Dr Tathagat Tulsi, 22, becomes Professor Tulsi at IIT Bombay

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by ajtr, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Dr Tathagat Tulsi, 22, becomes Professor Tulsi at IIT Bombay


    He completed high school at the age of 9, had a B.Sc at 10, an M.Sc in Physics at 12, and a PhD in Quantum Computing from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, at 21. In 2003, Time named him among the world’s seven most gifted youngsters. Now, at age 22, Patna-born prodigy Tathagat Avtar Tulsi has become possibly the youngest assistant professor at IIT.
    Tulsi will teach Physics at IIT Bombay from July 19, having chosen the institute over Waterloo University, Canada, and the Indian Institute of Science Education & Research (IISER), Bhopal, both of which had offered him jobs.


    “I turned down Waterloo despite an impressive pay package because I do not want to go abroad now,” Tulsi told The Indian Express over the phone from Patna. “My dream is to set up a lab focused on quantum computation in India, and one day help develop a largescale quantum computation-based supercomputer. IIT Bombay offers me these possibilities.”IIT Bombay confirmed that Tulsi is set to join its faculty. In an appointment letter sent on June 30, IIT Bombay Director Prof Devang V Khakar informed Tulsi that the institute’s Board of Governors was pleased to offer him assistant professorship on contract at the Department of Physics.

    Hailed early as a wonder boy, Tulsi suffered humiliation in August 2001 when a delegation of scientists taken by the Department of Science & Technology to Lindau in Germany for an interaction with Nobel laureates, suggested that he was a “fake prodigy” who had “mugged up” jargon which he spouted unthinkingly.

    A hurt Tulsi went into a shell for several years. He returned to news this February after he became the youngest holder of a PhD in India.

    “Back then it hurt a lot. But I have put the humiliation behind me, and now feel that I have achieved something. I am very happy to join an IIT as faculty. I am looking forward to teaching and research,” Tulsi said.
     
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  3. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    'I broke Kelvin's Grade 10 record at the age of nine'

    'Wonder Boy' from bihar joins elite league of renowned scholars who leapfrogged academic ranks.
    By Nilima Pathak, CorrespondentPublished: 23:14 September 11, 2009
    New Delhi: Considered a child prodigy, Tathagat Avatar Tulsi is now India's youngest Ph.D. holder at 21, from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore. He has a long list of achievements behind. Never keen on toys and naughty pranks, he was always amidst books and loved discussing mathematics and physics, which people found quite intriguing from an average boy of his age.
    His parents understood him and neither imposed their will on him nor forced him to play or do anything beyond his wishes. Tathagat knew his priorities in life and spurred by records, was at one time in a hurry to complete his Ph.D. and turn professor by 17. But today, after years of hard work, Tathagat is a relaxed person.

