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Methodology: How and Why We Rank by Influence …Tao is arguably the greatest living mathematician, and has been called the greatest mathematician of his generation. Born in South Australia, Tao was a child prodigy, the youngest person ever to win a medal in the International Mathematical Olympiad—he was ten. He has since won the Field Medal, the “Nobel Prize” for mathematicians. Terence Tao holds the James and Carol Collins Chair in Mathematics at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). At the age of 14, Tao attended the Research Science Institute, a summer seminar for talented high school students hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Go to ProfileGrigori Yakovlevich Perelman is a Russian mathematician who is known for his contributions to the fields of geometric analysis, Riemannian geometry, and geometric topology. In the 1990s, partly in collaboration with Yuri Burago, Mikhael Gromov, and Anton Petrunin, he made influential contributions to the study of Alexandrov spaces. In 1994, he proved the soul conjecture in Riemannian geometry, which had been an open problem for the previous 20 years. In 2002 and 2003, he developed new techniques in the analysis of Ricci flow, thereby providing a detailed sketch of a proof of the Poincaré conj...

Go to ProfileChinese-born Shing-Tung Yau currently holds the title of William Caspar Graustein Professor of Mathematics at Harvard University, where he has worked since 1987. He is also the director of three mathematical institutes in China, including the Yau Mathematical Sciences Center at Tsinghua University. Yau completed his undergraduate education in mathematics at Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1969, then his PhD at the University of California, Berkeley in 1971. Yau is considered most influential for his work in differential geometry and geometric analysis. Early in his career, Yau proved the P...

Go to ProfileWitten is Professor of Mathematical Physics at Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study (IAS). He is known world-wide for his many important contributions to the mathematics of string theory and treatments of theoretical physics. Interestingly, Witten received his Bachelor of Arts degree in History, with a minor in Linguistics at Brandeis University in 1971. After graduation, Witten wrote for The New Republic and The Nation, and even worked on George McGovern’s presidential campaign! He returned to college and studied economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before dropping out, returning to Princeton University to study applied mathematics, where he received his Ph.D.

Go to ProfileAlexander Grothendieck was a stateless and then French mathematician who became the leading figure in the creation of modern algebraic geometry. His research extended the scope of the field and added elements of commutative algebra, homological algebra, sheaf theory and category theory to its foundations, while his so-called "relative" perspective led to revolutionary advances in many areas of pure mathematics. He is considered by many to be the greatest mathematician of the 20th century.

Go to ProfileRichard Streit Hamilton is Davies Professor of Mathematics at Columbia University, and is known for contributions to geometric analysis and partial differential equations. He is best known for foundational contributions to the theory of the Ricci flow and the development of a corresponding program of techniques and ideas for resolving the Poincaré conjecture and geometrization conjecture in the field of geometric topology. Grigori Perelman built upon Hamilton's results to prove the conjectures, and was awarded a Millennium Prize for his work. However, he declined the award, regarding Hamilton...

Go to ProfileDonaldson is a permanent member of the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics at Stony Brook University and Professor in Pure Mathematics at Imperial College, London. He is known for the eponymous Donaldson-Thomas theory of invariants in algebraic geometry (see also Andrei Akounkov above). Donaldson has a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from Pembroke College in Cambridge University in 1979, and his Ph.D. from Oxford University in 1983. Donaldson published a paper while working on his Ph.D. that made him famous. The paper, titled “Self-dual connections and the topology of smooth 4-manifo...

Go to ProfileJean, Baron Bourgain was a Belgian mathematician. He was awarded the Fields Medal in 1994 in recognition of his work on several core topics of mathematical analysis such as the geometry of Banach spaces, harmonic analysis, ergodic theory and nonlinear partial differential equations from mathematical physics.

Go to ProfileScholze is Director of the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics and Professor of Mathematics at the University of Bonn in Germany. Scholze received his bachelor’s degree in Mathematics as well as his master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Bonn, the latter awarded in 2012. Scholze, one of the world’s great mathematicians, won the Fields Medal in 2018. Scholze’s interests are mainly in a field known as arithmetic geometry, essentially the application of algebraic geometry to problems in number theory. He has proved in more compact form several of the most fundamental theories in all of mathematics.

Go to ProfileSir Roger Penrose was born in Colchester, England in 1931. He is best known for his significant contributions to the mathematical physics of general relativity and cosmology. Penrose attended University College London where he earned his bachelor’s in mathematics. He received a PhD studying algebraic geometry at St John’s College, Cambridge in 1958. In his free time at Cambridge, he attended a few lectures led by Hermann Bondi and Paul Dirac, which lent some of his curiosity in the direction of physics. Penrose went on to become an innovator in the field of mathematical physics, and is now widely regarded as among the greatest living mathematical physicists.

Go to ProfileJean-Pierre Serre is a French mathematician who has made contributions to algebraic topology, algebraic geometry, and algebraic number theory. He was awarded the Fields Medal in 1954, the Wolf Prize in 2000 and the inaugural Abel Prize in 2003.

Go to ProfileWilliam Paul Thurston was an American mathematician. He was a pioneer in the field of low-dimensional topology. In 1982, he was awarded the Fields Medal for his contributions to the study of 3-manifolds. From 2003 until his death he was a professor of mathematics and computer science at Cornell University.

Go to ProfileRobert Phelan Langlands, is a Canadian mathematician. He is best known as the founder of the Langlands program, a vast web of conjectures and results connecting representation theory and automorphic forms to the study of Galois groups in number theory, for which he received the 2018 Abel Prize. He was an emeritus professor and occupied Albert Einstein's office at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, until 2020 when he retired.

Go to ProfileSir Michael Francis Atiyah was a British-Lebanese mathematician specialising in geometry. He was awarded the Fields Medal in 1966 and the Abel Prize in 2004. Life Atiyah grew up in Sudan and Egypt but spent most of his academic life in the United Kingdom at the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge and in the United States at the Institute for Advanced Study. He was the President of the Royal Society , founding director of the Isaac Newton Institute , master of Trinity College, Cambridge , chancellor of the University of Leicester , and the President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh .

Go to ProfileWiles is Royal Society Research Professor at the University of Oxford. He became an overnight sensation when he proved one of the most famous conjectures in all of mathematics, known as Fermat’s Last Theorem, after the 17th century mathematician Pierre Fermat. Wiles received his bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Oxford and his Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge. He spent a year at Princeton University’s Institute for Advanced Study and then became Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University. He has taught back and forth between Princeton and Oxford for much of his stellar career.

Go to ProfileConnes is currently Professor at the Collège de France, IHÉS, in France, as well as at Ohio State University and Vanderbilt University. Connes’ work focuses on algebra, or what is known as “operator algebra,” an important area in functional analysis. Born in France, Connes received his undergraduate degree in Mathematics from the prestigious École normale supérieure in Paris and his Ph.D. from the University Pierre et Marie Curie. Among other notables, Connes was a member of Bourbaki, a group of predominantly French mathematicians who formed after the First World War in response to the loss of so many mathematicians in the wake of the war.

Go to ProfileLászló Lovász is a Hungarian mathematician and professor emeritus at Eötvös Loránd University, best known for his work in combinatorics, for which he was awarded the 2021 Abel Prize jointly with Avi Wigderson. He was the president of the International Mathematical Union from 2007 to 2010 and the president of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences from 2014 to 2020.

Go to ProfilePierre René, Viscount Deligne is a Belgian mathematician. He is best known for work on the Weil conjectures, leading to a complete proof in 1973. He is the winner of the 2013 Abel Prize, 2008 Wolf Prize, 1988 Crafoord Prize, and 1978 Fields Medal.

Go to ProfileDavid Bryant Mumford is an American mathematician known for distinguished work in algebraic geometry, and then for research into vision and pattern theory. He won the Fields Medal and was a MacArthur Fellow. In 2010 he was awarded the National Medal of Science. He is currently a University Professor Emeritus in the Division of Applied Mathematics at Brown University.

Go to ProfileYuri Ivanovich Manin is a Russian mathematician, known for work in algebraic geometry and diophantine geometry, and many expository works ranging from mathematical logic to theoretical physics. Moreover, Manin was one of the first to propose the idea of a quantum computer in 1980 with his book Computable and Uncomputable.

Go to ProfileBarry Mazur currently holds the title of Gerhard Gade University Professor at Harvard University, where he has worked as a professor since 1962. Prior to his long tenure at Harvard, Mazur held post-doctoral fellowships at Harvard and the Institute for Advanced Study. Mazur earned his PhD in Mathematics at Princeton University; though he attended MIT as an undergraduate, he did not complete a bachelor’s degree. Mazur boasts a long career of discoveries and advancements in geometry, arithmetic, and number theory. In fact, he has several discoveries and proofs named after him, including the Mazur swindle, the Mazur manifold, and Mazur’s torsion theorem.

Go to ProfileSarnak is a permanent faculty member in Mathematics at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS). The IAS is located on 1 Einstein Drive in Princeton, New Jersey, an address inspired by Albert Einstein’s famous tenure there in the early and mid-20th century. Some of the greatest mathematical minds in modern times have called the IAS home, like John Von Neumann of early computing fame. Sarnak is thus in good company, past and present. Sarnak is also the Eugene Higgins Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University. Sarnak received two bachelor’s degrees in mathematics from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa in 1975 and 1976 and his Ph.D.

Go to ProfileBéla Bollobás FRS is a Hungarian-born British mathematician who has worked in various areas of mathematics, including functional analysis, combinatorics, graph theory, and percolation. He was strongly influenced by Paul Erdős since the age of 14.

