Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Srinivasa Varadhan

Indian-born Srinivasa Varadhan has been 900-thousand dollar Abel Prize, for his pioneering research in probability theory.The Abel Prize, named for 19th century Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel, has been given annually by the Norwegian government since 2002 to honor the world's most influential mathematicians.Srinivasa Varadhan has been teaching and conducting research at New York University's prestigious Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, in New York City.His research has applications in many different fields, like finance, population dynamics, and traffic engineering.Varadhan's journey to the summit of the mathematics world began in Chennai, India, where he was born in 1940. He started getting serious about a career in mathematics during his undergraduate years at Madras University. It was in Calcutta, India, where he'd gone to get his PhD in applied statistics, that Varadhan says the urgings of his peers helped steer him from the applied side to the theoretical side of probability.He finished his PhD and Varadhan decided to come to the United States to pursue further research in probability theory at New York University's Courant Institute. He was eventually offered a permanent position there.Srinivasa Varadhan hopes his award will inspire more young people to take an interest in mathematics, and that it might encourage private and public institutions to support math education and research with more funding.


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