    The youngster is not just about new theories and records. In his leisure time he plays chess and loves going for walks. Although keen on watching off-beat Hindi movies, he does not have any favourites. His ideal is Albert Einstein.
    In an exclusive interview with Gulf News, Tulsi spoke about his life's achievements and how he overcame the obstacles that came his way.
    GULF NEWS: You have joined the league of eminent PhD record holders?
    TATHAGAT AVATAR TULSI: Yes, it feels good to have completed my research. Hopefully, I am the youngest doctorate in India. My Ph.D. thesis is of 33-pages and I claim it to be the shortest thesis in India. I can say that I have joined personalities such as Dr John Forbes Nash, the American mathematician, who was 21 when he completed his PhD from Princeton University,
    Dr Stephen Wolfram, the British physicist and software developer who got his doctorate at the age of 20 from California Institute and Dr Chan Yaoban, a mathematicics student who made it at 21 at Melbourne University.
    How were your early years in school? At what age did you develop an interest in science and mathematics?
    My early years were spent in Patna, Bihar. I skipped the kindergarten level and started straight from Class 3. Even at the age of six, I had an ability to solve complex mathematical problems and would do calculations without using a paper and pen. Because of this I became known in Bihar as 'computer brain'. Around that time only I took a decision to become a scientist and started working hard to achieve this goal.
    Were you treated as a 'wonder boy' by your classmates and family?
    My classmates often threatened to find out what was inside my head. I did not like the unhealthy atmosphere and left school to study at home. My parents were very understanding and supportive and for my sake they decided to move to Delhi in 1994.
    How was the journey from studying in Bihar to Delhi?
    I joined Class 6 and completed the year's syllabus in just three months. The remaining nine months, I spent studying for Class 10 and decided to sit for the examinations. My parents gave me the green signal but the Central Board of Secondary Education thought otherwise. Finally, I had to move the Delhi High Court and was allowed to sit for the examination.
    You were the youngest record holder then?
    I established a world record by clearing Class 10 at the age of 9 years and 5 months, scoring 65 per cent in 1997. With this achievement I broke the record held by Lord Kelvin, known for the Kelvin scale of temperature measurement, who in 1834, had cleared Class 10 when he was 10 years and four months.
    Your intense desire to earn formal degrees at the earliest must have earned you the envy of children elder to you?
    I never had any close friends and my two brothers were my best friends. I became the youngest graduate at 10 and has a master's degree when I was 12. With this, I made an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records for being the Youngest Masters Graduate. These achievements got me several awards and honours and I got recognition worldwide.
    After all these years of toil, to whom would you attribute your success?
    Although there are several people who have been instrumental in my success, but I give the highest credit to my father Professor Tulsi Narayan Prasad. His extraordinary vision as well as his courage for struggle made my success possible.
    The credit also goes to Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of Sulabh International Social Service Organisation. If it were not for his financial and moral support, I would not have been able to achieve all this. Despite numerous adverse reports about me in the press some years back, Dr Pathak stood behind me like a pillar of strength.
    One heard of your controversial trip to Germany in 2001, which saw you in a state of distress. What actually had happened there?
    I went through the worst nightmare then. I was selected by the Government of India to attend the conference for Nobel laureates in Lindau, Germany and visit 10 premier German Institutions working in the field of physics.
    Out of sheer jealousy, some Indian students who went with me asked me to prove my brilliance. But since I had been invited to attend the conference and not prove myself, I declined and was, therefore, victimised.
    Suspicions were aroused when I refused to share my research with them, because it was still incomplete. On return, people termed me a fraud and alleged that my father had forced me to mug up physics without understanding it.
    Overnight, I became the media's whip boy. It was the most painful period of my life and had happened at a time when the academic session had begun. I went into a transient state of depression and was unable to start my Ph.D. Due to the turmoil two precious years of my life were wasted after doing M.Sc.
    How did you overcome that phase?
    Thankfully, I had the support of my family and some well-wishers. I felt vindicated on getting admission to do my Ph.D. at the IISc, Bangalore in 2002. My entry had proved that I had an understanding of the subject and that I was not faking it. Such experiences taught me a lot. Today, I feel comfortable in the hallowed precincts where India's brightest students are exploring the new frontiers of science.
    Tell us about your Ph.D. research.
    The research is titled 'Generalisations of the Quantum Search Algorithm'. In Quantum Computation, scientists are trying to harness the peculiar counter-intuitive quantum mechanical laws of nature for faster, smaller and powerful computers.
    The present day computers are classical and the fastest computer today is a car compared with the promise of quantum computers which can be likened to jet airplanes.
    Quantum computing is useful for a group of challenges called optimisation problems, helping businesses to maximize profits with minimum investments.
    In your opinion, does India have laboratories on par with the West? Or like most scientists, you would like to go to explore the West?
    Unfortunately, our country lacks such facilities and I want to set up a quantum computing lab here in India itself.
    In other countries, including the United States and Europe, the government and private institutions are pouring in millions of dollars in quantum research, but funding in India is scarce. Despite having been offered a post-doctoral research position at the Institute for Quantum Computing in Waterloo, Canada, my heart is set on continuing my research in India.
    Any other plans?
    I want to write a book on child prodigies. My own experiences could come handy and I would like to break myths such as child prodigies miss out on their childhood. I certainly did not lose mine and had a very normal upbringing, despite societal expectations.
     
  4. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Sometimes it proves it right that indians are like crabs in a bucket.they will pull down the one who tries to climb up out of the bucket.
     
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  5. RAM

    RAM The southern Man Senior Member

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  6. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    That may be so. But I think this competitive nature is exactly what has bred excellence in many fields where there is excellence. The banking industry, academics, small-scale entrepreneurship, low-end manual labour with little capital.

    Want India to become clean, green and tidy? Just start keeping your own house and your own neighborhood clean and make a big fvcking deal out of it. Your neighbors are inclined to get so green with envy, they'll actually start keeping their own areas clean LMAO.

    As for Mr. Tulsi, this is fantastic! He's become a professor at what has been consistently ranked among the top 30 Technology Institutes worldwide at an age where most kids are graduating college. Not far 's the day when he becomes head of the Department.

    Stay in India boy. Not off to MiT or elsewhere. We need people like you.
     
  7. prahladh

    prahladh Respected Member

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    Granted (by Mr.Tulsi).

     
  8. sandeepdg

    sandeepdg Senior Member Senior Member

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    It is people with sheer brilliance like Prof. Tulsi , we need to take this country to great heights it is inevitable to achieve in the near future !!! My heartiest congrats to him on his extraordinary achievement !!
     

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