|Alma mater||IIT Kanpur,
|Notable awards||Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award|
Mahan Mitra studied at St. Xavier's Collegiate School, Calcutta, till Class XII. He then entered the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, where he initially chose to study electrical engineering but later switched to mathematics. He graduated with a Masters in mathematics from IIT Kanpur in 1992.
Mahan Mitra joined the PhD program in mathematics at University of California, Berkeley with Andrew Casson as his advisor. He received the Earle C. Anthony Fellowship, U.C. Berkeley in 1992–1993 and the prestigious Sloan Fellowship for 1996–1997. After earning a doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley in 1997, he worked briefly at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences in 1998. Spiritually inclined, he joined the Ramakrishna Math as a renunciate upon being impressed by the life and work of the Vedantic philosopher Ramakrishna Paramahansa. His initial name was Brahmachari BrahmaChaitanya. He was renamed as Swami Vidyanathananda after receiving his Saffron robe on 12 January 2009. Swami Vidyanathananda is a monk at the order's headquarters at Belur Math and an associate Professor of mathematics at the Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University at Belur Math. He has widely published and presented his research in the area of hyperbolic manifolds and "ending lamination spaces." His most notable work is the Proof of existence of Cannon–Thurston Maps. This led to the resolution of the conjecture that connected limit sets of finitely generated Kleinian groups are locally connected. He is also the author of a book titled Maps on boundaries of hyperbolic metric spaces.
Mahan Maharaj, as he is known to his students and colleagues, is fluent in English, Hindi and Bengali. He also knows a bit of Tamil, learnt from his stay in southern part of India at IMSc. He has been quoted as saying “I am enjoying being a monk as much as I enjoy my mathematics”.
- PTI (Sept. 26, 2011). "11 scientists selected for Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar award". New Delhi. IBN Live. Retrieved December 20, 2011.
- "Institute Lecture: What is hyperbolic geometry?". IIT Kanpur. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
- Mitra, Mahan (1997). Maps on boundaries of hyperbolic metric spaces. University of California, Berkeley. ISBN 978-0591-52738-4.
- Pandey, Jhimli Mukherjee (October 28, 2011). "RKM monk wins country’s top math award". The Times Of India (Kolkata). Retrieved January 29, 2013.