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Infosys-sponsored prize for Argentine mathematician

Posted on Aug 22 2014 | IANS

Bangalore, Aug 22 : Argentina-born mathematics evangelist Adrian Paenza won the prestigious Leelavathi Prize, sponsored by the Indian IT bellwether's Infosys Foundation in partnership with the International Mathematical Union.

"Paenza has been recognised for his contributions in changing and influencing the way Argentineans perceive mathematics in their daily life," the foundation said in a statement here Friday.

The award also celebrates Paenza's enthusiasm and passion to communicate the beauty and joy of mathematics through books and television programmes.

The award was presented to Paenza Thursday at the International Congress of Mathematics in Seoul, South Korea.

The foundation instituted the prize to recognise outstanding contributions in spreading awareness of mathematics as an intellectual discipline and the role it plays in diverse human endeavours.

"Infosys is honoured to sponsor the prize, which recognizes contributions in public outreach in mathematics," Infosys non-executive chairman N.R. Narayana Murthy said.

Lauding Paenza for winning the prize, Murthy said though mathematics was viewed as complicated by students and adults, Adrian had translated his love for the subject into work that addressed this issue via popular media like books and television.

"I am sure this has helped the math wizard to remove mysticism and phobia around mathematics for many," Murthy added.

Over a decade ago, Paenza turned into full-time science journalist, integrating his mathematical background with journalism.

"Paenza has been a champion of public and free education. He spearheaded a federal scheme for digital literacy, inspired by the 'one laptop per child' programme," the statement noted.

Manjul Bharagava, who won the prize in 2012 for mathematical science, was awarded a Fields Medal at the event in recognition of developing new methods in the geometry of numbers.

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