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Top thinker Caucher Birkar talks maths, migration—and how his older brother taught him calculus

Tens of thousands voted to choose the world’s top thinker from the 50 names we presented in our last issue. Here we speak to the winner, Cambridge mathematician Caucher Birkar

By Tom Clark   October 2019

Prospect's World Top Thinker 2019, Caucher Birkar. Photo: Prospect composite

There has been phenomenal interest in our list of the  World’s Top 50 Thinkers, with tens of thousands voting. After the ballot closed, I’ll confess to jitters on opening the results. In these polarised times, what sort of mind would rally the most online support? One of the more trenchantly opinionated thinkers on the list seemed a safe bet, a name that would probably alienate one set or another of Prospect readers.

In the event, though, the runaway winner…

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