Damodhar Dharmand Kosambi obtained his SB (summa cum laude) (1929) from Harvard University, USA. His areas of specialization were mathematics, statistics and nuclear physics. He was Professor of Mathematics, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi (1929-37); Visiting Professor of Mathematics, Aligarh Muslim University (1931-32); Professor of Mathematics, Fergusson College, Pune (1933); Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai (1947-62); Emeritus Scientist, CSIR (1965); Professor of Indology and Mathematics, Maharashtra Association for the Cultivation of Science Research Institute, Pune (1964-65).
Academic and Research Achievements: Kosambi specialized in pure and applied mathematics, and theoretical statistics. He suggested statistical methods for forecasting Chinese food crops and quality control in industries to the Academia Sinica. Statistical methods originally suggested by him to engineers for constructing dams were adopted by the National 5-Year Plan Committee as the basis for location and size of dams. His interest changed to theoretical and nuclear physics. He was the guest of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, in 1949, where he had discussions with Einstein on his Unified Field Theory. He introduced a new method into historical scholarship essentially by application of modern mathematics. He wrote a monumental book, Introduction to the Study of Indian History, which marked a new stage in Indian historiography.
Other Contributions: Kosambi was a multi-faceted scientist, a Marxist, a scholar of several languages, including Sanskrit, and a man who strove for peace as a member of the World Council for Peace.
Awards and Honours: Kosambi received S Ramanujan Memorial Prize (1934) and Bhabha Prize (1947). He was a Member of Phi Beta Kappa and the Maharashtra Association for the Cultivation of Science.