We can’t all be amazing at math, which is why the 10 best mathematicians in the world today are so impressive.
I’m a pretty right-brained person; therefore, math is not my forte. I took the AP A/B Calculus test in high school and passed, but I didn’t retain anything. I don’t know how I did so well in that class all year considering I didn’t even bother to learn the unit circle. I’m jealous of people who are actually good at math or science. It seems nice to be able to look at numbers and stuff and not feel like dying.
The University of Oregon says that the roots of establishing mathematics go back 5,000 years to the Sumerians. The trails do, however, go back even further and researchers found samples of 11,000-year-old tokens that were used as one of the first code systems for reading, writing, and mathematics.
There are a few ways to solve math problems, but they all pretty much include six steps: posing the problem, defining the problem in a model, using the algorithm to solve the problem, getting the result, checking if the model was solved correctly, and checking the whole process. This is very important for professions like economists, statisticians, teachers, computer programmers, and cryptographers. Famous Mathematicians gave us insight on the main topics in math besides numbers like algebra. There’s also geometry, calculus, logic, number theory, and probability and statistics.
Throughout history there have been many important people who specialized in math and made a lot of developments, starting with Pythagoras, who is best known for his theorem a²+b²=c². Two centuries later came Euclid, the Father of Geometry. His famous system, known as Euclidian geometry, includes axioms, which are statements that are taken to be true and theorems taken from them. Another Greek, Archimedes, provided the exact number of the constant pi. His compatriot Eratosthenes invented the perfect algorithm for finding prime numbers. Modern accountants can thank Italian Friar Luca Pacioli for inventing the bookkeeping methods that are still in use even six centuries later. Then we have Pascal’s and his triangle, Albert Einstein, Alan Turing, John von Neumann, Maria Agnesi, Sophie Germain, Emmy Noether, Hypathia of Alexandria, Émie du Châtelet, Ada Lovelace, Sofia Kovalevskaya, Mary Cartwright, Julia Robinson, and others. For more examples, check out our list of the 10 Most Famous Female Mathematicians in the 21st Century.
Math with Bad Drawings made a compilation of interesting drawings that shows us what makes a great mathematician. In every case, great mathematicians wonder why something is the way it is and pick the most unusual tools to resolve the issue. They make every problem more complicated in order to prove that it can always be solved. Most importantly, they’re not reinventing or improving something that already exists — they’re searching for things that no one before them has tried.
Math World gives us a good insight on some of the highest prizes awarded in math. Among the most important are the Fields Medal, Wolf Prize, Leroy P. Steele, Bocher, Cole and Delbert Ray Fulkerson Prize, and the Clay research award.
In order to compile the following list, we checked out Aneki and similar sources and ranked by the number of awards received. Get your pencils and calculators ready for the best mathematicians in the world today.
10. Robert Langlands
Born in 1936 in Canada, he got his degree from the University of British Columbia where he also received a Masters of Science one year later. Langlands then transferred to Yale University where he got his Ph.D. in 1960.
He is most famous for the Langlands program. He received many awards, starting with the Wolf Prize in 1966 and 10 years later he was the proud winner of the Steel Prize.
9. Mikhail Gromov
Mikhail Gromov is a Russian mathematician mostly known for his impact in geometry. He also had influence in analysis and group theory.
He was in love with math since he was nine years old when his mother gave him the book ‘’Enjoyments of Mathematics’’ by Hans Rademacher and Otto Toeplitz, which influenced him to later start Leningrad State University where he got a Masters and Doctorate in mathematics.
He received his first award in 1971, the Prize of the Mathematical Society of Moscow, and 11 more until 2009, most importantly the Wolf Prize, which he got in 1993 for his contribution to geometry, algebra, group theory, and the theory of partial differential equations.
8. Wendelin Werner
Wendelin was born in Germany but moved to France in 1977 where he studied and got his Doctorate in mathematics.
He received several awards, starting with the Davidson Prize in 1998. Wendelin became famous mostly for his work on random walks and Schramm-Lawler evolution with parameter k, which he worked on with Oded Schramm and Gregory Lawler and got the SIAM George Polya Prize in 2006. That same year he received the Fields Medal.
