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Brazilian Wins "Nobel in Mathematics"

08/13/2014 - 09h18

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FERNANDO TADEU MORAES
FROM SÃO PAULO

The mathematician Artur Avila, 35, received the Fields Medal, popularly known as the "Nobel Prize in Mathematics".

He had all his education in Brazil, a rare situation with researchers in developing countries emerging early.

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Avila is a researcher at IMPA (National Institute of Pure and Applied Mathematics) and CNRS (National Centre for Scientific Research, the research agency of the French government).

Since 2009, Avila enjoys a special position among his peers, sharing his research activities between Paris and Rio de Janeiro.

"I have full-time researcher positions in France and Brazil, with no commitment to education. I can go from one country to another at anytime," he says.

Considered one of the most talented mathematicians of his generation, the Brazilian has been quoted in recent years as a strong candidate for the award.

He began going to Impa at 16, still in high school, after winning the gold medal at the International Mathematical Olympiad in 1995.

The following year, he started his Masters at the institute. He earned a PhD in mathematics from the same institution at age 21, the same week he received his graduation diploma.

Arthur does not ignore the impact that winning the Fields Medal may have in Brazil.

"To the Brazilian public this award will show that there is research in mathematics, that this is an active area. Additionally, it will show that it is not only in the United States or Europe that you can find cutting-edge research. Takes a little the inferiority complex from the Brazilian scientific community. "

He says he does not have exactly a work routine.

"If I'm involved in a project that is going well, I work all the time; now if I'm a little lost, what happens most of the time, I allow things to happen until something comes up, in the meantime I am concerned with the activities of everyday life."

Asked what made him choose a problem to work, he summed up: "Cool, but this I cannot explain."

Translated by SIMONE PALMA

Read the article in the original language

Mastrangelo Reino/Caixapreta/Folhapress
The mathematician Artur Avila, 35, received the Fields Medal, popularly known as the "Nobel Prize in Mathematics"
The mathematician Artur Avila, 35, received the Fields Medal, popularly known as the "Nobel Prize in Mathematics"

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