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At 22, Patna boy becomes youngest IIT Professor

Dr. Tathagat Avatar Tulsi, a Patna-born child prodigy, becomes the youngest professor at Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay at the age of 22. He is set to join as an assistant professor in the Department of Physics from next week.

He had completed his high school at the age of nine, earned his BSc degree at 10 and M.Sc at the age of 12. At the age of 21, Tulsi completed his doctorate in Quantum Computing from Indian Institute of Science.

The young professor, who has never studied in a classroom, plans to ask his students how they would want to be taught. "I have never taught in a class. But I believe I can come down to the level of a student and help them understand the subject," he said. When asked about his future plans, he said "I want to pursue my research and at IIT-B, I will have the leisure to continue my research and one day set up a lab focused on quantum computation in our country."

Dr. Tulsi had to turn down offers from Waterloo University in Canada and the Indian Institute of Science Education & Research (IISER), Bhopal to come and teach at IIT-B.

In 2003, the prestigious Time magazine named him among the world's seven most gifted youngsters, though he went into a shell after an international delegation called him a fake prodigy in 2001. Tulsi said he is going to write to the Limca Book of Records to include him as the youngest faculty member in the country.