Go to ProfileStephen Hawking was born in Oxford, England in 1942 and died in March of 2018. He attended University College, Oxford where he received a BA in physics. Within his first year as a PhD student at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, Hawking’s speech became difficult to understand and he started to have difficulty walking. He was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease and predicted to only live another two years. Luckily his disease progressed much more slowly than anticipated. It’s a good thing, because he is widely considered one of the greatest physicists of the 20th century. Hawking was Lucasian Professo...

Go to ProfileVladimir Alexandrovich Voevodsky was a Russian-American mathematician. His work in developing a homotopy theory for algebraic varieties and formulating motivic cohomology led to the award of a Fields Medal in 2002. He is also known for the proof of the Milnor conjecture and motivic Bloch–Kato conjectures and for the univalent foundations of mathematics and homotopy type theory.

Go to ProfileBhargava is the R. Brandon Fradd Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University. He also holds a professorship at Leiden University in the Netherlands and multiple faculty positions at universities in his home country of India. Bhargava’s specialty in mathematics is number theory, the core and historically “famous” study of the integers. Bhargava was born in Canada and raised in Long Island. His mother Mira Bhargava is a mathematician at Hofstra University, who he calls his first math teacher. He received his bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Harvard in 1996, and his Ph.D. from Princeton in 2001.

Go to Profile#5983

Overall Influence

1991 - Present (31 years)

John Cameron Urschel is a Canadian-American mathematician and retired professional American football guard and center. He played college football at Penn State and was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Urschel played his entire NFL career with Baltimore before announcing his retirement on July 27, 2017, at 26 years old.

Go to ProfileConway is the John Von Neumann Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Princeton University. He has interests in diverse fields in mathematics, including number theory, combinatorial games theory, knot theory, and coding theory. Coding theory is a mathematical treatment of codes and their use in cryptography and other disciplines. Conway is perhaps best known as the inventor of the Game of Life, an Artificial Intelligence program whose agents (objects in code) evolve according to deterministic rules. The agents are known in mathematics as cellular automatons. Conway received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics from Cambridge University in England in 1959.

Go to ProfileEdward Vladimirovich Frenkel is a Russian-American mathematician working in representation theory, algebraic geometry, and mathematical physics. He is a professor of mathematics at University of California, Berkeley, member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and author of the bestselling book Love and Math.

Go to ProfileGraham is Irwin and Joan Jacobs Professor in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). He also holds the title of Chief Scientist at the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology. He received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1962, and went into research in industry, working at Bell Labs and then AT&T Labs. Graham is known for using the largest number in a real mathematical proof, which earned him a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. The so-called Graham number, used as an up...

Go to ProfileWilliam Gilbert Strang , usually known as simply Gilbert Strang or Gil Strang, is an American mathematician, with contributions to finite element theory, the calculus of variations, wavelet analysis and linear algebra. He has made many contributions to mathematics education, including publishing seven mathematics textbooks and one monograph. Strang is the MathWorks Professor of Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He teaches Introduction to Linear Algebra, Computational Science and Engineering, and Matrix Methods and his lectures are freely available through MIT OpenCours...

Go to Profile#2036

Overall Influence

1954 - Present (68 years)

Vladimir Gershonovich Drinfeld , surname also romanized as Drinfel'd, is a renowned mathematician from the former USSR, who emigrated to the United States and is currently working at the University of Chicago.

Go to ProfileEndre Szemerédi is a Hungarian-American mathematician and computer scientist, working in the field of combinatorics and theoretical computer science. He has been the State of New Jersey Professor of computer science at Rutgers University since 1986. He also holds a professor emeritus status at the Alfréd Rényi Institute of Mathematics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Go to Profile#9890

Overall Influence

1969 - Present (53 years)

Shinichi Mochizuki is a Japanese mathematician working in number theory and arithmetic geometry. He is one of the main contributors to anabelian geometry. His contributions include his solution of the Grothendieck conjecture in anabelian geometry about hyperbolic curves over number fields. Mochizuki has also worked in Hodge–Arakelov theory and p-adic Teichmüller theory. Mochizuki developed inter-universal Teichmüller theory, which has attracted attention from non-mathematicians due to claims it provides a resolution of the abc conjecture.

Go to ProfilePersi Warren Diaconis is an American mathematician of Greek descent and former professional magician. He is a Professor of Statistics and Mathematics at Stanford University. He is particularly known for tackling mathematical problems involving randomness and randomization, such as coin flipping and shuffling playing cards.

Go to ProfileStephen Smale is an American mathematician, known for his research in topology, dynamical systems and mathematical economics. He was awarded the Fields Medal in 1966 and spent more than three decades on the mathematics faculty of the University of California, Berkeley . Currently, he is Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley with research interests in algorithms, numerical analysis and global analysis.

