Once upon a time, Archimedes, a Greek mathematician, stated, “Mathematics reveals its secrets only to those who seek it with pure love for its unique beauty.” In the history of mankind, there have been some great souls who have revealed these secrets to us, and we call them mathematicians. Mathematicians are not as popular as NFL players, but they possess the power to bring revolutionary changes in every field of research that we know today.
From the phones that we carry to the medicines and vaccines on which one depends, mathematicians have helped us develop modern-day technology. They are working and developing the math behind most of the problems human beings are facing as we speak of it. If we want to take the names of these great mathematical maestros, the list is pretty long, but here are the ten most influential mathematicians today.
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Dr. Keith Devlin (born March 16, 1947) is a professor emeritus at Stanford University. He is one of the founding members of the Stanford Mathematics Outreach Project and also a former executive director of Stanford University’s H-STAR Institute. He is a fellow of the World Economic Forum, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Mathematical Society. His research areas primarily focus on teaching math to a wider audience using different pathways. Brainquake is an educational technology company founded by Dr. Devlin that designs video games. Dr. Devlin has 33 books and over 80 published research articles under his belt. He received many prestigious awards, such as the Pythagoras Prize, the Peano Prize, and the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics Communications Award.
Terence (Terry) Chi-Shen Tao (born July 17, 1975) is a professor of math at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is an Australian-American mathematician and also holds the James and Carol Collins chair at UCLA. He received the Fields Medal in the year 2006 and the Breakthrough Prize in math in the year 2014. He also received the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in 2006. Dr. Tao has published more than 300 research papers.
Dr. Ian Stewart (born September 24, 1945) is an emeritus professor in the math department at Warwick University and an emeritus professor at Gresham College, London. He has done great work in promoting math to non-mathematicians. He has held visiting positions in Germany, New Zealand, and the United States of America. He is awarded five honorary doctorates and is also an honorary wizard of Unseen University on Discworld.
Dr. Stewart is also greatly involved in writing science fiction. Writing science fiction has fetched him awards like the Royal Society’s Faraday Medal (1995), the Lewis Thomas Prize (2015, joint with Steven Strogatz), the IMA Gold Medal (2000), the LMS/IMA Zeeman Medal (2008), and the AAAS Public Understanding of Science and Technology Award (2001). His book “Nature’s Numbers” is highly admired worldwide.
John Colin Stillwell (born 1942) is a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is an Australian mathematician and is a faculty member at the University of San Francisco and Monash University. Stillwell received his Ph.D. at MIT under the guidance of Dr.Hartley Rogers. Jr. Stillwell has taught many budding mathematicians over several decades in different fields.
Bruce C. Berndt
Bruce Carl Berndt (born March 13, 1939) is a master’s and doctoral degree holder from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He was appointed an assistant professor at the University of Illinois in 1967 at Urbana-Champaign. He held the position of Michio Suzuki Distinguished Research Professor of Math at the University of Illinois.
Berndt is an analytic number theorist and is best known for his work that dwelled deeper into the discoveries of Srinivasa Ramanujan. He has done diligent work in decoding and republishing Ramanujan’s work. He is a fellow of the American Mathematical Society and also received an honorary doctorate from SASTRA University in Kumbakonam, India.
Sir William Timothy Gowers (born November 20, 1963) is a British mathematician, director of research at the University of Cambridge, and a fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. He received the prestigious Field’s Medal in the year of 1996 for his breakthrough work in the field of combinatorics.
Peter Clive Sarnak (born December 18, 1953) is a permanent faculty member of the School of Mathematics at the Institute for Advanced Study, Eugene Higgins Professor of Math at Princeton University, and an editor of the Annals of Mathematics. Dr. Sarnak has done tremendous work in the field of analytic number theory.
[Read about how math can help you with specific skills here.]
Sir Martin Hairer (born November 14, 1975) is an Austrian-British professor of math at Imperial College London. He has also worked as a professor at the University of Warwick and the Courant Institute of New York University. He has received the greatest mathematical awards, the Fields medal in 2014 and the Breakthrough Prize in math in 2020.
Baroness Ingrid Daubechies (born August 17, 1954) is a Belgian mathematician best known for her work with wavelets in image compression. Ingrid is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has also received the 1992 MacArthur Fellowship. She has done outstanding research on the use of math in biology. Her work on image processing is regarded as one of the best and is widely used in JPEG 2000.
Sir Andrew John Wiles is a Royal Society Research Professor at the University of Oxford. He specializes in number theory and is best known for proving Fermat’s Last Theorem. This path-breaking work earned him the 2016 Abel Prize and the 2017 Copley Medal from the Royal Society. He was appointed as the first Regius Professor of math at Oxford, and he is also a McArthur Fellow.
This was a list of the top ten most influential mathematicians. This list, while filled with stalwarts, still remains temporary. The future of math is bright and shining with new discoveries made by young minds. But to develop keen interest in math, one needs to have a strong conceptual understanding and practice. This blog intends to motivate and pique the interest of children in math. For more blogs like this, visit Byju’s FutureSchool Blog.
- Top Influential Mathematicians Today | Academic Influence. (n.d.). Retrieved May 2, 2022, from https://academicinfluence.com/rankings/people/most-influential-mathematicians-today