A frail, petit girl from a suburb of Chennai, Uma Balakrishnan is doing wonders with numbers in an alien shore.
Uma spent her formative years in the temple town of Nanganallur, a peaceful suburb of Chennai. After completing class 10 in the local government high school - Nehru School - she joined RKM Sarada Vidyalaya, T Nagar, Chennai, in class 11. Scoring high marks was always her aim, remarks her mother Kalyani. Her extraordinary performance in plus-two made her take up her subject of love – Mathematics.
Thus her tryst with numbers started in college and from then on she has been involved in numbers.
She qualified for a Bachelors degree in Maths from SDNB Vaishnav College in Chromepet and her stint there was eventful. Uma used to participate in all the workshops and symposiums in Maths conducted by other colleges and the University of Madras and earned plaudits.
Uma, fired by passion to work with numbers, joined the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology-Madras and secured a Masters in Maths.
There was no stopping with that. Her professors motivated her to pursue higher studies.
Gifted with a sharp memory and good retention, she obtained her doctorate in Fluid Dynamics from IIT-Madras.
Uma was invited by foreign universities to deliver lectures and participate in workshops.
She visited Switzerland and Canada for internship and conference participation sponsored by Ecole Polytechnique federale de Lausanne and CSIR-Council of Scientific Research.
Uma was sponsored by the National Board of Higher Mathematics to do her post-doctoral thesis. This was a remarkable achievement in her distinguished career.
Abdus Salaam International Center for Theoretical Physics at Trieste, Italy, beckoned her and she published 14 papers in international archival journals and five papers in international proceedings.
After a sojourn at Anna University as a lecturer, she joined as an assistant research professor at the University of North Dakota, USA. Uma was also associated with University of Santa Barbara, California.
Currently, she is working as a biomedical researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, USA.
Though she is decorated with a plethora of awards, yet they sit lightly on her.