Famous 21st Century Mathematicians

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 1 
Grigori Perelman
(Mathematician)
Grigori Perelman
16
Birthdate: June 13, 1966
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Russian mathematician Grigori Perelman is best known for his work on geometry, especially Riemannian geometry, geometric analysis, and geometric topology. He declined many prizes, such as the Fields Medal and the Millennium Prize. His proof of the Poincaré conjecture was named the Breakthrough of the Year by Science magazine.
 2 
Benoit Mandelbrot
(American Mathematician and Polymath Best Known for Popularizing the Concept of Fractal Geometry)
Benoit Mandelbrot
20
Birthdate: November 20, 1924
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: October 14, 2010

Noted mathematician and polymath, Benoit B. Mandelbrot is perhaps best known for his work on fractal. He not only coined the term, but also used computer-constructed images to illustrate the mathematical definition. Also credited with the discovery of Mandelbrot set and Mandelbrot law, he established that even those things which were apparently chaotic or rough had a "degree of order".

 3 
John Horton Conway
(British Mathematician Known for His Contributions to 'Combinatorial Game Theory (CGT)')
John Horton Conway
17
Birthdate: December 26, 1937
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Liverpool, England
Died: April 11, 2020

Remembered as versatile mathematician, game wizard and polymath, John Horton Conway had limitless curiosity, which matched with his scientific originality. Although he is best known for devising the cellular automation called Game of Life, he made significant contributions to group theory, number theory, algebra, geometric topology, theoretical physics, combinatorial game theory and geometry. Conway published many outstanding papers in these fields.

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 4 
Alexander Grothendieck
(French Mathematician and a Pioneer in the Field of 'Modern Algebraic Geometry')
Alexander Grothendieck
9
Birthdate: March 28, 1928
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: November 13, 2014

Alexander Grothendieck was a 20th-century mathematician who was a leading figure in the creation of modern algebraic geometry. With his so-called "relative" perspective, he revolutionized many areas of pure mathematics. During his later career, he became a professor at the University of Montpellier. He is counted among the greatest mathematicians of the 20th century.

 5 
Terence Tao
(One of the Greatest Living Mathematicians Who is Referred to as the 'Mozart of Mathematics')
Terence Tao
22
Birthdate: July 17, 1975
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Adelaide, Australia

Terence Tao is an Australian-American mathematician who works at the University of California, Los Angeles as a professor of mathematics. Widely considered one of the most prominent living mathematicians, Tao was honored with the prestigious Fields Medal in 2006. In 2014, he was awarded the Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics.

 6 
Katherine Johnson
(Mathematician and One of the First African-American Women to Work as a NASA Scientist)
Katherine Johnson
49
Birthdate: August 26, 1918
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: West Virginia, United States
Died: February 24, 2020
Katherine Johnson was a physicist and mathematician, remembered as the first African-American female NASA scientist. Her calculations helped launch the space missions of Alan Shepard and John Glenn. She was crucial to the Apollo program and won a Congressional Gold Medal and a Presidential Medal of Freedom for her achievements.
 7 
Andrew Wiles
(Mathematician, University teacher)
Andrew Wiles
27
Birthdate: April 11, 1953
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cambridge

English mathematician Sir Andrew John Wiles, a Royal Society Research Professor at the University of Oxford, is best known for proving the modularity theorem for semistable elliptic curves, thereby proving Fermat's Last Theorem for which he was awarded the Abel Prize and the Copley Medal by the Royal Society. He also proved the main conjecture of Iwasawa theory.

 8 
Mary Jackson
(Mathematician)
Mary Jackson
19
Birthdate: April 9, 1921
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hampton, Virginia, United States
Died: February 11, 2005

American mathematician and aerospace engineer Mary Jackson went down in history as the first African-American woman to work as a NASA engineer. Initially a math teacher, she later joined NACA under Dorothy Vaughan and contributed to countless American space programs at a time when racial segregation was the norm.

 9 
Maryam Mirzakhani
(First Iranian to Be Honored With the ‘Fields Medal’, the Most Prestigious Award in Mathematics)
Maryam Mirzakhani
32
Birthdate: May 12, 1977
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran
Died: July 14, 2017

Maryam Mirzakhani was an Iranian mathematician best remembered for her innovative methods and research involving different branches of mathematics like symplectic geometry and ergodic theory. On 13 August 2014, she became the first Iranian and only woman to date to be honored with the prestigious Fields Medal. Maryam Mirzakhani died of breast cancer when she was 40 years old.

