He is eyeing a Nobel

Last Updated 19 November 2018, 09:27 IST

At the tender age of seven, when tiny tots could not even solve the basic arithmetic, Tathagat Avtar Tulsi used to give a whole lot of lecture on Albert Einstein’s “photo-electric effect.”

This stunned everyone. The early traits of a genius were discovered by his father Prof Tulsi Narayan Prasad, who took a special permission from the court so that his whiz kid could appear in Class Xth examination at the age of nine. Since then, Tathagat has not looked back. Having skipped Intermediate (Class XII), he directly appeared for B Sc (Physics Honours) at the age of 10 and also completed Masters in Science (with prior permission from court) at the age of 12.

Having hit the national and international headlines, Tathagat faced lot of flak too from a certain section of academicians (which he does not want to talk about any more), but he continued with his studies relentlessly. Eventually, at the age of 21, he received his doctorate in ‘quantum computing’ from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. thus, he joined the select group of mathematicians and physicists who secured their PhD at 21. They include John Forbes Nash Jr, the MIT mathematician who got his Ph D in mathematics at 21.

Time magazine has named Tathagat as one of the seven most gifted youngsters. The child prodigy had become Dr Tathagat, and got a lucrative job offer from Waterloo University, Canada. But the man who wore India on his sleeves politely turned down the offer on the plea that he would prefer to do research in India and help his country get one more Nobel prize. “My goal is to do outstanding research. I hope to get some positive results in developing the software for quantum computers in the next two to three years,” averred the genius, who earlier had rejected another lucrative job offer from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Bhopal.

Son of the soil, Tathagat wanted to serve Bihar and therefore applied for a job at IIT, Patna. But destiny had something else in store for him. After an interview in February 2010 here, he was not found suitable for the job and was therefore rejected. “I wanted to serve my home State. Hence I applied here, but the mandarins at IIT, Patna, did not find me suitable for the job,” said Tathagat, who incidentally got the job in prestigious IIT, Mumbai, at the age of 22. Before leaving for Mumbai, where he will join as arguably the youngest faculty member of the prestigious institutions in Powai on July 19, Tathagat said, “Now the only aim in life is to get a Nobel prize for India.”

Close encounter
LIKES: Meaningful films
DISLIKES: Unnecessary criticism
ROLE MODEL: Albert Einstein
Chanchal Devi (mother)
Prof Tulsi Narayan Prasad (father)
SPORTS: Badminton and table tennis
DREAM: Help India get a Nobel prize

(Published 17 July 2010, 15:17 IST)

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