Mathematician Terence Tao receives 2014 CTY Distinguished Alumni Award

Terence Tao, a professor of mathematics at UCLA dubbed the "Mozart of Math," received the 2014 Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth Distinguished Alumni Award on Sunday in a ceremony at Shriver Hall on the university's Homewood campus.

Terence Tao, Elaine Tuttle Hansen

Image caption: Terence Tao, recipient of the 2014 CTY Distinguished Alumni Award, with CTY Director Elaine Tuttle Hansen and top-scoring middle school participants in the 2013-14 CTY Talent Search.

Tao, who at 24 became the youngest person ever promoted to full professor at UCLA, has authored more than 250 research papers and 17 books and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2006 Fields Medal, the so-called mathematician's Nobel Prize.

A native of Australia, Tao exhibited extraordinary mathematical abilities at an early age and worked closely with Julian Stanley, the Johns Hopkins psychologist whose Study of Exceptional Talent led to the creation of the Center for Talented Youth. Tao was honored Sunday at CTY's Grand Ceremony, which recognized the achievements of 960 top-scoring middle school participants in the 2013-14 CTY Talent Search.

"Having achievements at an early age, like all of you here, can give you a head start and opens up many opportunities, but in the long run it's all about persistence and endurance," Tao told ceremony attendees. "You all have very promising futures, but it's not a race. Take your time to find something you love and stick with it."

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