Terence Tao (1975-) is just about as close to a modern-day David Hilbert (1862-1943) as anyone might imagine. As of 2022, he has authored or co-authored over 300 research papers in topics ranging from harmonic analysis to arithmetic combinatorics, probability theory, analytic number theory and many more. He has an h-index of 101. He was awarded the Fields Medal and a MacArthur Fellowship in 2006. In the photograph above, Tao at age 10 is sitting side-by-side with Paul Erdős (1913-96).

Much like Erdős, Tao was a child prodigy who attended university-level classes at the age of 9. He scored a 760 on the SAT math section at the age of 8. He is the youngest participant at the International Mathematical Olympiad to date, competing at age ten. The following years, 1986, ‘87 and ‘88 he won bronze, silver and gold medals, respectively—aged 11, 12 and 13. His first paper was published at age 15. He received both B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in mathematics at age 16 and earned his Ph.D. at Princeton University at age 21. He was made full professor at UCLA at age 24, the youngest person ever to reach that rank at the University of California.

### Related *Privatdozent* newsletters:

The Eccentricities of J. Robert Oppenheimer, July 23rd 2021

Kurt Gödel’s Brilliant Madness, June 21st 2021

The Absent-Minded Father of Cybernetics, Norbert Wiener, August 22nd 2021

Richard Feynman’s Advice to a Young Stephen Wolfram (1985), May 3rd 2021

When Feynman met Dirac, April 5th 2021

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How perfectly symmetrical, like an ornate GRANDe Mundo Mobius Striped HighWAY. Ty!