Love of math and teaching earns professor international honour
Math professor Ram Murty feels being elected to the Indian National Science Academy is about his people skills just as much as his math abilities.
Professor Murty, who was born in India but moved to Ottawa when he was eight, was bestowed the honour from India’s top science academy on December 9, with the organization citing him as “an internationally well known number theorist.”
But Professor Murty thinks his work beyond numbers – collaborating with other academics from around the world and trying to instill a passion for learning in his students – was also a factor in receiving the award.
“I think it’s recognition not only for the scientific work I’ve done but the fact that I’ve taken an interest to spread the fun and adventure of science to students. I’m rather proud of that,” says Professor Murty. “Being elected to the academy means that you have done something over and beyond the scientific work.”
After Professor Murty earned his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1980, he spent a year in India getting to know his birth country. He made connections with Indian academics and those relationships continue 30 years later. Professor Murty, who’s been at Queen’s since 1996, has worked with more than 60 collaborators from around the world, including about 25 from India, and he has sent Queen’s students to India to learn and hosted students from that country.
“I enjoyed my time in India and every opportunity I had, I would collaborate with people and take courses. I think the Indian National Science Academy honour isn’t recognition of only scientific work but the fact that you’ve tried to foster learning and share ideas with other academics.”
Professor McMurty is also a fellow in RSC: Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences of Canada, one of this country’s top academic institutions.