Leelavati Award

The Leelavati Award is an award for outstanding contribution to public outreach in mathematics. It is named after the 12th-century mathematical treatise "Lilavati" devoted to arithmetic and algebra written by the Indian mathematician Bhāskara II, also known as Bhaskara Achārya. In the book the author posed, in verse form, a series of problems in (elementary) arithmetic to one Leelavati (perhaps his daughter) and followed them up with hints to solutions. This work appears to have been the main source of learning arithmetic and algebra in medieval India. The work was also translated into Persian and was influential in West Asia.


The Leelavati Prize was handed out for the first time at the closing ceremony of the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) 2010 in Hyderabad, India. Established by the Executive Organising Committee (EOC) of the ICM with the endorsement of the IMU Executive Committee (EC), the Leelavati Prize was initiated as a one-time international award for outstanding public outreach work for mathematics. The award was so well received at the conference and in the mathematical press [1] that the IMU decided to turn the prize into a recurring four-yearly award and the award ceremony a regular feature of every ICM closing ceremony.

The Leelavati prize is not intended to reward mathematical research but rather outreach activities in the broadest possible sense. It carries a cash prize of 1,000,000 Indian Rupees (14,000 US dollars) together with a citation, and is sponsored by Infosys since 2014.[2]


Award year Winner Reasons
2010 Simon Singh "For outstanding contributions to public outreach in mathematics by an individual."[3]
2014 Adrián Paenza "For his decisive contributions to changing the mind of a whole country about the way it perceives mathematics in daily life, and in particular for his books, his TV programs, and his unique gift of enthusiasm and passion in communicating the beauty and joy of mathematics."[4][5][6]
2018 Ali Nesin "For his outstanding contributions towards increasing public awareness of mathematics in Turkey, in particular for his tireless work in creating the "Mathematical Village" as an exceptional, peaceful place for education, research and the exploration of mathematics for anyone."[7]
2022 Nikolai Andreev "For his contribution to the art of mathematical animation and of mathematical model-building, in a style which inspires the young and the old alike, and which mathematicians around the world can adapt to their varied uses—as well as for his indefatigable efforts to popularize genuine mathematics among the public via videos, lectures, and a prize-winning book."[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Press Release: Leelavati Prize for Public Outreach in Mathematics" (PDF).
  2. ^ "Leelavati Prize". International Mathematical Union. Retrieved 2022-06-25.
  3. ^ "Simon Singh Wins Maiden Leelavati Award" (PDF). mathunion.org. International Mathematical Union.
  4. ^ "Leelavati Prize 2014". mathunion.org. International Mathematical Union.
  5. ^ "Leelavati Prize Winner". Archived from the original on 2014-11-29.
  6. ^ "Press Release: Leelavati Prize 2014 for Adrián Paenza" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-08-13. Retrieved 2014-08-13.
  7. ^ "Leelavati Prize 2018". mathunion.org. International Mathematical Union.
  8. ^ Leelavati Prize 2022 Nikolai Andreev, retrieved 2022-07-05

External linksEdit