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Maths champ cracks MIT code

He was enjoying a sleep-in after a late night but three words uttered by his father had Sagnik Saha wide awake in a second. “…Welcome to MIT…”, the 17-year-old’s father announced.

Sagnik, who appeared for his Class XII boards from Delhi Public School Ruby Park, has been offered admission to the “Class of 2018” at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“You stood out as one of the most talented and promising students in one of the most competitive applicant pools in the history of the Institute…. Many congratulations and welcome to MIT! Now stop reading this and go celebrate!” said the offer letter that arrived last month.

“I had had a late night and Baba checked the result. He did wake me up after he saw I had made it,” smiled the boy who loves to play chess and design computer games when he is not solving mathematical problems.

It was while participating in the 54th International Mathematical Olympiad held in Santa Marta, Columbia, last year that Sagnik first thought of applying to MIT.

“At the maths olympiad I interacted with people who wanted to be in MIT. I searched the Internet extensively for the course structure and thought of giving it a shot,” said Sagnik, who wants to be a scientist.

More than 4,000 international students apply to MIT every year and the institute says it can admit “fewer than 150”.

“MIT receives many applications from very smart and talented international students. From this great pool of candidates we can only take a small cupful,” said Quinton McArthur, Associate Director, Massachusetts Institute of Technology over email.

“This year was one of the most competitive admissions cycles in the history of the institute. Because of the incredible size and strength of the applicant pool, we were unable to offer admission to many, many incredible students whom we would love to have on campus. We are very fortunate to have many wonderful applicants from all over India,” he added.

Sagnik, who completed his Class X from Ramakrishna Mission Vidyalaya, Narendrapur, will be getting “around 95 per cent scholarship”. He will leave in August.