UMBC Watch

"UMBC is extremely proud of Manil Suri, whose extraordinary talent in both mathematics and fiction writing enriches our community.”

— President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III


Mathematician and Author Wins Guggenheim Fellowship


September 1, 2004 – Manil Suri, UMBC professor of mathematics and statistics, has been awarded a 2004 Guggenheim Fellowship for exemplary work in fiction writing. He is author of the critically acclaimed novel The Death of Vishnu, and has won a number of literary prizes, including the 2002 Barnes and Noble Discover Prize, the 2002 McKittrick Prize (UK), and a Pen-Bingham Fellowship for 2002-2004. His book was named a New York Times Notable Book in 2001.

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowships recognize senior artists, scholars, and scientists who “have already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.” A total of 185 winners were chosen this year from among 3,200 applicants. The award will support Suri’s work on the second novel of a planned trilogy.

Born in Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India, Suri emigrated to the U.S. in 1979. After completing his Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon University in 1983, he joined the UMBC faculty. His research includes the numerical analysis of partial differential equations.

Suri is also keenly interested in math education and applies his literary talent to make mathematics more accessible to general audiences by combining it with narrative and non-standard expositional techniques.

Suri’s fiction was largely unknown, even to his UMBC colleagues, until the publication of an excerpt from Vishnu in The New Yorker in February 2000. He was named a Time Magazine “Person to Watch” in 2001.


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