CHENNAI:With all the expertise and know-how handed to them, IIT-M’s passouts were given a mildly-worded warning to innovate and think differently if they wanted to be the “people who changed the world”.
Manjul Bhargava, Padma Bhushan awardee and pioneering mathematician, who was the chief guest at the institution’s 52nd convocation, told the pass-outs that innovation was the key to success.
“The question that you need to ask yourself now is what you will do with all this expertise that you have been handed. I would say, innovate. Be creative and think differently,” said the mathematician, who was awarded his own honorary Doctor of Science Degree by the institution here.
“But creativity happens when it happens and the only thing we can do is maximise our chances of being creative. I would suggest four ways in which you can maximise this chance. First, learn from the masters. Second, learn to think differently from other people. Because, only by finding your own way to think and your own perspective in things, you would be able to come up with something that no one else has thought of. Obviously, think the way the ones before were thinking and you will not be able to come up with something that others haven’t thought of,” he advised.
“Thirdly, explore new frontiers for the sake of exploration, just because it is exciting. Many great thinkers did this. They used their intuition to lead them to exciting places and then found uses for their discoveries,” he said.
But most importantly, the avid musician who held fort on mathematics and music, told students to learn art. “This is the key and the closest way we will ever come to learning how to be creative,” he concluded. Bhargava is Fradd Professor at Princeton University, the US, and the winner of several awards including the Fields Medal for 2014, the Padma Bhushan, the Clay Research Award, and the famed Fermat Prize with his PhD student Arul Shankar in 2011.
Also present at the convocation was Pawan Goenka, Chairman of the Board of Governors and Executive Director of the Mahindra and Mahindra Group. “Hone your skills in science and technology and continue on the path you set for yourself four years ago. How you do that is your choice because form now to the next 35 - 40 years, you will need to make many choices,” Goenka told students.