 10 
Tom Lehrer
(American musician)
Tom Lehrer
20
Birthdate: April 9, 1928
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York, Manhattan

While he grew up to be a Harvard math professor, that didn’t stop Tom Lehrer from pursuing his childhood love for music. He gained fame as a satirical composer, with songs such as So Long, Mom, I’m Off to Drop the Bomb and That Was The Year That Was.

 11 
Roger Penrose
(English Mathematician, Mathematical Physicist and Winner of the 2020 Nobel Prize for Physics)
Roger Penrose
17
Birthdate: August 8, 1931
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Colchester, England

Roger Penrose’s contribution to the research related to the black hole and general relativity earned him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2020. The Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at Oxford, Roger is also a fellow of Wadham College, St John's College of Cambridge, and University College London.

 12 
Hilary Putnam
(Mathematician, Philosopher)
Hilary Putnam
7
Birthdate: July 31, 1926
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: March 13, 2016
 13 
James Harris Simons
(Mathematicians & Hedge Fund Manager)
James Harris Simons
9
Birthdate: 1938 AD
Birthplace: Newton

The son of a shoe factory owner, mathematician-turned-hedge-fund-manager James Harris Simons studied math at MIT and helped the U.S. break codes during the Vietnam War. He later founded his own hedge fund firm, Renaissance Technologies. He supports autism research and funds Math for America. In 2021, he was America’s 23rd-richest person.

 14 
Donald Knuth
(Mathematician and Computer Scientist Known for His Multivolume Series of Books “The Art of Computer Programming”)
Donald Knuth
12
Birthdate: January 10, 1938
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States

Mathematician and computer scientist Donald Ervin Knuth is best known for his contribution to the development of the rigorous analysis of the computational complexity of algorithms. Also the creator of the TeX computer typesetting system as well as the WEB and CWEB computer programming systems, he has published twenty books, most significant among them being The Art of Computer Programming.

 15 
Freeman Dyson
(Mathematician)
Freeman Dyson
8
Birthdate: December 15, 1923
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Crowthorne, England
Died: February 28, 2020

Freeman Dyson was a British-American theoretical and mathematical physicist, mathematician, and statistician. He made major contributions in the fields of quantum field theory, astrophysics, random matrices, quantum mechanics, and nuclear physics. He originated the concept that went on to be known as Dyson's transform. He received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement in 1986. 

 16 
Eric Weinstein
(Mathematician)
Eric Weinstein
12
Birthdate: October 26, 1965
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Apart from being the MD of Thiel Capital, mathematician and economist Eric Weinstein is also a researcher at Oxford. The Harvard alumnus had quit academia for 20 years before he returned again. He coined the term “intellectual dark web” and works on topics such as gauge theory, risk management, and immigration.

 17 
Marvin Minsky
(Mathematician, Computer scientist, University teacher)
Marvin Minsky
10
Birthdate: August 9, 1927
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York City
Died: January 24, 2016
 18 
Sal Khan
(Teacher)
Sal Khan
22
Birthdate: October 11, 1976
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Metairie, Louisiana, U.S.

What began as amateur math tutorials for his cousin later became Sal Khan’s dream project, the online education platform Khan Academy, which now has over 42 million users worldwide. Named to Time 100 in 2012, the American-born Bengali former hedge fund analyst is an MIT and Harvard alumnus.

 19 
Cédric Villani
(Mathematician, Physicist, University teacher)
Cédric Villani
7
Birthdate: October 5, 1973
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Brive-la-Gaillarde

Fields Medal-winning French politician and mathematician Cédric Villani works mainly on mathematical physics, partial differential equations and Riemannian geometry. He serves as Member of the National Assembly for Essonne's 5th constituency, after being elected during the 2017 legislative election. He was a member of La République En Marche! but defected later to form the political party Ecology, Democracy, Solidarity.  

 20 
Manjul Bhargava
(Mathematician)
Manjul Bhargava
10
Birthdate: August 8, 1974
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Hamilton, Canada
 21 
Michael Atiyah
(British-Lebanese Mathematician Who was the Co-Founder of 'Topological K-Theory')
Michael Atiyah
4
Birthdate: April 22, 1929
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom
Died: January 11, 2019

Recipient of Fields Medal and Abel Prize, British-Lebanese mathematician Michael Atiyah emerged as a leading figure in the UK mathematics during the latter half of the 20th century. He specialised in geometry and made remarkable contributions in the fields of geometry, theoretical physics, topology and global analysis, and is best known for proving the Atiyah–Singer index theorem with Isadore Singer.

