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2 NRI mathematicians from US, Canada
Received Padma awards

Los Angeles, Jan 26, 2023 A.Gary Singh

2 NRI mathematicians are among the 106 recipients of the prestigious Padma awards, one of the highest civilian honours of the country, announced on the eve of the Republic Day.

The Padma Awards are given in three categories:

  • Padma Vibhushan (for exceptional and distinguished service),
  • Padma Bhushan (distinguished service of higher order)
  • Padma Shri (distinguished service).

About Srinivasa Varadhan

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. Here he met Daniel Stroock, who became a close colleague and co-author.

Varadhan, whom everyone calls Raghu, came to these shores from his native India in the fall of 1963. He arrived by plane at Idlewild Airport and proceeded to Manhattan by bus. His destination was that famous institution with the modest name, The Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, where he had been given a postdoctoral fellowship. Varadhan was assigned to one of the many windowless offices in the Courant building, which used to be a hat factory. Yet despite the somewhat humble surroundings, from these offices flowed a remarkably large fraction of the post-war mathematics of which America is justly proud.

Varadhan is currently a professor at the Courant Institute.He is known for his work with Daniel W Stroock on diffusion processes, and for his work on large deviations with Monroe D Donsker. He has chaired the Mathematical Sciences jury for the Infosys Prize from 2009 and was the chief guest in 2020.


  • Ph.D., Mathematics, Indian Statistical Institute, India, 1963.
  • M.A., Mathematics, Presidency College, Madras, India, 1960.
  • B.A., Mathematics, Presidency College, Madras, India, 1959.

Research Interests

  • Srinivasa Varadhan interested in probability theory and its relation to analysis. In particular Varadhan interested in various aspects of stochastic processes and their connections to certain classes of linear and nonlinear partial differential equations.

Selected Publications

  • Y. Kifer and S.R.S. Varadhan, "Nonconventional large deviations theorems", Probability Theory and Related Fields 158, no. 1-2, 197-224 (2014)
  • Y. Kifer and S.R.S. Varadhan, "Nonconventional limit theorems in discrete and continuous time via martingales", Annals of Probability 42, no. 2, 649-688 (2014)
  • S. Sethuraman and S.R.S. Varadhan, "Large deviations for the current and tagged particle in 1D nearest-neighbor symmetric simple exclusion", Annals of Probability 41, no. 3A, 1461-1512 (2013)



NRI Srinivasa Varadhan, mathematician wins prestigious Abel prize close to US 1 million

OSLO, May 23, 2007
Satinder Paul

NRI Srinivasa Varadhan, 67, mathematician received the prestigious Abel Prize for his fundamental contributions to probability theory and in particular for creating a unified theory of large deviations.The Abel Prize, awarded by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters for outstanding scientific work in the field of mathematics, carries a cash award of close to 1 mill. USD.

Probability theory is the mathematical tool for analyzing situations governed by chance. The theory of large deviations studies the occurrence of rare events. This subject has concrete applications to fields as diverse as physics, biology, economics, statistics, computer science, and engineering.

Varadhan’s theory of large deviations provides a unifying and efficient method for clarifying a rich variety of phenomena arising in complex stochastic systems, in fields as diverse as quantum field theory, statistical physics, population dynamics, econometrics and finance, and traffic engineering. It has also greatly expanded our ability to use computers to simulate and analyze the occurrence of rare events. Over the last four decades, the theory of large deviations has become a cornerstone of modern probability, both pure and applied.

“Varadhan’s work has great conceptual strength and ageless beauty. His ideas have been hugely influential and will continue to stimulate further research for a long time”, to quote the Abel Committee.

The Abel Prize was created by Norway's government in 2002 to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of the great Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel. The Abel Committee's citation and the biography of the prize-winner, translated into 12 languages, will give more information.

The Abel Prize is this year awarded for the fifth time. The first Abel Prize was awarded in 2003 to Jean-Pierre Serre, Collège de France. In 2004 the Abel Prize was shared between Sir Michael Atiyah, University of Edinburgh and Isadore Singer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Peter D. Lax, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University, was the 2005 Abel Laureate. Lennart Carleson, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden was awarded the Abel Prize in 2006.


NRI (NON-RESIDENT INDIAN) Sathamangalam R. Srinivasa Varadhan, probabilist. was born January 2, 1940 in Madras (Chennai), India.

  • Ph.D. 1963 (statistics), Indian Statistical Institute;
  • M.A. 1960 (statistics), B.Sc. (honors) 1959 (statistics), Madras.
  • Since 1963, he has worked at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University, where he is currently (as of 2007) a professor.
  • Varadhan is known for his work with Daniel W. Stroock on diffusion processes, for which he received the Steele Prize from the American Mathematical Society in 1996.
  • For his work on large deviations with Monroe Donsker, for which he was awarded the Abel Prize on March 22, 2007 by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters

Srinivasa Varadhan is married to Vasundra, also a professor at New York University. The elder of Varadhan's two sons, Gopal was killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.



Mathematician Srinivasa Varadhan received the prestigious Abel Prize

The Abel Prize 2007

King Harald congratulates Srinivasa S. R. Varadhan, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York with the Abel Priz 2007. (Photo: Scanpix)