanford University. He is all set to move to the School of Mathematics of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton.
Venkatesh, a child prodigy, is the second Indian-origin mathematician to win the prize. Before him, Manjul Bhargava, a Princeton University professor, won this acclaimed award in 2014.
Other mathematicians who have been awarded Fields Medal this year are - 34-year-old Alessio Figalli of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, 40-year-old Caucher Birkar of the University of Cambridge and Peter Scholze, of the University of Bonn. The winners of the award get a gold medal and cash price of Canadian $15,000.
The prize is named after Canadian mathematician John Charles Fields on whose request it was started in 1932. Charles ran the 1924 Mathematics Congress in Toronto.
Who is Akshay Venkatesh?
Born in New Delhi, Venkatesh moved to Perth, Australia, when he was two years old. He won his first prize at the age of 12, even before completing his high school. He won medals at the International Mathematics Olympiad and International Physics Olympiad.
He graduated with a first class honours degree in mathematics from University of Western Australia. After completing his PhD from Princeton University, he became instructor at Massachusetts Institute of the Technology (MIT) and later joined Stanford University as a professor.
Ostrowski Prize, the Salem Prize, the Infosys Prize, and Sastra Ramanujan Prize are some of the prizes that Venkatesh won for his research work.