Maths professor elected member of the National Academy of Sciences

Professor Akshay Venkatesh, the youngest-ever student to enrol at The University of Western Australia, has been elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Professor Venkatesh is a mathematician who has worked on many topics at the interface between number theory and other fields, including representation theory, dynamics and algebraic topology. 

His recent work examines new algebraic structures related to the topology of locally symmetric spaces.

Joining a class of 120 members and 23 international members, Professor Venkatesh’s election brings the total number of active members to 2,565 and the total number of international members to 526, of which approximately 190 have received Nobel prizes.

He was just 13 when he enrolled at UWA in a four-year Bachelor of Science with Honours, which he completed in three years making him the youngest person to earn first class honours in pure mathematics.

Professor Venkatesh graduated from UWA in 1998 at the age of 16 and was awarded the JA Wood Memorial Prize as the most outstanding graduating student.

He went on to undertake a PhD at Princeton University in the US, which he completed in 2002 and became a full professor at Stanford University in 2008. He joined Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study in 2018.

In 2019, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to mathematics at an international level, he received an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters at UWA.

His latest achievement is one of the highest honours in recognition of advancements in original research.