India Diaspora
Education in India helped me: Abel Prize winner
Apr 30, 2007 - 4:17:11 PM

New Delhi, April 30 - India-born Srinivasa S.R. Varadhan, winner of this year's Abel Prize in Mathematics, has acknowledged that his Indian educational background helped him win the award.

In reply to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's congratulatory email sent last month, Varadhan said: 'As I receive the award I am very aware that the early education I received in India from high school through college and doctoral studies at the Indian Statistical Institute -, Kolkata, has provided me with the necessary foundation for success.'

He added: 'I will always be grateful. I hope that I will continue to maintain my contacts and be helpful for the development of mathematical talent in India.'

The Abel Prize is awarded by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters and is regarded equivalent to a Nobel Prize in the discipline. The prize was created in 2002 to commemorate the 200th centenary of the birth of Niels Henrik Abel. The Norwegian is acknowledged as one of the greatest mathematicians though he died at the young age of 26.

The award is worth 6 million kroner - and Varadhan is the second New York University winner of the award in three years.

Varadhan, born 1940 in Chennai, currently teaches at New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. His theories have proved useful in a broad range of fields, including quantum field theory, statistical physics, population dynamics, econometrics and finance, and traffic engineering. He is now a US citizen.

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