Monday, 1 August 2011


Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis was born on 29 June 1893 Bikrampur, which is now in Bangladesh. Mahalanobis received his early schooling at the Brahmo Boys School in Calcutta graduating in 1908. He then joined the Presidency College, Calcutta and received a B.Sc. degree with honours in physics in 1912. He left for England in 1913 to join Cambridge. He however missed a train and stayed with a friend at King's College, Cambridge. He was impressed by the Chapel there and his host's friend M. A. Candeth suggested that he could try joining there, which he did. He did well in his studies, but also took an interest in cross-country walking and punting on the river. He interacted with the mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan during the latter's time at Cambridge. After his Tripos in physics, Mahalanobis worked with C. T. R. Wilson at the Cavendish Laboratory. He took a short break and went to India and here he was introduced to the Principal of Presidency College and was invited to take classes in physics.