“I think just manipulating numbers makes me feel happy.” This quote from the Indian born mathematician, after winning the prestigious Fields Medal (2018) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, sums up his passion for mathematics.
Meet the 36-year-old Akshay Venkatesh, a Stanford University Professor who finished high school at the age of 13, got his undergraduate degree at the age of 16, and finished his Ph.D. at age 20 from Princeton University. A child prodigy, he won the bronze medal in the International Physics Olympiad at age 11 and another bronze medal in the International Mathematical Olympiad at age 12. He is also the recipient of the Ostrowski Prize, the Infosys Prize, the Salem Prize and Sastra Ramanujan prize.
What is the Fields Medal?
Considered the most prestigious award in the field of mathematics, the Field’s medal or the International Medal for Outstanding Discoveries in Mathematics is also known as the ‘Nobel Prize in Mathematics’. It is awarded to two to four mathematicians under the age of 40 every 4 years. The winners gets a gold medal with the profile of Archimedes and a cash prize of 15,000 Canadian Dollars.
This year, Akshay Venkatesh shared this award along with 3 other recipients – Alessio Figalli (Italy), Peter Scholze (Germany) and Caucher Biker (Iranian Kurdish Origin, Britain).
Written by: Preetika Soni. Preetika is a freelance content writer and transcriptionist. Her interests are photography, crochet, and finding answers for her 3 year old son’s ‘But Why’ questions.