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Mathematics Prize Announced

Indian mathematician Neena Gupta receives 2021 honour

Professor Neena Gupta, recipient of the 2021 DST-ICTP-IMU Ramanujan Prize
Professor Neena Gupta, recipient of the 2021 DST-ICTP-IMU Ramanujan Prize


Professor Neena Gupta, a mathematician at the Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata, has been awarded the 2021 DST-ICTP-IMU Ramanujan Prize for Young Mathematicians from Developing Countries.

Professor Gupta received the Prize for her outstanding work in affine algebraic geometry and commutative algebra, in particular for her solution of the Zariski cancellation problem for affine spaces. The DST-ICTP-IMU Ramanujan Prize committee, composed of eminent mathematicians from around the world, commented that Gupta's work "shows impressive algebraic skill and inventiveness".

Gupta's solution for solving the Zariski cancellation problem, a fundamental problem in Algebraic Geometry, earned her the 2014 Young Scientists Award of the Indian National Science Academy, who described her solution as “one of the best works in algebraic geometry in recent years done anywhere.” The problem was posed by one of the most eminent founders of modern Algebraic Geometry, Oscar Zariski, in 1949. In an interview with an American university, Gupta describes it: “The cancellation problem asks that if you have cylinders over two geometric structures, and that have similar forms, can one conclude that the original base structures have similar forms?”

Neena Gupta earned a PhD in mathematics from the Indian Statistical Institute, where she is now an associate professor. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2017 B. M. Birla Science Prize in Mathematics, the inaugural Professor A. K. Agarwal Award by the Indian Mathematical Society in 2015, and the 2015 Ramanujan Prize by the Ramanujan Institute for Advanced Study in Mathematics.

Professor Gupta is the third woman to receive the Ramanujan Prize, which was first awarded in 2005 and is administered by ICTP jointly with the Department of Science and Technology (DST, Government of India), and the International Mathematical Union (IMU).

The Prize is awarded annually to a researcher from a developing country who is less than 45 years of age on 31 December of the year of the award, and who has conducted outstanding research in a developing country. Researchers working in any branch of the mathematical sciences are eligible.

A list of past winners is here.

Members of the 2021 selection committee included:

Prof. G. Rangarajan (Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, India)                                  
Prof. T. Toro (University of Washington and MSRI Berkeley, USA)                                       
Prof. P. Nang (Ecole Normale Supérieure Libreville, Gabon)                                            
Prof. A. Wade (Pennsylvania State University, USA)                                         
Prof. L. Gottsche (ICTP, Chairman)