Relatives of Fields Medal winner Manjul Bhargava in Kerala are elated over him getting the international honour in Mathematics, though many of them have never met him or only seen briefly when he visited his father's ancestral home in the district as a child years ago. Bhargava's father, Dr V P Muraleedharan belongs to a family in Payyannur in Kannur district in north Kerala. After taking Masters in Chemistry, Muraleedharan left India for the US in the 1960s and later married Meera Bhargava, who hails from Rajasthan.
"I have seen Manjul as a little boy when he came here for a brief visit with my brother and sister-in-law years back. Manjul has made our family proud by winning such a prestigious award," Muraleedhran's younger brother V P Yatheendran told PTI. A biochemist, Muraleedharan took his MSc from Baroda University in the early 1960s and soon went to US on getting a scholarship to pursue further studies. He has over the years acquired a large number of patents for medicines, Yatheendran said.
"Though only some of us have met him, the entire Vannadil Puthiyaveetil family is proud of Manjul's achievement," he added. Bhargava was awarded the Fields Medal, known as the "Nobel Prize of Mathematics", for "developing powerful new methods in the geometry of numbers, which he applied to count rings of small rank and to bound the average rank of elliptic curves."
Bhargava, a professor of Mathematics at Princeton University, was among the four winners who have been awarded the Fields Medal (given out every four years) at the International Congress of Mathematicians 2014 held in Seoul.