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Mathematical Genius: Who Are Humanity's Current Mathematical Geniuses?

July 9, 2018 at 7:26 pm (This post was last modified: July 9, 2018 at 7:31 pm by Kernel Sohcahtoa.)

I'm curious if anyone knows who today's greatest mathematicians are, or in your opinion, who are humanity's greatest mathematicians? Do you think that any of them are on par with Gauss, Euler, Newton, Leibniz, and any other historical geniuses who greatly contributed to mathematics? Also, how do you define mathematical genius, and in your opinion, is mathematical genius a rarity these days?

RE: Mathematical Genius: Who Are Humanity's Current Mathematical Geniuses?

July 11, 2018 at 5:46 pm (This post was last modified: July 11, 2018 at 5:48 pm by Alexmahone.)

(July 9, 2018 at 7:26 pm)Kernel Sohcahtoa Wrote: I'm curious if anyone knows who today's greatest mathematicians are, or in your opinion, who are humanity's greatest mathematicians? Do you think that any of them are on par with Gauss, Euler, Newton, Leibniz, and any other historical geniuses who greatly contributed to mathematics? Also, how do you define mathematical genius, and in your opinion, is mathematical genius a rarity these days?

Andrew Wiles - The British mathematician who proved Fermat's Last Theorem in 1994.

Grigori Perelman - The Russian mathematician who proved the Poincare conjecture in 2003 and then turned down the Fields Medal and a 1 million dollar Millennium Prize. He has abandoned mathematics and is currently living with his mother in Russia.

These guys are probably on par with Leibniz, if not Newton, Gauss and Euler. All other Fields Medalists and Abel Prize winners are also mathematical geniuses. Solving a centuries' old math problem is a pretty strong sign of mathematical genius.

No, I don't think mathematical genius is a rarity these days. Given that the world population today is around 10 times what it was during Newton's time, mathematical genius should also be 10 times more common than it was then. If it isn't, something is seriously wrong...

All of these names are well-known to mathematicians today. My favoriets (mainly because of my own interests): Atiyah, Singer, Carleson, Wiles, Meyer, Milnor.

I'm not as familiar with many of the more recent names here, but the older ones are very famous among mathematicians. I suspect the newer ones will be soon.

RE: Mathematical Genius: Who Are Humanity's Current Mathematical Geniuses?

July 11, 2018 at 8:18 pm

I worked with many people with doctorates across a spectrum of disciplines in the course of my work. Two individuals with doctorates in Electrical Engineering stand out. I've known dozens who were pretty smart, but these two just defy belief. We had been working a program for a couple of decades, and the one guy we hired took one look at the data and realized that it wasn't right. I'd put that guy close to Maxwell. The other guy had patents in his name before he was even with the company a year. All these other really smart guys, and both of these guys run circles around them. Not mathematicians per se, but if you get that deeply into electromagnetic theory, it's hard to tell them apart. Then again, I've worked with a guy that had a doctorate in electrical engineering that had to be schooled in how to program logarithmic functions in FORTRAN by a guy with a lowly BSc in physics, and another who had to be educated on some antenna theory, by the same guy.

I never thought I'd live long enough to become a grumpy old bastard. Here I am, killing it!

RE: Mathematical Genius: Who Are Humanity's Current Mathematical Geniuses?

July 12, 2018 at 6:13 pm

(July 9, 2018 at 7:26 pm)Kernel Sohcahtoa Wrote: I'm curious if anyone knows who today's greatest mathematicians are, or in your opinion, who are humanity's greatest mathematicians? Do you think that any of them are on par with Gauss, Euler, Newton, Leibniz, and any other historical geniuses who greatly contributed to mathematics? Also, how do you define mathematical genius, and in your opinion, is mathematical genius a rarity these days?

Kernel Sohcahtoa?

Am I close?

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RE: Mathematical Genius: Who Are Humanity's Current Mathematical Geniuses?

July 12, 2018 at 6:38 pm

(July 12, 2018 at 6:13 pm)mh.brewer Wrote:

(July 9, 2018 at 7:26 pm)Kernel Sohcahtoa Wrote: I'm curious if anyone knows who today's greatest mathematicians are, or in your opinion, who are humanity's greatest mathematicians? Do you think that any of them are on par with Gauss, Euler, Newton, Leibniz, and any other historical geniuses who greatly contributed to mathematics? Also, how do you define mathematical genius, and in your opinion, is mathematical genius a rarity these days?

Kernel Sohcahtoa?

Am I close?

Not sure if you're complimenting him or accusing him of being arrogant.

RE: Mathematical Genius: Who Are Humanity's Current Mathematical Geniuses?

July 12, 2018 at 7:31 pm

I'd put Grigori Perelman, and Andrew Miles on there, as Alex said, especially since solving a long-held mathemetical problem should be a good indicator of genius, but I'd also put Preda Mihăilescu, Harald Helfgott, and Thomas Hales there. Seriously, this Quora post alone should give you a good head start about the mathematical geniuses alive today.

I was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world is mad.