CS Seshadri founded the Chennai Mathematical Institute as part of the SPIC Science Foundation in 1989 and was its director-emeritus until his demise.

Indian mathematician CS Seshadri smiling
news Obituary Sunday, July 19, 2020 - 09:22

India’s renowned mathematician and Padma Bhushan awardee Conjeevaram Srirangachari Seshadri passed away in Chennai on July 17. He was 88.

CS Seshadri founded the Chennai Mathematical Institute (CMI) as part of the SPIC Science Foundation in 1989 and was its director-emeritus until his demise. The mathematician was known for his work in algebraic geometry, the Seshadri Constant, which is named after him. Among his notable works are the Narasimhan–Seshadri theorem, proved together with fellow Mathematician MS Narasimhan in 1965.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled his death and wrote that India has lost “an intellectual stalwart who did outstanding work in mathematics.”

President Ram Nath Kovind and Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, too, expressed their condolences.

Born in Kancheepuram, Seshadri received his degree in Mathematics from Madras University, PhD from Bombay University in 1958 and was then elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences in 1971. Between 1953 and 1984, the late mathematician worked at the Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), doing some of his best work there. In 1984, he moved to Chennai to work at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences and then later would go on to set up the CMI, that was initially called School of Mathematics.

Awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2009, he was elected Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences in 2010 and the Honoris Causa from, University Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris in 2013.

Born in Kancheepuram on February 29, 1932, Seshadri was also a Carnatic music exponent.

K VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, in a Twitter thread, wrote about Seshadri’s accolades and what his loss means to the field of Mathematics in India. “Constantly curious, endearingly optimistic, deeply connected to our art and culture, while being a true internationalist,” he wrote.

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