It deserves mention that an Australian, Terence Tao has won the Fields Medal for mathematics becoming the first Australian to win the prize. Up to four Fields Medals are handed out once every four years, and it is the mathematics equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

AT THE age of two, Terence Tao could already add up and subtract using the magnetic numbers his parents stuck on the fridge.

At eight, he scored better than 99 per cent of 17-year-old prospective university students on an international aptitude test for mathematics.

The Adelaide-born prodigy was appointed a professor at 24, and now, at 31, has become the first Australian to win a Fields Medal, the mathematics equivalent of a Nobel prize.

The award was presented in Madrid yesterday by Spain’s King Juan Carlos I at a congress attended by 4000 international mathematicians.

Its a bit difficult to work out what exactly he won it for as the Medal is not awarded for specific pieces of work. His website states a fairly broad area of mathematical interest, although it is suggested here that:

It is awarded for a body of work rather than a single achievement but Professor Tao is most recently celebrated for showing, with Ben Green of Cambridge, that there are long strings of prime numbers a constant distance apart, work that is important for the coding of information such as banking details.

Well done Terence.

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