7. Michael Atiyah
Michael is an English mathematician who specialized in geometry. He was most famous for his work with his coworker Isadore Singer on the Atiyah-Singer index theorem, for which he received the Abel Prize in 2004 and more importantly in 1966 he got the Fields Medal for his work in developing K-theory when he was 37 years old.
6. Stanislav Smirnov
We are continuing our list of best mathematicians in the world today with Stanislav that was born in 1970 in the Russian city of Leningrad. He attended St. Petersburg University where he graduated in 1992, and in 1996 he got his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology.
He became famous for his work in complex analysis, dynamic system and probability theory.
His first award was the Petersburg Mathematical Society Award in 1997 and in 2001 he got three more, including the Clay Research Award. By 2010 he got two more, and in 2010 he got the most prestigious award any mathematician can get – the Field Medal for his research on percolation theory.
5. Manjul Bhargava
As a kid, Manjul that ranked 5th on our list of best mathematicians in the world today was taught by his mother who was a math teacher, and by the time he was 14 he completed all math and computer science courses at his school. After that, he went to Harvard where he got his first two awards, the Morgan Prize and the Hoopes Prize, both in 1996.
He published 290 theorems and is also famous for proving 14 new Gaus composition laws and the average rank of the elliptic curves. From 2003 to 2012 he received six awards, among which are the Clay research award in 2005 and the Cole Prize in 2008. In 2014 he received the Fields Medal. More than enough to earn a decent spot on our list of best mathematicians in the world today, right?
4. Andrew Wiles
Willis is the Research Mathematical Professor at the University of Oxford.
He became fascinated by the Fermat’s Last Theorem at the age of 10 because it was too easy to understand but evidently impossible to prove. He set his goal on proving it and got the Abel Prize for finally accomplishing it in 2016. In his life, he’s received 14 awards. Most important of which are the Wolf Prize in 1995, the Clay Research Award in 1999, and the Abel Prize.
3. Elon Lindenstrauss
The third place on our list of best mathematicians in the world today goes to Elon that was born into a mathematical family where both his father, a mathematician, and his mother, a computer scientist, worked at Hebrew University. Both Elon and his sister became mathematicians.
His work mostly included research in ergodic theory and dynamics in general. He received many awards, among which is most important the Fields Medal in 2010 for his impact on ergodic theory and its application to number theory. By getting this award, Elon became the first Israeli who got the Fields Medal in history.
2. Maryam Mirzakhani
Next on our list of best mathematicians in the world today is Maryam that is an Iranian math professor at the Stanford University. What makes her special is that by receiving the Fields Medal in 2014 she became the first female mathematician even considered for this award in the history. The award was given to her for her works in the area of dynamics and geometry, which influenced many physics theories.
1. Terence Tao
The number one on our list of best mathematicians in the world today is born in 1975 in a well-educated family where his father was a pediatrician and his mother math and physics teacher, Terence and his two brothers all became big names in their areas.
Terence showed that he is talented for the mathematics in early age, and at the age of 9 he was already at the university level and scored 760 on the SAT at the John Hopkins Study of Exceptional Talent. At the age of 10, he won all three medals on the International Mathematical Olympiad.
At the age of 15, he wrote his first assistant paper and one year later got both Bachelors and Master’s degree from Flinders University. By the time he was 21, he had a Ph.D. from the Princeton University and started at UCLA, where he was later promoted to be a full-time professor.
He is famous for his Green-Tao theorem with his colleague Ben Green in 2004 about the arithmetic progression of every prime number. Then Tao’s inequality, Kakeya conjecture, and Horn conjecture. He published over 300 papers and 17 math books.
His first award was Salem prize in 2000, then, two years later he won the Bocher Memorial Prize. In 2003, he was awarded a Clay Research Medal, and in 2005 he got four awards and five in 2006. Among those five is the highest award for a mathematician, the Fields Medal. From 2010 to 2015 he received nine more awards for his work.
For all of his work, he definitely deserved the first place on our list of 10 best mathematicians in the world today.