Gandhinagar: Prof Atul Dixit, Associate Professor of Mathematics at the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN), has won the prestigious Swarnajayanti Fellowship in the category of Mathematical Sciences for the year 2020-21. The fellowship was recently announced by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India. It is for the first time that the Swarnajayanti Fellowship in Mathematical Sciences category has been awarded to a researcher from an institution in Gujarat.
The Swarnajayanti Fellowship scheme was instituted by the Government of India in 1997 to commemorate the 50th year of India’s independence. This highly competitive fellowship provides special assistance and support to selected young and bright scientists to enable them to work on innovative research projects in frontier areas of science and technology. The fellowship is awarded for a period of five years. In addition, the projects of the fellowship recipients are considered for funding by the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB).
Prof Dixit has been awarded this fellowship for his research project titled – ‘Generalized Herglotz functions, zeta functions arising from modular relations, asymptotics of generalized Lambert series, and mock theta functions’; which broadly lies at the interface of Analytic Number Theory and Special Functions. Some of the research problems that he plans to work on are: developing further the theory of a generalised Hurwitz zeta function (generalising the work of the German mathematician Adolf Hurwitz); obtaining simpler proofs of two notoriously difficult identities of Srinivasa Ramanujan (an Indian mathematician) from his “Lost Notebook”, involving tenth order mock theta functions; generalising Herglotz function studied by Don Zagier (an American-German mathematician); and investigating if a more general Kronecker limit formula (named after the German mathematician Leopold Kronecker) could be derived, among others.
Sharing his thoughts on getting one of the prestigious fellowships in the country, Prof Atul Dixit said, “I feel really happy and am humbled to receive this fellowship. It is heartening to see your research work getting appreciation. I am hopeful that some of the work that I have done in Special Functions, especially the theories of generalised modified Bessel and Hurwitz zeta functions, will eventually find applications not only in various areas of mathematics but also in engineering and sciences. Any award or fellowship of this kind comes with a huge responsibility. I will strive hard to live up to the expectations put forth by the Swarnajayanti interviewing panels, the mathematical community, and various well-wishers. Receiving this fellowship has already boosted my confidence. It will constantly remind me to perform better than before. It will help not only me but also my students and postdocs to pursue unfettered research and collaborate with various mathematicians from around the world. I would like to sincerely thank my institute – IIT Gandhinagar – for providing such a conducive environment for research! Indeed, the institute has supported me in every way it can to help me achieve my goals.”
Prof Dixit’s research work has been largely impacted by Srinivasa Ramanujan, who is the main source of inspiration for him.