Fields Medal is considered as the Nobel Prize of Mathematics

Dr. Manjul Bhargava is the first person of Indian origin to win this medal

This year the Fields Medal which is considered ‘Nobel Prize’ of Mathematics has been awarded to Dr. Manjul Bhargava who is an Adjunct Professor with the University of Hyderabad (UoH) at the School of Mathematics. Dr. Manjul Bhargava is a mathematician from Princeton University and he is the first person of Indian origin to receive this award in its seventy eight years of history.

Prof. Kumaresan with Dr Manjul Bhargava

Prof. Kumaresan with Dr. Manjul Bhargava

One to four Fields Medals are awarded once every four years to mathematicians under the age of 40 years at the International Congress of the International Mathematical Union (IMU), which meets every four years. The presentation will take place in Seoul on Wednesday at the quadrennial IMU Congress (University of Hyderabad had hosted it at the HICC in 2010). Prof. S Kumaresan, Dean, School of Mathematics and Prof. T Suman Kumar of UoH are presently in Seoul to attend the ICM and shall be a witness to this historic moment. For the first time a woman has won this most prestigious mathematics prize. Maryam Mirzakhani, an Iranian mathematics Professor at Stanford University in California, was named the first female winner of the Fields Medal. The other winners include Martin Hairer, an Austrian based at Warwick University in the UK, and Artur Avila, a Brazilian-French researcher at the Institute of Mathematics of Jussieu in Paris. Avila is also the first Brazilian and Latin American to win the medal.

Dr. Manjul who was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Bhargava is no stranger to India or to Indian mathematicians. His mother, Mira Bhargava, is herself a rare lady mathematician, teaching at Hofstra University. Manjul has also collaborated with many Indian mathematicians, and his work with fellow Princeton scholar Arul Shankar, his PhD student, won them the Fermat Prize in 2011. Manjul’s own PhD advisor was Andrew Wiles, famous for proving Fermat’s last theorem.

Bhargava was awarded the 2012 Infosys Prize in mathematics for his “extraordinarily original work in algebraic number theory, which has revolutionized the way in which number fields and elliptic curves are counted.” That came on top of almost every other top prize in maths, from the SASTRA Ramanujan Prize in 2005 to the American mathematical Society’s Cole Prize in 2008.

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