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Professor Ashvini Kumar

(July 04, 1943 - January 25, 2014)

Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur


Professor Ashvini Kumar was born on July 04, 1943. Professor Ashvini Kumar has been from the city of Kanpur itself, where his father was a doctor. He obtained his Ph.D. in 1966 from the university of Amsterdam under the mentorship of Professor Arend Heyting, one of the great protagonists of intuitionism. His thesis "Hilbert spaces in intuitionism" was written in Dutch, but on his own he also translated it in Esperanto (believed those days to be the future language of mankind) and along with it also submitted a summarized version in Hindi. Professor Ashvini Kumar had a great command of Dutch, Sanskrit, German, English, Esperanto, and of course Hindi.

He joined I.I.T. Kanpur on April 07, 1970 as an Assistant Professor and in 1991 he became an Associate Professor. He was a mathematician, par excellence, when it came to teaching and understanding. Dr. Sahab Lal Shukla appears to be his only Ph.D. student (1972) from IIT Kanpur who worked in "Sequence spaces in intuitionism". The students were very appreciative of him since besides clearing their doubts he would also ensure that they understood by asking them to repeat what he taught. During his last few years he was interested in the area of human and computer interaction through a construction of a `connectome system' in solving problems in an intuitionistic fashion. 

Professor Ashvini Kumar breathed his last in the morning of January 25, 2014. He is survived by his only daughter Sanghmitra and son-in-law Anurag, both of them are Alumni of I.I.T. Kanpur.

  • Shashank mehta wrote on 6th February 2014
    I joined IITK as an undergraduate in 1971. Perhaps it was Math102 course which Prof Ashwini Kumar was teaching. I had done my schooling from government inter college Kanpur which was below par by any standard. One day Prof Kumar began intro ducing the concept of continuity (continuous functions). My background was so poor that such a simple notion was alien to me. In his enthusiasm he slid from one end of the his hand at the edge of the table, from one end to the other trying to demonstrate the notion of continuity. The distinction between continuity and discreteness dawned in my mind instantly. I was very excited and very pleased to get admission in this institute.

  • Aparna Dar wrote on 6th February 2014
    Professor Ashvini Kumar always impressed me with his excellence in teaching and for his wonderful empathy , concern and goodwill for the student community. I would like to express my heartfelt condolence and prayers.

  • Shivam Kumar Singh wrote on 11th February 2014
    May, GOD help his family & give lots of guts after this grievance ...............

  • Hemanth K. B. wrote on 12th February 2014
    Prof. Ashvini Kumar taught us Mathematics 101 as a tutor, in 1996. I remember his enthusiastic lesson on the tangent, normal and binormal of a curve, which he demonstrated by sticking out three fingers on one hand, and play-acting the climbing of the steps of the spiral staircase in FacB. R.I.P. Sir

  • Ravindra Ranade  wrote on 19th February 2014
    As a student in 1971-72, I think it was Maths 101 and 102 where we learnt the basics of engineering math from the passionate teacher Dr. Ashvini Kumar. I remember some of his teachings till this day. I share the pain and difficulty faced by his surviving family. May his soul get mukti.

  • Anurag Sahay wrote on 23rd February 2014
    I am deeply saddened to hear this news. I fondly remember a course on Pure Projective Geometry that I attended (without credits) in his last year at IIT. He always seemed to be some sort of enigmatic fellow on a cycle with a prominent basket, his beard, his folded trousers and everything else. He appeared to be in a box of his own, and surely there would be some amsterdam and some sixites in that box. He looked like van Gogh with his imaginary canvas. Just the first class of his course and I could say I had never experienced anything like this before. It was a as humbling an experience as could be. Now I tend to think he actually projected that small class room into space and time to a corner of Amsterdam in the sixties, by the dyke. He had that magic. His eyes, staring out into infinity, could do anything, if they wanted to..There are so many things I would like to say of him..but probably he would would just tell me, like he told the other guy in class who wanted to make a graphics programme for projective geometry structures: "but I already have it in front of my eyes"

  • Kaustav Goswami  wrote on 6th March 2014
    Attended his courses on Set Theory and Analysis II while completing my M.Sc (2 year) at IITK(1995-97). It was fascinating , the way he used to teach. RIP Sir....

  • peeyush  wrote on 7th March 2014
    I have known Prof. Ashvini Kumar first as a teacher while I was doing my M. Sc. (1969-71) at IIT Kanpur and then as a colleague in the department. I remember him as a very passionate teacher. RIP.

  • Sangeeta Dwivedi wrote on 7th March 2014
    I admire Dr Ashvini Kumar, Dr Ashvini Kumar departs from this earth never truly leaves, for they are still alive in our hearts and minds, through us.

  • Sundar Ramaswamy wrote on 8th March 2014
    I am shocked and am definitely grieving with his family on this tragedy. Prof. Ashvini Kumar was and is a great human being and a fabulous/gifted teacher. I consider it my good fortune to have audited his Intuitionism course at IITK. My heartfelt condolence to his family. May they find strength to bear this loss. With Regards Sundar

  • Prof.R.K.Dwivedi  wrote on 10th March 2014
    My heartfelt condolences to his family and Sanghmitra. I came to know him and Sanghmitra when he used to take free classes for students aspiring to appear in IIT-JEE, during the 1982 to 1984. In fact he gave the idea to many, including Prof. juneja, that IITJEE coaching may be something which is required in the society. MAY GOD GIVE HIM PEACE AND COMFORT IN THE HEAVEN.


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