Manindra Agrawal

computer Scientist

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  • Manindra Agrawal was born in May 1966, and since 2001 he has been a full professor at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, India.
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  • He has been active over the past ten years in the field of decision theory, complexity, and the relation between the geometry of sets and their information content.
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  • For some years he has been interested in finding a polynomial time algorithm to test whether a given number is prime.
  • Although random algorithms can solve this problem with high certainty in polynomial time, it remained a long-standing challenge to find a method that works in every case.
  • Academic and Research Achievements: Starting from his PhD Manindra Agrawal was interested in the class of NP-complete sets. There is a conjecture about this class stating that all NP-complete sets are polynomial-time isomorphism to each other. Professor Agrawal worked on this conjecture in the 1990s, eventually proving it for a large subclass of NP-complete sets. At this time he also got interested in the problem of primality testing. Working with Professor Biswas he designed a new randomized algorithm for the problem and then working with two of his students, in 2002, he designed the first deterministic polynomial-time test for primality. Since then, he is working on the problem of checking if a Polynomial, given as an arithmetic circuit, is non-zero. He has shown that solving this problem in a restricted setting will result in a strong lower bound on the arithmetic complexity of certain polynomials — one of the central open problems in complexity theory.
  •  Other Contributions: Professor Agrawal designed private-key encryption algorithms for Indian Navy and Air Force. These algorithms are being used by the armed forces to secure their communications.

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  • Awards and Honours: Agrawal has received SS Bhatnagar Prize (2003), Meghnad Saha Award (2003), Godel Prize (2006), the Fulkerson Prize (2006), JC Bose fellowship (2007), the first Infosys Prize for Mathematics (2008), Birla Prize (2009), TWAS Prize (2010), Humboldt Prize (2011), and Firodia Award (2011). He is a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, the National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad, and Indian National Academy of Engineering.

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