Pranjal Srivastava, a 15-year-old Indian student, has become the youngest person from India to win a gold medal at the 2019 International Mathematics Olympiad which was held in the U.K.
What makes this win ever more special is that Srivastava’s win has ended a seven- year drought of gold for India. About 600 participants from more than 210 countries participated in the competition.
Srivastava, a student of National Public School-Koramangala, won silver at the 2018 International Mathematical Olympiad held in Romania.
According to his school, the math whiz is the first Indian student to qualify for the IMO before entering the ninth grade.
Srivastava considers math as a ‘fun activity” and has been participating in math competitions since he was three, according to the Indian Express, which also stated that his mentors include a Ph.D. student from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“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 in the subject,” Srivastava told the publication, adding that he focuses on understanding the subject over “mugging.”
“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 further explained. Claiming there was no particular strategy to attain the gold, Srivastava told the Indian Express that he focused on the subject and not on any particular competition.
Srivastava has participated in and won medals in several national and international competitions. He hopes to pursue higher education at the Indian Institute of Science or MIT, said the Indian Express.