15-year-old Pranjal Srivastava from Bengaluru has secured a gold medal in the International Mathematics Olympiad (IMO). He has become the youngest Indian ever to bag gold in one of the toughest competitions across the globe.
Pranjal has been participating in math competitions since class 3 and has considered the subject a ‘fun activity’. While this was his second attempt, Pranjal also bagged a silver medal last year.
He believes it is his determination to understand the subject over “mugging” that gives him an edge and says that a change in approach can help India get over the fear of mathematics.
“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,” Pranjal told The Indian Express.
“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,” he shared.
The 15-year-old medalist also claims that there was no strategy to win the gold and that he was just focused on the subject and not any competition.
The child mathematician was also the first Indian to grab a gold in the Asia Pacific Mathematics Olympiad and has won the Tournament of Towns among other competitions. He was also one of the national toppers of Olympiads in informatics but decided to participate in the math Olympiad instead.
Recently, his achievements were also tweeted by CBSE.
Pranjal’s medal is noteworthy because he is youngest ever to win a gold medal from India The competition had 210 countries and more than 600 participants.@HRDMinistry @DrRPNishank @PIB_India @PIBHindi @DDNewsLive @PTI_News @AkashvaniAIR @PIBHRD pic.twitter.com/Nx3kSI972Z
— CBSE HQ (@cbseindia29) October 13, 2019
Pranjal’s parents are from the information and technology (IT) sector while his elder brother is pursuing theoretical mathematics. Pranjal aims at pursuing mathematics or theoretical computer science in the coming future. He also wishes to study at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) or MIT, the US for higher education.
“On my visits abroad, I would pick up interesting books that would help Pranjal learn mathematics in a fun way. This developed his interest at a very young age. Be it math or music, we never pressurised our children and helped them develop their individual interests,” Pranjal’s father, Ashish Kumar Srivastava said.
“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,” he added.
Apart from his love for mathematics, Pranjal also enjoys playing the piano and the drums.
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