The International Mathematical Union, in partnership with Infosys, today awarded the Leelavati Prize 2014 to journalist and mathematics evangelist Adrián Paenza at the closing ceremony of the International Congress of Mathematics (ICM), held in Seoul, Korea. Adrián Paenza has been recognised for his contributions in changing and influencing the way Argentinians perceive mathematics in their daily life. The award celebrates his enthusiasm and passion in communicating the beauty and joy of mathematics through books and television programs.
The Leelavati Prize, sponsored by Infosys, is intended to accord high recognition and great appreciation for outstanding contributions in increasing public awareness of mathematics as an intellectual discipline and the crucial role it plays in diverse human endeavours.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. N. R. Narayana Murthy, Non-Executive Chairman, Infosys said, “Infosys is proud to sponsor the Leelavati prize which recognizes contributions in public outreach in Mathematics. I’d like to congratulate Adrián Paenza on winning this prize. Mathematics is often viewed as complicated by students and adults alike. Adrian has translated his love for the subject into work that addresses this issue via popular media like books and television. I am sure this has helped remove some mysticism and phobia around Mathematics for many. We are pleased to recognize his accomplishments and enthusiasm in this field through the Leelavati prize.”
Adrián Paenza received a Ph.D. degree in Mathematics at a very young age. He taught at the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina between 1979 and 2002, and simultaneously pursued a career as a successful television journalist in sports and politics. In 2003, he started a career as a science journalist, integrating his mathematical background into his journalism experience. Paenza has also been a champion of public and free education. He introduced the idea (which was later implemented by the Argentinean education minister) of developing a federal program for digital literacy, inspired by the program “One laptop per child”. His books are distributed in these free laptops, at no extra cost.
Manjul Bharagava, winner of the Infosys Prize 2012 for Mathematical Sciences was awarded a Fields Medal at the ICM ceremony. Prof Bharagava was recognised for developing powerful new methods in the geometry of numbers, which he applied to count rings of small rank and to bind the average rank of elliptic curves.
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