Akshay Venkatesh is an Australian Mathematician of Indian Origin. Venkatesh became to be one of the most promising mathematicians under the age of 40. He has done tremendous research in the fields of counting, equidistribution problems in automorphic forms and number theory, representation theory, locally symmetric spaces and ergodic theory. Till date, he remains to be the only Australian to win medals at both the International Physics Olympiad and International Mathematical Olympiad at the tender age of 12. Check out Akshay Venkatesh Wiki, Age, Wife, Children, Family, Caste, Education, Nationality, Biography and more.
Akshay Venkatesh was born in Delhi, India. When he was just 2 years old, Akshay and his parents moved to Perth, Australia. Akshay has been awarded many prestigious awards for his contribution in the field of mathematical research. He is acclaimed internationally for winning Mathematics’ prestigious Fields Medal, known as the Nobel prize for math. According to the award citation, Venkatesh, a number theorist, became the recipient because of his ‘profound contributions to an exceptionally broad range of subjects in mathematics.’ According to The Guardian, the New Delhi-born mathematician was recognized for his use of dynamics theory, which studies the equations of moving objects to solve problems in number theory, which is the study of whole numbers, integers and prime numbers.
Akshay Venkatesh’s physical appearance is that of a normal average person with 6′ height, 70 kg weight and has black eyes and his hair are salt and pepper.
Family, Religion, And Wife
Akshay Venkatesh was born on 21 November 1981 (36 years) at Delhi, India. He belongs to a middle-class Hindu Tamil Brahmin family. He is the only child of Venky Venkatesh and Svetha. His mother is a Computer Science Professor at Deakin University.
Akshay Venkatesh is married to Sarah Paden, a music teacher and has two daughters Tara and Tuli.
When his parents moved to Perth, Akshay got enrolled in Scotch college, where he attended extracurricular training classes for gifted students in the state mathematical Olympiad program.
In 1995, at the age of 13, Venkatesh entered the University of Western Australia as the youngest-ever student at the institution, where he went straight into second-year maths courses after proving that he could write the exam papers for all the first-year subjects.
He attended top colleges and universities like the University of Western Australia, Princeton University and the Clay Mathematics Institute, Oxford, United Kingdom. Akshay obtained a First Class Honours in Pure mathematics from the University of Western Australia in 1997. Under the expert guidance of Peter Sarnak, he received a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Princeton University in 2002. Akshay’s Ph.D. thesis was focussed on ‘Limiting Forms of the Trace Formula‘. Akshay did his Post Doctoral Fellowship from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Research and Career
Venkatesh’s field of interest is Mathematics. The Number Theory is his area of expertise. While pursuing his Post Doctoral Fellowship, he was also serving as a C.L.E. Moore instructor. From 2004 to 2006, he held a Clay Research Fellowship from the Clay Mathematics Institute. He has also served as an associate professor at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University. From 2005 to 2006, Venkatesh served as a member of the School of Mathematics at the Institute for Advanced Study. Since September 2008, Akshay Venkatesh has been a Professor at Stanford University.
Venkatesh has made great contributions to a wide variety of areas in Mathematics including Number Theory, Representation Theory, Automorphic Forme, Ergodic Theory, and Locally Symmetric Spaces. Speaking at an event in 2016, he described his work as “looking for new patterns in the arithmetic of numbers.”
- In 1993, at the age of 11, he won a Bronze medal at the 24th International Physics Olympiad in Williamsburg, Virginia.
- In 1994, after being at the second place in the Australian Mathematical Olympiad, Venkatesh won a silver medal in the 6th Asian Pacific Mathematics Olympiad. The same year, he won a Bronze medal in the International Mathematics Olympiad held in Hong Kong.
- In 1997, he was awarded First Class Honours in Pure Mathematics, the youngest ever to achieve this feat. The same year, Venkatesh was awarded the J. A. Woods Memorial Prize for being the leading graduating student of the year.
- In 1998, under Peter Sarnak, he commenced his Ph.D. at the age of 17 at Princeton University, which he completed in 2002 at the age of 21.
- In 2007, Akshay received Salem Prize.
- He was awarded SASTRA Ramanujan Prize in the subsequent year.
- In 2016, Infosys Prize was conferred to him.
- Venkatesh was bestowed with Ostrowski Prize in 2017.
- Akshay Venkatesh is one of the youngest mathematicians to win the prestigious Fields Medal, Mathematics’ top honor, also known as the Nobel Prize for Maths.
- Akshay Venkatesh’s favourite sports is cricket.
- He likes coffee.
- The book ‘War and Peace‘ by Leo Tolstoy is his all-time favourite.
Lesser Known Facts
- He does not smoke or drink alcohol.
- His hobbies include reading books and travelling.
- He has also participated in Physics and Math Olympiads and won medals in the two subjects at ages 11 and 12, respectively.
- In 2002, he earned his Ph.D. at the just the age of 20.
- Indian-Australian mathematician, Akshay Venkatesh, was awarded at the International Congress of the International Mathematical Union in Rio de Janeiro as one of the four winners of the prestigious Fields Medal for the year 2018.
- The other three who won the 2018 Fields Medal are Alessio Figalli from ETH Zurich in Switzerland, who is an Italian; Caucher Birkar from Cambridge, a Kurdish man who came to Britain as a refugee; and Peter Scholze from Bonn University, who is German.
- Prof Cheryl Praeger, one of his early mentors, said he had always been “extraordinary.” Recalling her first meeting with Venkatesh when he was 11 years old, the professor said, “At our first meeting, I was speaking with Akshay’s mother, Svetha, while Akshay was sitting at a table in my office reading my blackboard which contained fragments from a supervision of one of my Ph.D. students. “At Akshay’s request, I explained what the problem was. He coped with quite a lot of detail and I found that he could easily grasp the essence of the research.”
- In an interview, Venkatesh said, “I decided that I wanted to be a professional mathematician towards the end of my under graduation.” He also said that while going into his Ph.D., he wasn’t sure that he would be able to find a job as a mathematician.
- In 2018, after receiving the Fields Medal, the highest honour in Mathematics, he said: “A lot of the time when you do the math, you’re stuck, but at the same time there are all these moments where you feel privileged that you get to work with it. You have this sensation of transcendence, you feel like you’ve been part of something really meaningful.”
- A glimpse of Akshay Venkatesh’s life in his own words: