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Monday, March 28, 2022

the coveted Abel Prize

In 1920, British governor Scott and his wife visit Adilabad forest, and forcefully take away Malli, a talented girl from the Gond tribe to Delhi. To rescue the girl, the tribe's protector Komaram Bheem arrives in Delhi with his men. They capture a wild tiger in the forests to aid their mission. The Nizam of Hyderabad warns Scott's officer about Bheem's mission.  .. .. it is a rage – “RRR” – Telegu film of SS Rajamouli is making waves.   The film starring Rama Rao Jr., Ram Charan& others, is a fictional story about two Indian revolutionaries, Alluri Sitarama Raju (Charan) and Komaram Bheem (Rama Rao), who fought against the British Raj and Nizam of Hyderabad respectively.

Made on a budget of ₹550 crore (US$72 million), RRR was initially scheduled for theatrical release in July 2020 but had to be deferred multiple times due to production delays and COVID-19 pandemic. The film  recently hit the screens and is raving with positive reviews.  With ₹240 crore worldwide on its first day, RRR broke the record for the highest opening-day collection earned by an Indian film.

For sure, you have read the minute details of RRR and know so many tidbits – have you ever heard of - Sathamangalam Ranga Iyengar Srinivasa Varadhan  and ‘ Varadhan's lemma’ which  is a result from large deviations theory. It  gives information on the asymptotic distribution of a statistic φ(Zε) of a family of random variables Zε as ε becomes small in terms of a rate function for the variables.

In mathematics, topology (from the Greek words τόπος, 'place, location', and λόγος, 'study') is concerned with the properties of a geometric object that are preserved under continuous deformations, such as stretching, twisting, crumpling, and bending; that is, without closing holes, opening holes, tearing, gluing, or passing through itself.A topological space is a set endowed with a structure, called a topology, which allows defining continuous deformation of subspaces, and, more generally, all kinds of continuity.  The deformations that are considered in topology are homeomorphisms and homotopies. A property that is invariant under such deformations is a topological property. Basic examples of topological properties are: the dimension, which allows distinguishing between a line and a surface; compactness, which allows distinguishing between a line and a circle; connectedness, which allows distinguishing a circle from two non-intersecting circles.  !! !! !!!!!  The ideas underlying topology go back to Gottfried Leibniz, who in the 17th century envisioned the geometria situs and analysis situs.  The term topology was introduced by Johann Benedict Listing in the 19th century, although it was not until the first decades of the 20th century that the idea of a topological space was developed.

Dennis Parnell Sullivan, is an American mathematician known for his work in algebraic topology, geometric topology, and dynamical systems. He holds the Albert Einstein Chair at the City University of New York Graduate Center and is a distinguished professor at Stony Brook University.Sullivan was awarded the Wolf Prize in Mathematics in 2010 and  has been awarded the Abel Prize in 2022 now.

The Abel Prize is awarded annually by the King of Norway to outstanding mathematicians. It is named after the Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel (1802–1829) and directly modeled after the Nobel Prizes. It comes with a monetary award of 7.5 million Norwegian kroner (NOK).The Abel Prize's history dates back to 1899, when its establishment was proposed by the Norwegian mathematician Sophus Lie when he learned that Alfred Nobel's plans for annual prizes would not include a prize in mathematics. In 1902, King Oscar II of Sweden and Norway indicated his willingness to finance the creation of a mathematics prize to complement the Nobel Prizes, but the establishment of the prize was prevented by the dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden in 1905. It took almost a century before the prize was finally established by the Government of Norway in 2001, and it was specifically intended "to give the mathematicians their own equivalent of a Nobel Prize." The laureates are selected by the Abel Committee, the members of whom are appointed by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.The award ceremony takes place at  University of Oslo, where the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded between 1947 and 1989.

The prize was first proposed in 1899, to be part of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Niels Henrik Abel's birth in 1802.Dennis Sullivan has been awarded this year’s Abel Prize while SR Srinivasa Varadhan was awarded the prize in 2007, becoming the first Indian to win this coveted prize. 

Sathamangalam Ranga Iyengar Srinivasa Varadhan is famously known  for his fundamental contributions to probability theory and in particular for creating a unified theory of large deviations. SRS Varadhan was bron in Madras in 1940, studied in Presidency College, Triplicane, then at Indian Statistical Institute,  Kolkata. He received his doctorate from ISI in 1963 under C R Rao, who arranged for Andrey Kolmogorov to be present at Varadhan's thesis defence.Since 1963, he has worked at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University, where he was at first a postdoctoral fellow (1963–66), strongly recommended by Monroe D Donsker.  Sri Varadhan is currently a professor at the Courant Institute.


With regards – S. Sampathkumar
28th Mar 2022. 

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