In a first, Bengaluru’s 15-year-old boy Pranjal Srivastava becomes the youngest Indian ever to win a gold medal in International Mathematics Olympiad, one of the toughest competitions across the globe.

For many of us, mathematics is a nightmare. You don’t understand the need to understand the mathematics. Plus Minus Divide Multiply does the job for us. However, even a simple question of trigonometry or a linear equation may give you an hours-long headache. Can’t even imagine going back to those days of school. Right?

Well, that’s not the story for everyone. Some students are born Einsteins. They are not afraid of Mathematics; rather, it is fun for them to solve hours long problems in minutes. Such is also the story of our hero for today’s blog.  

Pranjal Srivastava, a 15-year-old guy from Bengaluru has a lot to offer than anyone else of his age. He is a mathematical genius and with his intelligence, he has been able to bag the Gold Medal in, as quoted by the CBSE, the toughest competition in the world. This was after 7 years that India bagged a gold medal in the iconic Maths Olympiad which was held in the United Kingdom in 2019.

His achievements were praised by the Central Board of Secondary Education on Twitter:

What is International Mathematical Olympiad?

International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) is a competitive examination or an Olympiad, especially for pre-college students. It is the oldest of the International Science Olympiads. Every year, more than 100 countries, representing over 90% of the world’s population, send teams of up to six students, plus one team leader, one deputy leader, and observers to participate in what is popularly known as the toughest oldest exam of the world. This year as well more than 600 participants from 210 countries and competed in the exam. 

About the Young Genius

Pranjal is a student of National Public School of Koramangala, Bengaluru. He is fond of mathematics and has been participating in math competitions since he was a class 3rd Student. For Pranjal, unlike other students, Mathematics is a ‘fun activity’.

Although it was his second attempt for the international Maths Olympiad, Pranjal also attempted for the exam last year and bagged a silver medal.

In a conversation with the Indian Express, he briefed that he believes that it is his determination to understand the subject instead of “mugging”, which yields him an edge over the others. While addressing those with the fear of mathematics, he said, a change in approach can help India get over the fear of mathematics.

Words of Young Wisdom

Apart from this, while describing the other factors that played a major role in his success to the Indian Express, he said “I have been lucky in finding the right mentors, who helped me understand the subject. I have read a lot of recreational math books which helped me solve puzzles with mathematics solutions, thus elevating my interest.”

He also said, “I solved a lot of practice questions and worked on my weak areas, like geometry. I practice complex math problems whenever I get free time.”

Well, this is very aptly said by Pranjal. We all know that we can overcome the fear of mathematics just by practising the subject and not letting go off the questions or the concepts, lest every doubt has been sorted.

The 15-year-old medalist also claims that he was not with the strategy to win the gold. He was just focused on excelling in the subject and did not see it as any competition.

Other Achievements 

 Pranjal has a long list of achievements apart from winning medals in International Maths Olympiad for two consecutive years. He is also the first Indian to grab a gold in the Asia Pacific Mathematics Olympiad and has won the Tournament of Towns among other competitions.

Further, Pranjal was also one of the national toppers of Olympiads in informatics. However, due to his interest in mathematics, he decided to participate in the math Olympiad instead.

Pranjal’s Family

Pranjal’s parents are IT experts and work in information and technology (IT) sector. His elder brother is pursuing theoretical mathematics. Pranjal is currently aiming to either pursue mathematics or theoretical computer science as a career in future. Apart from this, he has goals of studying at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) or MIT, the US for higher education.

In a conversation with the Indian Express, Pranjal’s father, Ashish Kumar Srivastava said, “Whenever I visited abroad, I would bring hand-picked interesting books for Pranjal to help him learn mathematics in a fun way. This has developed a lot of interest in mathematics in him at a very young age. Be it math or music, we never pressurised our children for anything. We always helped them develop their interests.”

Apart from being a mathematics genius, Pranjal is a great musician too and enjoys playing the piano and the drums whenever he has time.

“Sending him for the Olympiads is like sending a child for any fun activity, such as playing cricket. These competitions have helped Pranjal get in touch with like-minded people from across the world. They exchange math problems and their discussions teach him more about the subject,” his father added.