Aussie Fields Medalist speaks

Once the youngest ever BSc graduate in Australia, Akshay Venkatesh shares mathematics’ top honour.

Australian Academy of Science
An Australian mathematician with tenure at America’s Stanford University was one of four scholars award this year’s Fields Medal – often called the Nobel Prize for maths.

Number theorist Akshay Venkatesh won the medal – which is only awarded every four years – along with Alessio Figalli, Caucher Birkar and Peter Scholze.

“A lot of the time when you do 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,” he said in an interview shortly after being awarded the prize during the International Congress of Mathematics, held in Brazil.

“And you have this sensation of transcendence, you feel like you’ve been part of something really meaningful.”

Here, he describes his work and the journey that took him to his discipline’s most prestigious accolade.

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