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Home > News > Report

Indian-American professor wins Norway's Abel Prize

May 23, 2007 11:28 IST

An Indian-born professor collected a leading maths award for work on probability theory and said he planned to use some of the almost $1 million in prize money to aid an Indian town.

Srinivasa Varadhan, a 67-year-old US citizen who works at the Courant Institute in New York, collected the Abel Prize from Norway's King Harald in a ceremony in Oslo.

Varadhan's work in probability has applications ranging from car insurers trying to forecast accident numbers to oil firms designing offshore platforms to withstand freak 100-year waves.

He said he planned to use perhaps a third of the $990,900 prize in his parents' home town of Tambaram, a suburb of Chennai in eastern India.

"Some of it I would like to use to promote education -- the money goes much further in India than in the United States," he told Reuters.

Norway's government set up the Abel Prize, named after 19th century mathematician Niels Henrik Abel, in 2002, hoping it would become the equivalent of a Nobel prize for mathematics.

The 2007 award was announced in March.