I am a full professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, and also an affiliate professor of the Asian Studies program. In September, 2014, I was appointed Distinguished University Professor at UMBC. My area of mathematical research is Numerical Analysis, with a specialization in Finite Element Methods. I also maintain an active interest in mathematics outreach efforts.
In addition to being a mathematician, I am also an author. My latest book, The Big Bang of Numbers: How to Build the Universe Using Only Math (2022) was a finalist for the 2023 PEN/Wilson prize for science literary writing. My novels The Death of Vishnu (2001), The Age of Shiva (2008) and The City of Devi (2013) form a trilogy based on the present, past and imagined future of India. My work has been translated into 27 foreign languages and has won several honors and awards. In March, 2015, the New York Times appointed me as a contributing opinion writer, in which capacity I have written several pieces on mathematics, India and LGBT issues.
Sloan Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship, Barnes and Noble Discover Prize, PEN/Faulkner finalist, PEN/Wilson finalist, Elkins Professorship, UMBC Presidential Teaching award