Mathematician Terence Tao Awarded "Genius" Grant
Shortly after winning the Fields Medal in August, commonly regarded as the "Nobel Prize in Mathematics", 31-year-old UCLA mathmatician Terence Tao went on to receive the MacArthur Grant, a sum of $500,000 given out to its recipients over five years.
The "genius" grants, as the fellowships have come to be known, are given out by the Chicago-based John and Catherine MacArthur Foundation to recognise nominated individuals in a variety of fields for their "exceptional creativity and promise".
Born in Adelaide, Australia in 1975, Tao, a child prodigy, started taking calculus courses at a local high school from age 7, progressed to university-level calculus at 9 and graduated with honours from Flinders University in Australia with a bachlor's degree with honours at 16. By 21, Tao had obtained a doctorate degree from Princeton, whereupon he joined the UCLA mathmatics department, where he was promoted to full professor at 24.
Terence Tao's work is characterised by breadth and depth, technical brilliance and profound insight, covering a range of difficult topics including partial differential equations, harmonic analysis, combinatorics and number theory. In addition to his research work, Tao is an active educator, engaging mathematics students through his web site, commentaries, books and lectures. For his work in Mathematics, he is widely recognised as one of the outstanding mathematicians of his time.
Professor Tao's thesis, "Three Regularity Results in Harmonic Analysis" appears in the review volume Topics in Analysis and its Applications edited by R Coifman (Yale University). He was also a contributor to the inaugural issue of World Scientific's Journal of Hyperbolic Differential Equations.