Indian-origin academic wins ‘Nobel Prize’ for maths

BhargavaManjul Bhargava has done India proud. A mathematician of Indian-origin, he has won the prestigious Fields Medal, considered the ‘Nobel Prize for mathematics’.

According to the award citation, Bhargava “is awarded a Fields Medal for developing powerful new methods in the geometry of numbers, which he applied to count rings of small rank and to bound the average rank of elliptic curves.”

Bhargava, a professor of mathematics at Princeton University, was among four winners of the celebrated award. Iranian-born Maryam Mirzakhani, Martin Hairer and Artur Avila, were the other winners.

Mirzakhani, who works in the US, became the first ever female winner of the Fields Medal.

Bhargava has previously been awarded the SASTRA Ramanujan prize in 2005, and the Infosys Prize in 2012.

The Fields Medal, officially known as International Medal for Outstanding Discoveries in Mathematics, is a prize awarded to mathematicians under the age of 40 years at each International Congress of the International Mathematical Union (IMU). The medals will be presented to the winners in Seoul at the meeting of the International Congress of Mathematicians, held every four years.

The IMU website praised Bhargava as “a mathematician of extraordinary creativity, he has a taste for simple problems of timeless beauty, which he has solved by developing elegant and powerful new methods that offer deep insights.”

Born in 1974 in Canada to Indian immigrants, he grew up primarily in the US but spent some time in India as well. He has been teaching at Princeton since 2003.

“I am of course very honoured to be receiving the Fields Medal, said Bhargava, adding: “it is a great source of encouragement and inspiration.”

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