Greek Mathematician Constantinos Daskalakis Wins Prestigious Award

Greek MIT Professor Constantinos Daskalakis won the prestigious Rolf Nevanlinna Prize, given every four years to scientists under 40 who have contributed to the advancement of computer mathematics.

The International Mathematical Society honored Constantinos Daskalakis with the award, because it “shaped our comprehension of computational complexity to fundamental problems” related to mathematics and the economy. The Rolf Nevanlinna Prize is one of the highest honors in theoretical computer science

Speaking to Athens Voice Radio 102.5, the Greek scientist said that this is one of the most important awards he ever received and that he is very happy about it.

“There was a protocol of secrecy and that is why it was announced today (Wednesday), the day the award was given,” Daskalakis said.

Constantinos Daskalakis graduated from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens (with a grade of 9.98, with a maximum of 10) then went to Berkeley for his postgraduate and PhD studies. At 28 he became assistant professor at MIT, where he is teaching today.

The Greek scientist became famous in 2008 when he won the 2008 Doctoral Dissertation Award from ACM (the Association for Computing Machinery) for advancing our understanding of behavior in complex networks of interacting individuals, such as those enabled and created by the Internet.

His dissertation, entitled “The Complexity of Nash Equilibria,” provides a novel, algorithmic perspective on Game Theory and the concept of the Nash equilibrium (“The Complexity of Computing a Nash Equilibrium.”. For this work Daskalakis was also awarded the 2008 Kalai Prize for outstanding articles at the interface of computer science and game theory, along with Christos Papadimitriou and Paul W. Goldberg.

Daskalakis with Nobel Prize winner mathematician John Nash in 2013