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Infosys Mathematics Award goes to a Kolkata scientist

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After Kolkata’s Indian Statistical Institute director Sanghamitra Bandopadhyay won the Infosys prize for computer science and cancer research, another Kolkata boy has made us proud! Ritabrata Munshi has won the 2017 Infosys Award in Mathematics for his contributions to the analytic aspects of number theory. Munshi had earlier in 2015 received the Bhatnagar Award, the highest award for Maths in India. Munshi has established important estimates for sub-convexity problems for a large class of L-functions with methods that are original and powerful.

As a child, Munshi, who is from Chandernagar, turned to mathematics for solace. He found languages boring, and hence turned to numbers when he was just seven or eight years old and this love for he subject paid him in the long run, when he received the highest award of the country in Mathematics. Munshi was not even interested in sports and would pore over journals when his friends played in the fields. Symbols of integration, logarithms and algebra were like a mystery to him, but he enjoyed them and his curiosity deepened.

His world of numbers opened a new horizon when Munshi went on for his PhD at Princeton and worked with famous number theorist Andrew Wiles. He later returned to India and started teaching at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and then started teaching at ISI, Kolkata. These days, Munshi is busy with solving the unsolved problems related to prime numbers. After all, finding this solution is any mathematician’s dream!;