Honors & Awards
Every four years, the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) recognizes outstanding mathematical achievement and promise with the Fields Medal. Beginning in 1924, the ICM adopted a resolution to award two gold medals at each Congress, and today, up to four medals are awarded. The medal was later named after ICM Secretary and Canadian Mathematician J.C. Fields. The Fields Medal Committee selects candidates, and one condition of selection is that a candidate's 40th birthday must not occur before January 1st in the award year.
Terence Tao, 2006
Terence Tao was awarded the Fields Medal on August 22, 2006 at the age of 31 "for his contributions to partial differential equations, combinatorics, harmonic analysis and additive number theory." The Fields Medal is often described as "the Nobel Prize for mathematics." Tao is the first UCLA mathematician to achieve this great honor.
Tao, a math prodigy from Adelaide, Austrailia, began taking calculus as a seven-year-old. He earned his PhD from Princeton and joined UCLA's faculty at the age of 20. By 24, Tao had become a full professor. He is renowned for his research on harmonic analysis, partial differential equations, combinatorics and analytic number theory. He is also the world's expert on the Kakeya conjecture, Tao has also been recognized with many other distinguished honors, including a MacArthur fellowship, the Crafoord Prize for mathematics, and an election to the American Philosophical Society. He currently holds the James and Carol Collins Chair in mathematics at UCLA.