Terence Tao – Recipient of Fields Medal in Mathematics at 31 in 2006

Terence Tao (born 17 July 1975, Adelaide, Australia), is a  Professor at the Department of Mathematics, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)who has worked in various areas of mathematics. He currently focuses on harmonic analysis, partial differential equations, algebraic combinatorics,arithmetic combinatorics, geometric combinatorics, compressed sensing and analytic number theory. As of 2015, he holds the James and Carol Collins chair in mathematics at the University of California, Los Angeles. Tao was a co-recipient of the 2006 Fields Medal and the 2014 Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics. Tao maintains a personal mathematics blog,[2] which has been described by Timothy Gowers as “the undisputed king of all mathematics blogs”

Tao exhibited extraordinary mathematical abilities from an early age, attending university level mathematics courses at the age of 9. He and Lenhard Ng are the only two children in the history of the Johns Hopkins’ Study of Exceptional Talent program to have achieved a score of 700 or greater on the SAT math section while just nine years old. Tao scored a 760.[3] In 1986, 1987, and 1988, Tao was the youngest participant to date in the International Mathematical Olympiad, first competing at the age of ten, winning a bronze, silver, and gold medal respectively. He remains the youngest winner of each of the three medals in the Olympiad’s history, winning the gold medal shortly after his thirteenth birthday.

 10yr old Tao with Paul Erdős in 1985

At age 14, Tao attended the Research Science Institute. When he was 15 he published his first assistant paper. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the age of 16 from Flinders University under Garth Gaudry. In 1992 he won a Fulbright Scholarship to undertake postgraduate study in the United States. From 1992 to 1996, Tao was a graduate student at Princeton University under the direction of Elias Stein, receiving his PhD at the age of 21.[4] He joined the faculty of the University of California, Los Angeles in 1996. When he was 24, he was promoted to full professor at UCLA and remains the youngest person ever appointed to that rank by the institution.

Within the field of mathematics, Tao is known for his collaboration with Ben J. Green of Oxford University; together they proved the Green–Tao theorem. Known for his collaborative mindset, by 2006 Tao had worked with over 30 others in his discoveries,[10] reaching 68 co-authors by October 2015.

In a book review, the mathematician Timothy Gowers remarked on Tao’s accomplishments:

Tao’s mathematical knowledge has an extraordinary combination of breadth and depth: he can write confidently and authoritatively on topics as diverse as partial differential equations, analytic number theory, the geometry of 3-manifolds, nonstandard analysis, group theory, model theory, quantum mechanics, probability, ergodic theory, combinatorics, harmonic analysis, image processing, functional analysis, and many others. Some of these are areas to which he has made fundamental contributions. Others are areas that he appears to understand at the deep intuitive level of an expert despite officially not working in those areas. How he does all this, as well as writing papers and books at a prodigious rate, is a complete mystery. It has been said that Hilbert was the last person to know all of mathematics, but it is not easy to find gaps in Tao’s knowledge, and if you do then you may well find that the gaps have been filled a year later.

Tao has won numerous honors and awards over the years.[11]

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, the Australian Academy of Sciences (Corresponding Member), the National Academy of Sciences (Foreign member), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and theAmerican Mathematical Society.[12] In 2006, he received the Fields Medal “for his contributions to partial differential equations, combinatorics, harmonic analysis and additive number theory”, and in 2006, he was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship. He has been featured in The New York Times, CNN, USA Today, Popular Science, and many other media outlets.[13]

As of 2013 Tao has published over 250 research papers and 17 books.[14] He has received numerous awards and honours as outlined below:

For more details, visit: https://terrytao.wordpress.com/

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