Monthly Archives: September 2015

ISI faculty bags Bhatnagar award for maths breakthrough

Kolkata :

Mathematicians all over the world have been trying to solve a 150-year-old problem, popularly called the Holy Grail of maths, and a city mathematician has just been able to give a major insight into it. Ritabrata Munshi has stunned the world and no wonder, he has bagged the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar award.

A number theorist, Munshi, who has taken lien from TIFR, Mumbai, to join his alma mater Indian Statistical Institute as faculty, seemed unfazed by all this adulation. In fact, one could sense an urgency in his voice, an urge to carry on with the third degree of the Lindelof hypothesis, which is the route that he is taking along with his co-researchers abroad to finally progress on the line of the ever elusive Reimann hypothesis that was formulated in 1859 by Bernhard Riemann.

It took 60 years to solve the first degree of the L theory and progress on to the second degree that again took 35 years to be resolved. Finally, Munshi has been able to make a global start on the third degree and make a considerable progress.

“The properties of prime numbers, their distribution pattern in the realm of the abstract simply bowled me over and I made up my mind to study maths after plus two despite ranking 25th in the WBJEE and under 400 in IITJEE,” said Munshi. He studied B Stat and M Stat at ISI and then enrolled for Phd at the Princeton University under legendary mathematician Andrew Wiles. He enrolled at Rutgers University, US, for his post doctoral degree.

source: / Times of India / News Home> City> Kolkata / by Jhimli Mukherjee Pandey, TNN / September 30th, 2015

Tribute to Sumit Sen: Celebrating the life of a journalist and a gentleman

Memorial service of former TOI Kolkata editor Sumit Sen was attended by friends and family members on Sunday.
Memorial service of former TOI Kolkata editor Sumit Sen was attended by friends and family members on Sunday.

Kolkata :

‘Celebrating Sumit’… What could be a better tribute to someone who was so dear to so many and one who made every moment count?
Sunday’s memorial service for Sumit Sen, former editor of The Times of India, Kolkata, who passed away on September 20, was a celebration of the life of a “journalist and a gentleman” – one who was as passionate about his profession as he was about wildlife, music, photography and films.

The gathering at Rabindranath Tagore Centre, ICCR, was a reflection of this — there were members of the judiciary, painters, thespians, actors, senior police officers and bureaucrats and, of course, journalists. MP Derek O’Brien conducted the event that began with a recital of shlokas, followed by reminiscences by minister Amit Mitra, minister and thespian Bratya Basu, The Times of India executive editor Arindam Sengupta, Ei Samay editor Suman Chattopadhyay, British Council director (east) Sujata Sen, industrialist Harsh Neotia and journalists Marcus Dam and Anindya Jana.

Both Mitra and Basu spoke of Sen’s sincerity as a journalist and his eye for detail. Basu mentioned how the former RE had a soft corner for those who joined politics from other fields of life.

Sengupta spoke of Sen’s talents as a team-builder and editor, and his love for wildlife. “He’d tell me that I had seen nothing in life if I hadn’t been to the Sunderbans,” Sengupta recalled, adding: “He did not give in to cancer and fought till the last day. I do not believe that we should mourn somebody like him. We should celebrate the life he lived.”

Sengupta released a memoir, ‘Celebrating Sumit’, and handed over the first copy to Sumitda’s wife, noted Bharatnatyam dancer Malabika Sen. The book was brought out by Sen’s colleagues and friends in only two days.

Chattopadhyay recalled how Sen helped build the Ei Samay team even before he took over as editor. Sujata Sen mentioned how he made “page 2 more exciting than the glamour of page 3”. She also said that she was moved by how he bore pain bravely. Neotia recalled how every meeting with Sen was memorable. And Dam, a close friend, spoke of their days together and their unfinished plan of a vacation together in the Hills. Jana recalled how he looked up to Sumitda as a teacher, though he had never been too close. “I have always wanted to be like him and watched him as Eklavya. I knew Sumitda would never ask for my thumb as gurudakshina,” Jana said.

The next session was more of an adda where journalist Uday Basu, former police commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakrabarti, Nepal consul-general Chandra Kumar Ghimire, friend Pritimoy Chakraborty, wildlife enthusiast Joydip Kundu, former journalist P K Chakraborty, former colleague Priyanka Raja and TOI Kolkata sports editor Sumit Mukherjee shared anecdotes of Sumitda.

The former police commissioner, who was a schoolmate, spoke on how Sen would gather information from him but would always cross-check before publishing anything. Pritimoy noted how Sumitda got to know how ill he really was despite efforts to keep the details from him. Mukherjee narrated anecdotes relating to Sen’s passion for Mohun Bagan while Kundu pointed out that the only thing that could cheer him up after a Bagan loss was the latest photograph of a Bengal tiger. Basu spoke of Sen’s younger days.

The event ended with a moving rendition of Tagore’s ‘Tumi Robe Nirobe’ – one of Sen’s favourite songs – by family member Aneek Dhar.

source: / The Times of India / News Home> City> Kolkata / TNN / September 28th, 2015

Designer show gives twist to tradition

Kolkata :

It was almost like Durga Puja had arrived early at the historic Basubati at Bagbazar on Friday as a curated showcasing of the best from contemporary national design — The India Story 2015 — was unveiled at the venue.

Madhu Neotia, restaurateur-food writer Abhilasha Sethia, scenographer Swarup Dutta and designer Nil have put together the exhibition, which will be held at Swabhumi from Octorber 29 to November 1.

“We were at Jaipur when I noticed that the hotel I was staying at had the most gorgeous decor, with everything made in India. That’s when the idea struck. I felt nothing would be more beautiful if we can showcase India’s art and culture from all corners of the nation,” Neotia explained.

Dutta took visitors around some of the objects on display, including a few by Terra Indica, Dev ‘r’ Nil, Sneha Arora and his own.

“This is simply a preview. We are not revealing the names of artists coming from other places. Around 100 will be participating in the grand show,” the artist said.

Asked about the venue, Dutta said: “We felt this place was ideal to start a resurgence story.”

Nil told TOI: “Exhibitions happen all the time but we plan to take this to a different level. That’s why we chose Basubati for the preview — where Rabindranath Tagore had presided over the meeting to revive Indian craft traditions in 1905. We are playing with Indian elements and presenting them in a contemporary context.”

Along with artwork, food is also a key element in the India Story concept. There is ‘gondhoraj-ginger-aloe vera mix’ (a concoction of basil, blood orange and lemongrass) on one hand and ‘pat patar bora’ (fried tender jute leaves) and ‘smoked chhana paturi’ on the other.

“Food is the binding element in Indian culture. We wanted to include traditional Indian ingredients and present them in a new way,” Sethia said. Industrialist Harsh Neotia and other dignitaries were also present as guests.

source: / The Times of India / News Home> City> Kolkata / TNN / September 26th, 2015