Tathagat Avatar Tulsi

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Tathagat Avatar Tulsi
Tathagat Avatar Tulsi.gif
Born (1987-09-09) 9 September 1987 (age 29)
Patna, Bihar
Nationality Indian
Fields Physics
Alma mater Indian Institute of Science
Patna Science College

Tathagat Avatar Tulsi (born 9 September 1987) is an Indian physicist, best known as a child prodigy. He completed high school at the age of 9, earned a B.Sc. at the age of 10 and a M.Sc. at the age of 12 from Patna Science College (Patna University). In August 2009, he got his Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore at the age of 22.[1] In July 2010, he was offered a position as Assistant Professor on contract (a non-permanent teaching position for fresh Ph.D. graduates) at IIT Bombay.[2][3][4]

While he was admitted for a Ph.D. program at 17, to a journalist query the then dean of the physics dept at IISc described him as a "good boy, very lovable and working to achieve his goals"; however, he declined to comment on the description of Tulsi as a prodigy.[5]


Tulsi was born in Patna, Bihar. He completed high school at the age of nine, earned a B.Sc. at the age of ten and a M.Sc. at the age of twelve from Patna Science College (Patna University).

He received wide public attention in 2001, when he was shortlisted by the Indian Government's Department of Science and Technology (DST) to participate in a Nobel laureates conference in Germany. Later, the DST officials claimed that it was a mistake to shortlist him, and that he was a "fake prodigy". Tulsi claimed that he had impressed three Nobel laureates but two of them could not recall having talked to him and the third Brian Josephson did not find anything promising in his ideas.[6] Following the controversy, Tulsi is said to have suffered from depression, which he says, cost him a Ph.D. seat at IIT. He decided to "fight back" by earning a Ph.D. and gaining recognition as a scientist.[7]

Tulsi was admitted by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc).,[8] where he wrote a 33-page long Ph.D. thesis on "Generalizations of the Quantum Search Algorithm".[9] He has the special distinction of being one of the world's youngest scientists. At the age of 17, he co-authored a research manuscript ("A New Algorithm for Fixed-point Quantum Search") with Lov Grover, the inventor of a quantum search algorithm that goes by his name.

Tulsi is listed as one of the most gifted Asian youngsters by TIME magazine, mentioned as "Superteen" by Science, "Physics Prodigy" by The TIMES, "Master Mind" by The WEEK and listed by Outlook as one of the smartest Indian youngsters. Tathagat Avatar Tulsi participated in the Stock Exchange of Visions project of Fabrica, Benetton's research centre in 2007. He was invited by Luciano Benetton for a dinner in honor of Al Gore on June 14, 2007 in Milano, Italy. Tathagat's story was showcased by National Geographic Channel in the program My Brilliant Brain. The episode named "India's Geniuses" was aired on 13 December 2007 and was hosted by Bollywood actress Konkona Sen Sharma. He was interviewed by 14-year-old Trishit Banerjee for his magazine Young Chronicle.

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