The biggest Indian eggheads
We list Indian brainiacs who dominate the world of numbers
32, Professor, Department of Mathematics, Stanford University
Born in New Delhi, but raised in Perth, Venkatesh won both the International Physics Olympiad and the International Mathematics Olympiad before he was 12. He was educated at the University of Western Australia and did his PhD at Princeton University and his post doctorate at MIT. He taught at New York University before moving on to Stanford. His area of specialisation is described as follows: counting, equi-distribution problems in automorphic forms and number theory, in particular, representation theory, locally symmetric spaces and ergodic theory. He won the Salem Prize and the Packard Fellowship in 2007 and the 2008 SastraRamanujan Prize.
49, Lola England de Valpine Professor of Applied Mathematics, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Physics at Harvard University
Mahadevan graduated from IIT Chennai before moving to University of Texas and, then, on to Stanford University. He’s had professorial stints at MIT and Trinity College in Cambridge before moving to Harvard, where he teaches applied mathematics and evolutionary biology. He is also a visiting professor at Oxford. Mahadevan is known for his work in using mathematics to understand organisation of matter in space and time. He is the winner of both Guggenheim and MacArthur fellowships in 2006 and 2009 respectively. Other honours include the Frenkiel Prize and the George Ledlie Prize, both in 2006.
40, R. Brandon Fradd Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University
American-Canadian Manjul Bhargava was named one of this year’s four recipients of the Fields Medal for his work in number theory. Known to look for elegant solutions to simple problems, Bharagava is equally well-known for teaching mathematics by doing magic tricks and referring to doughnut holes while explaining hyperelliptic curves. A trained tabla, sitar, guitar and violin player, Bhargava would visit his grandparents in Jaipur often. His grandfather, PurushottamLalBhargava, was the head of the Sanskrit department at the University of Rajasthan, and Bhargava grew up reading ancient mathematics and Sanskrit poetry texts. Referred to by his colleagues as unassuming and humble, the 40-year-old Bhargava wears his mathematical superstardom lightly.
47, Professor of Mathematics at UCLA, Los Angeles
After his early education in Mumbai, Khare did his undergraduate degree from Trinity College in Cambridge and his PhD from California Institute of Technology. He started his career at TIFR Mumbai before moving to California via University of Utah. Khare’s fame is for his work in the field of Galois representations and number theory. He won the Fermat Prize in 2007, the Guggenheim fellowship in 2008, the Infosys Prize in 2010 and the Cole Prize in 2011.
42, Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at the Georgia Institute of Technology
Vempala was born in Visakhapatnam and was educated at the Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science, where he also received his PhD. He was a math professor at MIT before being appointed to his current position at Georgia Tech, where he also spearheaded the Algorithms and Randomness Center and ThinkTank as its director for five years. He specialises in the areas of randomised algorithms, computational geometry and computation learning theory. He is a recipient of both the Sloan and Guggenheim fellowships.
48, Professor at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and the Dean of Faculty Affairs at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur
Winner of both the Padma Shri (2013) and the GD Birla Award (2009), Agrawal has spent much of his life at IIT Kanpur, having done his graduation and PhD there before taking up his current teaching position. He has also been a visiting scholar at Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He’s known for his work in “complexity theory, a branch of mathematics and computer science concerned with the study of algorithms for solving mathematical and related scientific problems”. He won the Gödel Prize and Fulkerson Prize in 2006 and the Infosys Prize in 2008.
45, Professor, Department of Mathematics, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH), Zurich
After graduating from Princeton University in 1990, Pandharipande did his PhD from Harvard University. He taught at Chicago University, California Institute of Technology and Princeton before moving to ETH two years ago. He is a leading expert on Gromov-Witten theory for Riemann surfaces, for establishing the connection between Gromov-Witten and Donaldson Thomas theories, for which he was awarded the Clay Research Award in 2013. He is also the recipient of the Compositio Prize and the Infosys Prize, both in 2013.
Professor of Mathematics, and the Director of the Mathematics Research Center (MRC) at Stanford University
Soundararajan grew up in Chennai and did his undergraduate studies at University of Michigan. He was awarded the inaugural Morgan Prize in 1995 while still a student for his work in analytic number theory. He did his PhD from Princeton, and his specialty is an area called quantum unique ergodicity conjecture. His honours include the Salem Prize in 2003, Sastra Ramanujan Prize in 2005, Infosys Prize in 2011 and Ostrowski Prize, also in 2011.
46, Charles C. Fitzmorris Professor of Computer Science at Princeton University
Arora topped the IIT entrance examination in 1986, but quit two years later to join MIT for his graduation and went on to complete his PhD in computer science at University of California, Berkely. He is a theoretical computer scientist whose expertise is in areas such as unique games conjecture, complexity of financial derivatives and provable bounds for machine learning. He is a two-time winner of the Godel Prize (2001 and 2010) and also won the Fulkerson Prize in 2012.
47, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research New England and Adjunct Professor at MIT
Sudan was born in Chennai and educated at IIT Delhi, before getting his PhD in computer science at University of California, Berkeley. Till 2009, he was the professor of computer science at MIT and a member of MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. He is famous for his work in the areas of computation and communication. He is a winner of the Godel Prize in 2001 and the Rolf Nevanlinna Prize in 2002.