Go to ProfileVladimir Igorevich Arnold was a Soviet and Russian mathematician. While he is best known for the Kolmogorov–Arnold–Moser theorem regarding the stability of integrable systems, he made important contributions in several areas including dynamical systems theory, algebra, catastrophe theory, topology, algebraic geometry, symplectic geometry, differential equations, classical mechanics, hydrodynamics and singularity theory, including posing the ADE classification problem, since his first main result—the solution of Hilbert's thirteenth problem in 1957 at the age of 19. He co-founded two new branc...

Go to ProfileChristos Harilaos Papadimitriou is a Greek theoretical computer scientist and the Donovan Family Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University. Education Papadimitriou studied at the National Technical University of Athens, where in 1972 he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in electrical engineering. He then pursued graduate studies at Princeton University, where he received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science in 1976 after completing a doctoral dissertation titled "The complexity of combinatorial optimization problems."

Go to ProfileStephen Wolfram is a British-American computer scientist, physicist, and businessman. He is known for his work in computer science, mathematics, and in theoretical physics. In 2012, he was named a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.

Go to ProfileKiyosi Itô was a Japanese mathematician who made fundamental contributions to Probability theory, in particular, the theory of stochastic processes. He invented the concept of stochastic integral and stochastic differential equation, and is known as the founder of so-called Itô calculus.

Go to ProfileJacob Alexander Lurie is an American mathematician who is a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study. Lurie is a 2014 MacArthur Fellow. Life When he was a student in the Science, Mathematics, and Computer Science Magnet Program at Montgomery Blair High School, Lurie took part in the International Mathematical Olympiad, where he won a gold medal with a perfect score in 1994. In 1996 he took first place in the Westinghouse Science Talent Search and was featured in a front-page story in the Washington Times.

Go to ProfileGowers is Royal Society Research Professor at the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics at the University of Cambridge, UK. He also holds the Rouse Ball Chair in Mathematics at Cambridge (Roger Penrose holds this Chair at the other granting institution, Oxford), and is a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. Gowers received his early training at King’s College and Eton, where he was a King’s Scholar. He received his Ph.D. from Trinity College, Cambridge University in 1990. A British mathematician, Gowers’ work has been primarily in functional analysis, and in particular in the vector construct known as a Banach space.

Go to ProfileJohn Willard Milnor is an American mathematician known for his work in differential topology, algebraic K-theory and low-dimensional holomorphic dynamical systems. Milnor is a distinguished professor at Stony Brook University and one of the five mathematicians to have won the Fields Medal, the Wolf Prize, and the Abel Prize

Go to ProfileIgor Rostislavovich Shafarevich was a Russian mathematician who contributed to algebraic number theory and algebraic geometry. He wrote books and articles that criticised socialism, and he was an important dissident during the Soviet regime.

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Overall Influence

1970 - Present (52 years)

Van H. Vu is a Vietnamese mathematician, Percey F. Smith Professor of Mathematics at Yale University. Education and career Vu was born in Hanoi in 1970. He went to special math classes for gifted children at Chu Van An and Hanoi-Amsterdam high schools. In 1987, he went to Hungary for his undergraduate studies, and obtained his M. Sc in mathematics at the Eötvös University, Budapest, in 1994. His thesis supervisor was Tamás Szőnyi. He received his Ph.D. at Yale University, in 1998 under the direction of László Lovász. He worked as a postdoc at IAS and Microsoft Research . He joined the Un...

Go to ProfileNoga Alon is an Israeli mathematician and a professor of mathematics at Princeton University noted for his contributions to combinatorics and theoretical computer science, having authored hundreds of papers.

Go to ProfileConstantinos Daskalakis is a Greek theoretical computer scientist. He is a professor at MIT's Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department and a member of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. He was awarded the Rolf Nevanlinna Prize and the Grace Murray Hopper Award in 2018.

Go to ProfileMichael Hartley Freedman is an American mathematician, at Microsoft Station Q, a research group at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In 1986, he was awarded a Fields Medal for his work on the 4-dimensional generalized Poincaré conjecture. Freedman and Robion Kirby showed that an exotic ℝ4 manifold exists.

Go to ProfileJoseph Daniel Harris is a mathematician at Harvard University working in the field of algebraic geometry. After earning an AB from Harvard College, he continued at Harvard to study for a PhD under Phillip Griffiths.

Go to ProfileAreas of Specialization: Computational Complexity Theory, Cryptography, Number Theory Shafrira “Shafi” Goldwasser is the RSA Professor of Computer Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as Professor of Mathematical Sciences at Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. She received a bachelor’s degree in computer science and mathematics from Carnegie Mellon University, and a master’s and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Goldwasser’s impressive career spans many areas in computer science, including computational complexity theory, cryptography, and number theory.

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