Pravir Dutt (1958 - 2021),
completed his schooling from the Don Bosco School (Kolkata) in 1975 and
then obtained MSc (Five year integrated) degree from the Indian
Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur in the year 1980. Subsequently, he
obtained PhD degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, USA,
in the year 1985. After a brief stint (1985-1987) at the NASA Langley
Research Center, Hampton, VA, USA, Pravir joined IIT Kanpur as a faculty
in the Department of Mathematics (since renamed as Department of
Mathematics & Statistics), in 1987 and was promoted to the post of
Professor in 2001.
Pravir was a researcher par excellence who is well regarded for his
outstanding contributions in the areas of Numerical Solutions of PDEs,
Spectral Element Methods, Fluid Mechanics and Parallel Computing. More
than a dozen PhD candidates finished their thesis under his supervision
in diverse areas of Applied Mathematics. Apart from excelling in his
research areas, Pravir was a true scholar having in depth knowledge of
other areas of Mathematics, Indian Mythology, World History and World
Politics. To discuss any of these topics with him was always an
enriching experience. Additionally, Pravir was a kind and compassionate
person who consistently cared about the underprivileged. He is very much
Arbind Kumar Lal (1966 -
2021), completed his schooling from the Sainik School, Tilaiyaa in 1983
and then proceeded to obtain BA (Math, Honors; 1983-86) from the Hansraj
College, Delhi. Following this, he did a M Stat (1986-88) and PhD
(1988-93), both from ISI Delhi. After brief stints at TIFR Mumbai and
HRI Allahabad, Arbind joined IIT Kanpur, as a faculty in the Department
of Mathematics (since renamed as Department of Mathematics &
Statistics), in 1996.
Arbind served IIT Kanpur in an exemplary manner till his sudden demise.
His research expertise was in areas related to linear algebra, graph
theory and combinatorics. He made seminal contributions to these areas.
In addition to his crystal clear lectures, students universally loved
him for his genuine concern and support for their well-being. He also
contributed liberally to Institute administration, as Head of the
Department (Mathematics and Statistics), Chairman of the Senate
Undergraduate Committee, President of the Staff Gymkhana, Games
Counsellor, and Vice-Chairman, GATE.
Arbind was an embodiment of sportsmanship and excelled as a badminton
player. Popularly known as “net samrat”, his net play and drop shots
with pin-point accuracy took the breath away of the best of players.
Arbind’s untimely demise left all who knew him shocked. He is sorely
Sudipta Dutta (1976 - 2017)
did his B.Stat. (1997), M.Stat. (1999) and Ph.D. (2004) at the Indian
Statistical Institute (ISI) Kolkata. After a brief stint at the Ben
Gurion University, Israel, he joined IIT Kanpur as Assistant Professor
in July, 2007, and became Professor in 2016.
Sudipta’s research interests included Banach space theory, Operator
spaces and Abstract harmonic analysis. He was quite well-known in his
area. In the short span of less than 13 years, he published about 25
articles, all in premier journals. He was awarded the Indo-U.S. Science
and Technology Fellowship in 2008-09, and the P K Kelkar Young Research
Fellowship of IIT Kanpur. Two students got their Ph.D. degrees under his
supervision. He was supervising the thesis of a third student at the
time of his demise. Sudipta’s contribution to the department as part of
different committees was immense. With Sudipta’s untimely and shocking
demise, the department lost a star faculty. His immaculate wit and
humour is missed. The impact that Sudipta has left behind in the
tragically short life he lived will endure forever.