Kolkata-based math whiz Supravat Sarkar (20) is on a roll. For the third consecutive year, this third year student of the city’s vintage Indian Statistical Institute (ISI, estb.1931) was crowned champion of the national Madhava Maths Competition 2019 held on January 6 in 24 centres countrywide. The results of the competition were declared on March 22. Also a KVPY scholar of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and awardee of the International and Asia Pacific Maths Olympiads, this year Supravat won a Special Excellence Award of the Madhava Maths competition for scoring a record 100 percent.
Started in 2010, the Madhava Maths Competition, established in memory of the eponymous 14th century mathematician, is an annual tournament — open to math undergrads in India — organised jointly by S.P. College, Pune, the Mumbai-based Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research with the support of the DAE’s (department of atomic energy) National Board of Higher Mathematics. This year’s competition attracted participation of 10,000 maths undergrad students from across the country.
“Although I have topped this competitive exam twice, this year was particularly satisfying as I was able to max the competition’s exam. I attribute this achievement to intense and continuous practice of problem solving from previous years’ question banks, reading math texts and parental and college faculty support,” says Supravat.
The sole child of Sambhunath Sarkar, former professor of physics, and Krishna Kundu, a biosciences school teacher, for Supravat, who studied at the Arambag Government High School affiliated with the West Bengal state board, science and maths was the stuff of dinner table discussions. So no surprise that he has competed in ten national and international math competitions and has won nine awards thus far.
Inevitably, this academic topper who cites Swiss maths whiz Leonhard Euler and Srinivasa Ramanujan as his role models, is set to go places. “My dream is to do deep research in algebra, topology and geometry and make a career in teaching and research in a higher education institution of repute in India or abroad,” he says.
Wind beneath your wings!
Baishali Mukherjee (Kolkata)