UWA awards honorary doctorate to youngest student

Professor Akshay Venkatesh, the youngest-ever student to enrol at The University of Western Australia and last year’s recipient of the prestigious Fields Medal for mathematics, will be awarded an honorary doctorate at a special ceremony to be held at UWA’s Winthrop Hall tomorrow.

In recognition of his outstanding contribution to mathematics at an international level, the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters will be conferred on Professor Venkatesh, who will also deliver a free public lecture tomorrow at UWA.

The 37-year-old mathematician was just 13 when he enrolled at UWA in a four-year Bachelor of Science with Honours, which he completed in three years making him the youngest person to earn first class honours in pure mathematics.

Professor Venkatesh graduated from UWA in 1998 at the age of 16 and was awarded the JA Wood Memorial Prize as the most outstanding graduating student.

He went on to undertake a PhD at Princeton University in the US, which he completed in 2002 and became a full professor at Stanford University in 2008. He joined Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study in 2018.

Often referred to as ‘the Nobel Prize for mathematicians’, the Fields Medal is awarded every four years to two to four researchers aged under 40 to recognise outstanding mathematical achievement for existing work and for the promise of future achievement.

Professor Venkatesh’s public lecture Geometry and the theory of numbers, will be held at UWA’s Octagon Theatre, from 2.30pm to 3.30pm and registrations are essential.


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Simone Hewett (UWA Media & PR Adviser)                                                       08 6488 7975

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