The math scholar on his love for the subject, renouncing worldly life and applications of geometric topology
Prof. Mahan Mj, also known as Mahan Maharaj or Swami Vidyanathananda, is not your typical math scholar. Born Mahan Mitra in 1968, he has a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, in mathematics. He renounced worldly life to become a monk by joining the Ramakrishna Mission in 1998, but continues to teach and research in mathematics.
After St Xavier’s Collegiate School in Kolkata, he graduated from IIT Kanpur. He initially wanted to major in electrical engineering, but his love for mathematics got the better of him. A recipient of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for science and technology in 2011 and Infosys Prize in mathematics in November 2015, Mahan explains why he sees no contradiction in being a monk and simultaneously doing research in a subject like complex geometry at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR)...............Read more