Meet Neena Gupta, Who Solved A Math Problem That Remained Unsolved For Almost 70 Years

We had Shakuntala Devi, an Indian math prodigy that amazed the world and proved that impossible is nothing.

There are many others like her that love taking up challenges and doing things that many failed to do and declared as impossible. One such magnificent lady is Neena Gupta.

She is another Math genius who has pulled off a remarkable feat in the field of mathematics. And her sheer love for math problems, has rewarded her immensely.

Last year, Neena Gupta of Kolkata became a recipient of the prestigious Indian National Science Academy (INSA) Medal for Young Scientists for solving a math problem, which astonishingly enough, remained open for almost 70 years!

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The math problem that no one but Neena could solve in decades is called the Zariski Cancellation Conjecture. INSA described her solution as, “one of the best works in Algebraic Geometry in recent years done anywhere.”

In addition to the INSA award, she was also awarded the Ramanujan Prize (2014), and the Saraswathi Cowsik Medal (2013) by Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) Alumni Association.

But, this is not the end for Neena, who thinks that sky’s the limit as she continues to learn and explore further. At the moment, she has kept herself drowned in commutative algebra.

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She is currently a full-time faculty member at INSA (where she was once a student), a visiting faculty at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai, and a visiting scientist at Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata.

She credits her father and husband for all the support in her journey to achieving extraordinary feats, and in an interview published in Cosmopolitan, she says,

“Most girls in our community get married right after graduation. But, my dad let me get a PhD despite societal pressure. He never questioned my life choices—and my husband continues to extend the same support.”

Women like her are the evidence that shake the age-old notion, which regard women as mathematically challenged.

News Sources: Cosmopolitan, TOI

Cover Image Source: Cosmopolitan

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