Fields Medal awarded to Akshay Venkatesh of Western Australia

By Rekha Bhattacharjee

Indian born genius Akshay Venkatesh 36 was the youngest ever student at the University of Western Australia at age 14. Currently he is teaching Mathematics at Stanford University

Dr Venkatesh received the honour for his “profound contributions to an exceptionally broad range of subjects in Mathematics’.

Previous to the Field’s Medal 2018, he received Sastra Ramanujan Prize in 2008 and Ostrowski Prize in 2017.

The Field’s Medal is awarded every four years to four mathematicians by The International Congress of Mathematicians for “outstanding mathematical achievement” by researchers under 40. The Medal and cash prize are funded by J C Fields at University of Toronto.

Professor Venkatesh’s major work has been on number theory: the study of pure numbers.

Number theorists try to solve extremely difficult equations, a theoretical branch of mathematics dedicated to studying integers. This has applications in cryptography — writing or solving codes.

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