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Dr. V.S. Sunder

1973 - MSc - Mathematics Professor @ Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai

Prof. V. S. Sunder is a well-known mathematician currently working at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Taramani, Chennai. He received an M. Sc. in Mathematics from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras in 1973. Subsequently, he went to the U.S.A. for higher education, and obtained his Ph.D in Mathematics from Indiana University in 1977. His thesis supervisor was the world-famous mathematician Paul Halmos, the author of several widely-followed textbooks, popular articles and research papers.

Prof. Sunder has also served as a faculty member in the Indian Statistical Institutes at Bangalore and New Delhi, University of California at Berkeley and Los Angeles, and in the Research Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Kyoto, Japan. He works in the broad area of Functional Analysis, with specific involvement in Operator Algebras and Von Neumann Algebras. These algebras were originally introduced (in the 1930s) by the famous mathematician, Von Neumann. More recently, there was some seminal work on these algebras, done in the 1980s, by another famous mathematician, V. Jones. These algebras have important connections with topology, statistical mechanics, quantum and conformal field theory. Prof. Sunder’s contributions in this area are well-known and well-recognized, among them: the formulation of a path-model to study towers of algebras, the construction of several series of new irreducible subfactors, and the axiomatization of certain structures called integral hypergroups

Prof. Sunder has authored/ co-authored six textbooks and research monographs, about sixty research papers, guided six Ph.D students, written several popular articles and also given talks at several conferences and workshops at both elementary and advanced levels. He has also conducted a large number of workshops and short courses for research scholars and college teachers. His book on sub-factors (with Professor V. Jones), on topological quantum field theories (with Professor V. Kodiyalam), and his other books are widely used. He is a fellow of all the three science academies in India, namely Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi; Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore; and National Academy of Sciences, Allahabad. He was awarded Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award for Mathematical Sciences in 1996. He has been awarded the J.C. Bose Fellowship for 2008-14

Despite such achievements and plaudits, Prof. Sunder remains extremely modest and easily approachable to his students. In spite of a busy schedule involving research and teaching, he has been a Member of many Scientific Committees in India and has contributed in no small measure to mathematics education in India, having delivered lectures at various Universities in most states of India, as well as at the premier research institutes (TIFR, ISIs, IITs, IISc, etc.) in the country. This involvement is exemplified by his contributions to the Mathematics Training and Talent Search Program that is conducted annually by the National Board for Higher Mathematics.

In recognition of Prof. Sunder’s outstanding contributions to the field of mathematical sciences, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer on him this award.

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