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Tributes

In Memory of Our Beloved Teacher

By: Ashish Kumar Srivastava, Dept. of Mathematics, Ohio University

 

Prof M.C. Puri was not only a great teacher and researcher, but above all, a great human being. His death is a huge loss to academic community and it is a personal loss to me as well as to all his students and friends.

 

Prof Puri was undoubtedly best teacher I ever had. He taught me two courses, one in M.Sc (Mathematics) and the other in M.Tech (Computer Applications). We admired his discipline in life. He had a different kind of personality. He was very strict, incorrigibly idealist, but at the same time very caring and loving.

 

I still remember some of the incidents which will always inspire us. Once while explaining real life implications of optimization theory, he said .when you sleep comfortably in winter night, you must think at least once about the poor man sleeping on street. When he was saying this, he had tears in his eyes. This incident really touched me. I saw the human side of an IIT professor for the first time. He used to hold meeting with some students once in a month to get feedback about the course and his teaching. In the first meeting with us, he asked a question to all of us. Do you like the course? All students said yes, but when my turn came I said I love the way you teach this course, but I donít like the subject. His immediate response was I like honest people. You should always express your view honestly. There are not many people who appreciate honest view if it is not according to their taste, but Prof Puri was above human weaknesses. This is the reason why he was so popular among students. Everyone in my both the classes loved him.

 

The other class which I did with him, I had to drop as I fell sick and took a semester off. He kept on asking other students about my health. The day I returned back to IIT, when Prof Puri saw me, he came almost running towards me and asked me about my health. I was overwhelmed by his gesture. He helped me in solving some of the official problems which I was facing at that time due to insensitive IIT administration. He was truly a sensitive and caring person. I am not the only one who feels this way about Prof Puri. Every student whom he ever taught will have similar stories. His life will always be a model for us as a teacher, and as a human being.

 

I would like to pay my sincere tribute to our beloved teacher, Prof M.C.Puri on behalf of M.Sc (Mathematics), 1999 and M.Tech (Computer Applications), 2001 class. May his inspirational ways always guide us.

 

(On behalf of M.Sc. (Mathematics), 1999 and M.Tech. (Computer Applications), 2001 class)

Ashish Kumar Srivastava

Department of Mathematics

Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, USA

ashish@math.ohiou.edu