Professor Tao, who graduated from Flinders with a Master of Science in 1992 at the age of 17 and is now Professor of Mathematics at the University of California, Los Angeles, shares the award with Belgian-born Professor Jean Bourgain of Princeton University.
The mathematicians were cited “for their brilliant and groundbreaking work in harmonic analysis, partial differential equations, ergodic theory, number theory, combinatorics, functional analysis and theoretical computer science”.
The Crafoord Prize in astronomy and mathematics, biosciences, geosciences or polyarthritis research is awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences annually according to a rotating scheme. The prize sum of 4 million Swedish Krona (AUD $562,000) makes the Crafoord one of the world´s largest scientific prizes.
In 2006, Professor Tao was awarded the prestigious Fields Medal, often described as the ‘Nobel Prize in mathematics’.
Flinders University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Barber congratulated Professor Tao on the award.
“The Crafoord Prize is prestigious recognition of Professor Tao’s extraordinary contribution to the field of mathematics and his tireless advocacy for mathematics education,” Professor Barber said.
“On behalf of the University community, I extend my congratulations to Professor Tao. He is, without doubt, one of Flinders most distinguished alumni,” he said.
Professor Tao continues his association with Flinders currently serving on the Advisory Committee of recently established Flinders Mathematical Sciences Laboratory in the School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics.