Sanath Devalapurkar has a mind that appreciates the elegance of mathematics. He writes, “I believe it is a subject where one can marvel in amazing creations, most of which exist only in one’s mind; it is a beautifully abstract subject to immerse oneself in, finding answers to questions purely for the sake of doing so.”
Born in India, Sanath took online courses in algebra and general topology through MIT’s OpenCourseWare while he was in elementary school. This deepened his interest in math, and he began to focus on special relativity. He became a student in the Accelerated Learner’s Program at the Centre for Fundamental Research and Creative Education in Bangalore, and subsequently became a CFRCE Research Fellow. Sanath’s area of interest is called Algebraic K Theory, a subject area in the rarified atmosphere of pure mathematics.
In the fall of 2013, Sanath moved to the United States with his parents and younger brother. He writes that immersing himself in math helped him adjust to the personal and academic challenges of his new home. He studied homotopy theory in the summer before his freshman year (at West High School, in Torrance, California) and was contacted by Professor Marcy Robertson of UCLA (who is now at University of Melbourne) to meet with her about his research and take a graduate course in topology. Since then, she has become an important mentor for him. In 2015 he participated in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). There he won Best in Category in Mathematics, and an award to represent the United States in Italy for the European Union Contest for Young Scientists, where he was awarded first place. Following these honors, Sanath submitted a research paper in the field of algebraic topology to the Intel Science Talent Search program, where he was voted Seaborg Award Winner.
Sanath shares his love for math by tutoring others. Now a senior in High School, he started an after-school club to teach abstract algebra; he helped organize the school’s first ever science fair, and he is the founder and president of the philosophy club. He is an active community volunteer, organizing civic and social events with the California Scholarship Federation and Interact club. Sanath hopes to earn a Ph.D. in pure math and move on to research and teaching – two of his greatest passions.