S.R. Srinivasa Varadhan: Inspirational Story of an Eminent Mathematician and behind Probability Theory


Sathamangalam Ranga Iyengar Srinivasa Varadhan

Quick Facts

  • Full Name: Sathamangalam Ranga Iyengar Srinivasa Varadhan
  • Also Known As: S.R. Srinivasa Varadhan
  • Famous As: Mathematician
  • Known For: Martingale Problems, Large Deviation Theory
  • Birth Date: 2 January 1940
  • Birth Place: Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Major Awards: National Medal of Science (2010), Padma Bhushan (2008), Abel Prize (2007), Steele Prize (1996)



The man behind the success of probability theory, Sathamangalam Ranga Iyengar Srinivasa Varadhan or commonly called as S.R. Srinivasa Varadhan is one of the most eminent academicians and mathematicians that India has ever produced. The name of this great personality is also associated with the theory of large deviations which is one of the most debatable concepts in Mathematics. He is an inspirer for all the people and has set an example that if the dreams of a person are backed up with sufficient quantity of required hard work and conviction, it does not take much time to get converted into reality. The mathematician currently resides in America and still continues to inspire lots and lots of youngsters and people all over the world.

S.R. Srinivasa Varadhan during his young age

The Early Life of S.R. Srinivasa Varadhan

S.R. Srinivasa Varadhan took birth in the Madras province in 1940 and also completed his under graduate degree course from Madras itself. He completed his course from the Presidency College in Madras and went on to Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata to live his passion for his favourite subject. He was unknown to the fact what life had to offer to him which was why he was always motivated to achieve his dreams.

He was one of the most famous faces of the Indian Statistical Institute in the period between 1956 and 1963 and he also chose the same college for his research work. Under the able guidance of C R Rao, he completed his Phd degree from the Indian Statistical Institute in 1963. He went to foreign countries to give his career a bright future and he has worked with a number of Universities worldwide.

Educational Background

S.R. Srinivasa Varadhan started working at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences since 1963. The institute is affiliated to the New York University and he started as a post doctoral student at the same institute. He was one of the most favourite students of one of the most reputed mathematicians Daniel Stroock and the later has made many mentions of Varadhan in his speeches and writings too. He worked with Daniel Stroock on some of his works as well. He has had a number of great contributions in the field of mathematics and all his works at Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences are worth something to treasure. These works are truly inspirational and have a high educational importance as well, making him one of the role models for all the budding scientists and mathematicians.

The Eminent Mathematician Sathamangalam Ranga Iyengar Srinivasa Varadhan

Awards and Honours

Owing to his chain of inspirational works and milestones in the field of mathematics, he was awarded with a good number of awards, respects, felicitations and honours from a number of societies. Some of these awards are a fantasy for all the academicians. He has received the most famous National Medal of Science for his contribution in the probability theory. The award is one of the most prestigious awards granted to the scientists, engineers and mathematicians. He has also received the Birkhoff Prize, Leroy P Steele Prize, Abel Prize and many more. He is one of the most reputed figures as of now in the American Mathematical Society. The Indian Government has awarded him with the prestigious award of Padma Bhushan for his achievements.

Personal Life

The personal life of S.R. Srinivasa Varadhan had some pitfalls especially when he lost one of his two children in the 9/11 attacks. He was married to Vasundra Varadhan who was also one of the renowned academicians of that time.

Vision of the Man Behind the Probability Theory

S.R. Srinivasa Varadhan has been inspiring the budding scientists and mathematicians all across the world through his doings. As of now, he is a member of a good number of respectable societies pertaining to mathematics and science.


Written By: Hetal Kabra


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