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Two India-born Mathematicians of International Renown Among Recipients of Republic Day Awards

Two India-born Mathematicians of International Renown Among Recipients of Republic Day Awards

  • S.R. Srinivasa Varadhan was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, while the Padma Shri award was conferred on Indo-Canadian algebraic number theorist Sujatha Ramdorai.

Indian American mathematician S.R., Srinivasa Varadhan, known globally for his contributions to probability theory, has been awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian honor. Varadhan, known to his friends as “Raghu,” came to the United States for postdoctoral work at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University in 1963 and never left, eventually becoming the Frank J. Gould professor of science. 

In 2008, Varadhan received the Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian honor. A year earlier, he won the prestigious Abel Prize, for his contributions to probability theory and more specifically for creating a unified theory of large deviations. His other awards include the American Mathematical Society’s 1996 Leroy Steele Prize, and the George David Birkhoff Prize in 1994. 

Born in India, Varadhan earned his doctorate from Calcutta’s Indian Statistical Institute in 1963 and “in the subsequent decades expanded the boundaries of modern mathematics through his pioneering work in probability theory, including his creation of a unified theory for large deviations,” according to his Britannica profile.

He received a bachelor’s degree (1959) and a master’s degree (1960) from the University of Madras before earning a doctorate (1963) from the Indian Statistical Institute in Calcutta. He spent the next three years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University, in New York City. He stayed on at Courant after his fellowship, rising through the academic ranks to become a full professor in 1972. 

Meanwhile, Indo-Canadian algebraic number theorist Sujatha Ramdorai was awarded the Padma Shri award. A professor of mathematics and Canada Research Chair at the University of British Columbia, Canada, she was previously a professor at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. 

See Also

She is the first Indian to win the prestigious International Centre for Theoretical Physics Ramanujan Prize in 2006 and also a winner of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award in 2004.

Her initial work was on the algebraic theory of quadratic forms. She then went on to work on the arithmetic of algebraic varieties. She has substantial contributions to the non-commutative Iwasawa theory, a theory developed by Japanese mathematician Kenkichi Iwasawa that combines tools from algebra, number theory and representations of Galois groups. Her work has implications in the fields of complex geometry, topology, number theory and cryptography.

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