Two Indian-born mathematicians are among 106 recipients of the prestigious Padma Awards, one of the country’s highest civilian honours, announced on the eve of Republic Day.
Indian-American SR Srinivasa Varadhan received the Padma Vibhushan and Indian-Canadian Sujatha Ramdorai received the Padmi Shri for their outstanding contributions in the field of science and engineering.
Born in Chennai on January 2, 1940, Srinivasa Varadhan is known for his fundamental contributions to probability theory.
The mathematics professor received the 2007 Abel Prize from the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters “for his fundamental contributions to probability theory and in particular for creating a unified theory of large deviations”.
Armed with a master’s degree (1960) from the University of Madras, Varadhan obtained his doctorate (1963) from the Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta.
In 1963 Varadhan came from India as a postdoctoral fellow at the Courant Institute in New York and never left. He is currently the Frank J Gould Professor of Mathematics and Professor of Science at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences.
He received the Birkhoff Prize (1994), the Margaret and Herman Sokol Prize from New York University School of Arts and Sciences (1995), and the Leroy Steele Prize (1996).
In 2008, the Indian government awarded him the Padma Bhushan.
Associated with the University of British Columbia, Canada, Sujatha Ramdorai is an algebraic number theorist known for her work on Iwasawa theory.
She is the first Indian to win the prestigious Ramanujan Prize from the International Center for Theoretical Physics in 2006 and also the winner of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize in 2004.
She is also the recipient of the 2020 Krieger-Nelson Prize for Outstanding Contributions to Research in Mathematics.
After serving on the National Knowledge Commission from 2007 to 2009, Ramdorai is currently a member of the Indian Prime Minister’s Science Advisory Council and a member of the National Innovation Council.
She completed her B.Sc. in 1982 from St Joseph’s College, Bangalore and then obtained her M.Sc. from Annamalai University in 1985.
Ramdorai did his PhD in the field of quadratic forms on function fields and Witt rings of manifolds from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.
The Padma Awards are bestowed by the President of India usually around March/April every year.
This year, a total of 106 Padma Prizes will be awarded to personalities from various disciplines.
Awards are given in three categories: Padma Vibhushan (for outstanding and distinguished service), Padma Bhushan (higher-order distinguished service) and Padma Shri (distinguished service).