Sarala Birla Gyan Jyoti, Guwahati
A Sophie Fellow, with a host of national and international mathematics prizes and accolades under his belt, chess for a hobby, and formal training in music – in a nutshell, that is what you would find on paper about Ananda Bhaduri. But look a little deeper than the achievements of this 16-year-old mathematician and a somewhat different picture appears. Let’s talk about his mathematics, to begin with. Ananda says that he can’t quite remember exactly when he started doing Mathematics. However, the fact that he loves the discipline, especially proof-based mathematics and geometry, is quite clear on his face when he speaks about the problems he’s solved and his achievements. During the pandemic, besides preparing for the Indian National Mathematics Olympiad and the International Mathematics Olympiad, he has also appeared for the 16th and 17th Sharygin Geometry Olympiads (Russia), where he won distinctions. In 2019-2020, Ananda was one of the top 30 students selected for the International Mathematical Olympiad training through the Indian National Mathematical Olympiad organised by the Homi Bhaba Centre for Science Education - TIFR. In 2022, he has also won a silver certificate in the Clash of Mathematicians and Math Challengers events at Infinity, an annual Inter-School Mathematics Competition organised by Aditya Birla World Academy in association with BITS Pilani. Ananda’s hobbies include playing chess and solving puzzles, like Sudoku. Besides these, Ananda tells you that one of his hobbies is listening to music. Look a little deeper and you realise that isn’t just a hobby – Ananda is also a trained singer, a Sangeet Bisarad (Part 1) from the Bhatkhande Sangeet Vidyapeeth, Lucknow. To people who are afraid of Mathematics, he has this simple message: “Don’t memorise, try to understand what you are doing…” And in there probably lies the crux of what mathematics means to Ananda.