 22 
Dorothy Vaughan
(American Mathematician, Human Computer and the First African-American to Receive Promotion as Supervisor in NASA)
Dorothy Vaughan
38
Birthdate: September 20, 1910
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Died: November 10, 2008

American mathematician Dorothy Vaughan was also known as a "human computer." Initially a math teacher, she became the first African-American supervisor of NACA, later part of NASA, at a time when racial segregation was rampant in the U.S. Her contribution to the early American space programs is invaluable.

 23 
Pietro Boselli
(Italian Model, Engineer, and Former Mathematics Lecturer Known as ‘World’s Sexiest Maths Teacher’)
Pietro Boselli
15
Birthdate: December 3, 1988
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Negrar, Italy

While he had been an Armani Junior model at 6, Pietro Boselli later earned a mechanical engineering degree, completed his PhD, and taught math. After a student posted a photo of him on Facebook and it went viral, Boselli became a sensation, gaining fame as the world's hottest math teacher.

 24 
John Urschel
(Mathematician)
John Urschel
12
Birthdate: June 24, 1991
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Winnipeg, Canada

Part of the 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30 list of young scientists, Canadian-American mathematician John Urschel has previously had an illustrious football career as part of the NFL team Baltimore Ravens. He played with the Ravens without revealing that he was a full-time graduate student at MIT.

 25 
Lotfi A. Zadeh
(Mathematician)
Lotfi A. Zadeh
5
Birthdate: February 4, 1921
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Baku, Azerbaijan
Died: September 6, 2017
 26 
Peter Scholze
(Mathematician, University teacher)
Peter Scholze
7
Birthdate: December 11, 1987
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dresden
 27 
Leslie Lamport
(Mathematician, Computer scientist, Programmer, Engineer, Writer)
Leslie Lamport
5
Birthdate: February 7, 1941
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York City
 28 
Kenneth Arrow
(Eonomist)
Kenneth Arrow
5
Birthdate: August 23, 1921
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: February 21, 2017
 29 
Boris Berezovsky
(Russian Business Oligarch, Government Official, Engineer and Mathematician)
Boris Berezovsky
5
Birthdate: January 23, 1946
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: March 23, 2013

Russian business-tycoon, engineer, mathematician and government official Boris Berezovsky is counted among the famed Russian oligarchs who made their fortunes during the 1990s, when Russia was going through privatization of state property. He remained a vocal critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin since the latter’s election as president in 2000 and was granted political asylum by the UK in 2003.

 30 
William J. Perry
(Mathematician)
William J. Perry
5
Birthdate: October 11, 1927
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vandergrift, Pennsylvania, United States U.S.
 31 
Shing-Tung Yau
(Mathematician, University teacher)
Shing-Tung Yau
6
Birthdate: April 4, 1949
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Shantou
 32 
Edward O. Thorp
(Mathematician, Writer, University teacher)
Edward O. Thorp
7
Birthdate: August 14, 1932
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Chicago
 33 
Adi Shamir
(Mathematician, Cryptologist, Computer scientist)
Adi Shamir
5
Birthdate: July 6, 1952
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tel Aviv

Turing Award-winning Israeli cryptographer Adi Shamir is one of the co-inventors of RSA encryption. He also owns patents to more than a dozen more inventions. He has been associated with the University of Warwick and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and has also taught at the Weizmann Institute.

 34 
Richard Hamilton (Mathematician)
(Known for Contributions to Geometric Analysis & Partial Differential Equations.)
Richard Hamilton (Mathematician)
6
Birthdate: January 10, 1943
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
 35 
Whitfield Diffie
(Cryptographer and one of the pioneers of public-key cryptography along with Martin Hellman and Ralph Merkle)
Whitfield Diffie
8
Birthdate: June 5, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
 36 
Alan Sokal
(Mathematician, Physicist, University teacher)
Alan Sokal
6
Birthdate: January 24, 1955
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Boston

New York University physics professor Alan Sokal made headlines for creating what is now known as the Sokal Hoax. He wrote gibberish using flowery jargon and submitted it to the journal Social Text, which published it as postmodernist criticism, thus proving the lack of credibility of such journals.

