Famous Turkish mathematician Ali Nesin wins prestigious Leelavati Prize


Prominent Turkish mathematician Ali Nesin has been awarded the prestigious Leelavati Prize at the 2018 International Congress of Mathematicians, currently ongoing in Rio de Janeiro.

The Leelavati Prize is intended to accord the high recognition and great appreciation of the International Mathematical Union of outstanding contributions for increasing public awareness of mathematics as an intellectual discipline and the crucial role it plays in diverse human endeavors.

The committee granted the award to Nesin for his tireless work in creating the “Mathematics Village” in Şirince, western Turkey, as an exceptional, peaceful place for education, research and the exploration of mathematics for anyone, the Hürriyet Daily News reported.

In 2007 Nesin established the Mathematics Village, a math summer school and a research center that aims to spread knowledge and a love for mathematics as a science in Turkey. It does not follow the Turkish Ministry of Education curriculum or any other fixed syllabus and aims to teach math to everyone.

Ali Nesin is the son of Aziz Nesin, a famous Turkish novelist and one of the founding fathers of political satire in the country.

Three prizes, namely Gauss, Nevanlinna and Leelavati, as well as the Fields and Chern medals were awarded at the International Congress of Mathematicians this week.

Nesin, 60, graduated from the mathematics department at the University of Paris and completed his Ph.D. at Yale University in the US. He has taught at Yale and the University of California at Berkeley and Irvine while giving lectures as a visiting scholar at Notre Dame and the University of Lyon in France, Bilkent University in Turkey and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, California.

Since 1996, he has served as the chair of the mathematics department at İstanbul Bilgi University.

Fields medals were given to Caucher Birkar, Alessio Figalli, Peter Scholze and Akshay Venkatesh; the Gauss Prize to David Donoho; the Chern Medal to Masaki Kashiwara; and the Nevanlinna Prize was awarded to Constantinos Daskalakis.

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