【6/11/2021】CAPA-NoVA Distinguished Chinese American (华裔名人) Project

(Author: Laura Guo)

陶哲轩(Terence Chi-Shen Tao) ( 1975 – ) is an Australian American mathematician at the University of California, Los-Angeles (UCLA). He works in many mathematical areas such as  harmonic analysis, geometric combinatorics, arithmetic combinatorics, analytic number theory, compressed sensing, and algebraic combinatorics.

Tao’s erudition began to show at a very young age. A child prodigy, he scored above 700 on the math section of the SAT at a mere 8-years old. He also holds records as the youngest bronze, silver, and gold medalist, at ages 11, 12 and 13 respectively, in the history of the International Math Olympiad, a prestigious competition featuring some of the best young mathematicians around the globe. At 14, he attended the Research Science Institute; at age 16, he received both Bachelors and Masters degrees from Flinders University in South Australia; and at age 21, he graduated with a PhD from Princeton University. Soon after, he joined the faculty at UCLA.

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Tao has received many awards, including but not limited to the Clay Research Award (2003), Fields Medal (2006),  MacArthur Fellowship (2006), Crafoord Prize (2012), and Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics (2014). “He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, the Australian Academy of Science (Corresponding Member), the National Academy of Sciences (Foreign member), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Mathematical Society”[1]. He has also co-authored almost 350 research papers and 18 books, showing great diversity and an ability to collaborate with others specialists.

One of his most notable accomplishments was the Green-Tao Theorem. In collaboration with British mathematician Ben Green, Tao proved that the set of prime numbers contains arithmetic progressions of any length. This, along with many other discoveries and achievements, makes it no surprise why many regard him as “one of the greatest living mathematicians”[1].

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[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terence_Tao

[2] https://www.britannica.com/biography/Terence-Tao

[3] https://www.math.ucla.edu/~tao/

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