 37 
John Wilder Tukey
(Mathematician)
John Wilder Tukey
8
Birthdate: June 16, 1915
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New Bedford, Massachusetts, United States
Died: July 26, 2000
 38 
David Berlinski
(philosopher, mathematician, university teacher)
David Berlinski
6
Birthdate: 1942 AD
Birthplace: New York City
 39 
Edward Witten
(Mathematician, Physicist, University teacher, Theoretical physicist)
Edward Witten
17
Birthdate: August 26, 1951
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Baltimore

American mathematical and theoretical physicist Edward Witten is regarded as the practical founder of M-theory. His proof of positive energy theorem led him to become the first physicist who received the Fields Medal by International Mathematical Union. His research works mainly include the areas of string theory, supersymmetric quantum field theories and quantum gravity, besides other areas of mathematical physics.  

 40 
John Lennox
(mathematician, philosopher of science, university teacher)
John Lennox
6
Birthdate: November 7, 1943
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Northern Ireland

Apart from being an ace mathematician, John Lennox has also taught at institutes such as Oxford and is an emeritus fellow at Green Templeton College. A Christian apologist, too, he has penned books, such as Can Science Explain Everything?, exploring diverse topics, such as religion and artificial intelligence.

 41 
Daniel J. Bernstein
(Mathematician, Cryptologist, Programmer, University teacher, Computer scientist)
Daniel J. Bernstein
7
Birthdate: October 29, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: East Patchogue
 42 
Johan Galtung
(Writer, Sociologist)
Johan Galtung
4
Birthdate: October 24, 1930
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Oslo, Norway

Johan Galtung is a Norwegian sociologist best known as the founder of a social science field called peace and conflict studies. He is also credited with founding the Peace Research Institute Oslo where he served as the director from 1959 to 1970. Renowned for his contribution to political science, economics, and history, Galtung won the Right Livelihood Award in 1987.

 43 
Natan Sharansky
(Politician, Writer, Mathematician, Human rights activist)
Natan Sharansky
6
Birthdate: January 20, 1948
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Donetsk

A well-known human rights activist, Natan Sharansky not just campaigned for the rights of the Jews and spent 9 years in a prison in Siberia, but was also a chess prodigy, who was a champion at age 14. He has also penned books and won multiple awards.

 44 
Stephen Wolfram
(Mathematician, Physicist, Computer scientist, Businessperson, University teacher, Patent inventor, Writer)
Stephen Wolfram
17
Birthdate: August 29, 1959
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London

Stephen Wolfram is a British-American computer scientist, physicist, and businessman, best known for his work in computer science, mathematics, and theoretical physics. He is a  fellow of the American Mathematical Society. As a businessman, he is the founder and CEO of Wolfram Research, a software company. 

 45 
Shinichi Mochizuki
(Japanese Mathematician Who Is Known for His Contribution to Anabelian Geometry)
Shinichi Mochizuki
4
Birthdate: March 29, 1969
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan

Known as the Japanese Perelman, mathematician Shinichi Mochizuki is known for his work on number theory and arithmetic geometry and for his contribution to anabelian geometry. His proof of the ABC Conjecture was met with criticism by fellow mathematicians Peter Scholze and Jakob Stix, leading to a major controversy.

 46 
Bruce Schneier
(Cryptographer, Mathematician, Computer scientist)
Bruce Schneier
4
Birthdate: January 15, 1963
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City
 47 
Seymour Papert
(South African-Born American Mathematician and Computer Scientist Who Co-Invented Logo)
Seymour Papert
5
Birthdate: February 29, 1928
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Pretoria
Died: July 31, 2016

South African-born American mathematician and computer scientist Seymour Papert is best remembered for co-inventing the computer programming language Logo, which is also an educational tool. He was part of the faculty at MIT and was known for his pioneering research on children’s learning processes, the constructionist movement, and AI.

 48 
Marcus du Sautoy
(Mathematician, Academic, University teacher, Writer)
Marcus du Sautoy
5
Birthdate: August 26, 1965
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London
 49 
Ruth Lawrence
(Mathematician, Topologist, University teacher)
Ruth Lawrence
5
Birthdate: August 2, 1971
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Brighton
 50 
Raymond Smullyan
(Mathematician, Philosopher)
Raymond Smullyan
5
Birthdate: May 25, 1919
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Far Rockaway, New York, United States
Died: February 6, 2017