Manindra Agrawal came to IIT Kanpur for his BTech in Computer Science in 1982 and stayed on to do a PhD, completing it in 1991. He then joined the Chennai Mathematical Institute (then known as SPIC Science Foundation) as Fellow. In the summer of 1995. He spent a year at Ulm, Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship and returned in 1996 to join IIT Kanpur as Assistant Professor. He currently occupies there the N Rama Rao chair in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering.
Academic and Research Achievements: Starting from his PhD Manindra Agrawal was interested in the class of NP-complete sets. There is a conjecture about this class stating that all NP-complete sets are polynomial-time isomorphism to each other. Professor Agrawal worked on this conjecture in the 1990s, eventually proving it for a large subclass of NP-complete sets. At this time he also got interested in the problem of primality testing. Working with Professor Biswas he designed a new randomized algorithm for the problem and then working with two of his students, in 2002, he designed the first deterministic polynomial-time test for primality. Since then, he is working on the problem of checking if a Polynomial, given as an arithmetic circuit, is non-zero. He has shown that solving this problem in a restricted setting will result in a strong lower bound on the arithmetic complexity of certain polynomials -- one of the central open problems in complexity theory.
Other Contributions: Professor Agrawal designed private-key encryption algorithms for Indian Navy and Air Force. These algorithms are being used by the armed forces to secure their communications.
Awards and Honours: Agrawal has received SS Bhatnagar Prize (2003), Meghnad Saha Award (2003), Godel Prize (2006), the Fulkerson Prize (2006), JC Bose fellowship (2007), the first Infosys Prize for Mathematics (2008), Birla Prize (2009), TWAS Prize (2010), Humboldt Prize (2011), Firodia Award (2011), and Padma Shri (2013). He is a Foreign Associate of National Academy of Sciences (NAS), Fellow of the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), Indian Academy of Sciences (IASc), the National Academy of Sciences, India (NASI), and Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE).