Constantinos Daskalakis, has just won the 2018 Rolf Nevanlinna Prize, one of the most prestigious international awards in mathematics.
The award, which comes with a comes with a monetary prize of US$11.600 (AU$15730) was announced on Wednesday at the International Conference of Mathematicians in Brazil.
The Rolf Nevanlinna Prize is a major accolade as it is only awarded every four years to a scientist under 40 deemed to have made a major contribution to the mathematical aspects of computer science.
The 37-year-old Greek genius is a MIT professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a principal investigator at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.
“Daskalakis was honored by the International Mathematical Union (IMU) for transforming our understanding of the computational complexity of fundamental problems in markets, auctions, equilibria, and other economic structures,” MIT said in a statement following the announcement.
Daskalakis’ parents are both from Crete, but they met in Athens, where they had come to attend college. Both became teachers, his father a mathematician and his mother a teacher of Ancient Greek literature and philosophy.
Even though he inherited his parents’ love and aptitude for both subjects, in junior high he competed in the math Olympiad and finished second in the country; from then on, he was marked as a student with exceptional mathematical promise
He received his undergraduate degree from the National Technical University of Athens and moved to the U.S. for graduate school acquiring his Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer sciences from the University of California at Berkeley.
“Costis combines amazing technical virtuosity with the rare gift of choosing to work on problems that are both fundamental and complex,” said CSAIL Director Daniela Rus. “We are all so happy to hear about this well-deserved recognition for our colleague.”
Daskalakis had previously been named as the 2008 ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award recipient; he has won the 2010 Sloan Fellowship in Computer Science, while he also received the Simo Simons Investigator Award and the the Kalai Game Theory and Computer Science Prize from the Game Theory Society.