Seventeen-year-old Pranjal Srivastava’s love for mathematics has earned him international acclaim. The class XII student of National Public School, Koramangala, who represented India at the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), brought laurels to the country by bagging the gold medal.
Due to the pandemic, the competition this year was held remotely from St. Petersburg, Russia, last Monday and Tuesday and the medal announcement was made on Saturday night at the closing ceremony.
For Pranjal, this is a remarkable achievement. He is the only student from India to win gold medals twice. Two years ago, he had won a gold at the same event. This year, he also won a bronze medal in the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI).
On his experience at the IMO this year, Pranjal said: “The paper was extremely difficult, especially on day one of the competition.” IMO tests four different skill sets – algebra, combinatorics, number theory, and geometry – in a mixed bag of questions over two days. The top 8% scorers are awarded the gold medal.
Given the prestige associated with an IMO gold, this becomes an intense competition. Celebrated Field medallists, considered the Nobel Prize in mathematics like Terence Tao and Maryam Mirzakhani have been IMO gold medallists.
“Becoming an IMO champ is possible only if you have a deep love for the subject and are ready to invest in exploring it,” Pranjal said. He acknowledged the constant support and encouragement received from his parents and school. Pranjal’s immediate goal is to pursue mathematics in higher studies and in the long term, he may pursue algorithms or computer science.