In Memoriam S. S. Shrikhande

Sharadchandra Shankar Shrikhande (19 October 1917 – 21 April 2020) was an Indian mathematician with distinguished and well-recognized achievements in combinatorial mathematics. He was notable for his breakthrough work along with R. C. Bose and E. T. Parker in their disproof of the famous conjecture made by Leonhard Euler dated 1782 that there do not exist two mutually orthogonal latin squares of order 4n + 2 for any n.  Shrikhande's specialty was combinatorics, and statistical designs. Shrikhande graph is used in statistical designs.

“His graph is known for the beautiful format it takes,” says Arun Muktibodh, retired Head of the Department of Mathematics at Nagpur's Mohata Science College.  “It’s important to preserve his memory and work for generations,” said Muktibodh, who produced a documentary on him two years ago. The film titled ‘Euler’s Spoiler: A Living Legend’ is archived by the film society of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru. “With some fresh edits it will be on YouTube soon,” he said. “That’s how new generations will know about the man and his work.”

Shrikhande received a Ph.D. in the year 1950 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill under the direction of R. C. Bose. Shrikhande taught at various universities in the USA and in India.  Shrikhande was a professor of mathematics at Banaras Hindu University, Banaras and the founding head of the department of mathematics, University of Mumbai and the founding director of the Center of Advanced Study in Mathematics, Mumbai until he retired in 1978. He was a fellow of the Indian National Science Academy, the Indian Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, USA.

In 1991, he was named an Honorary Fellow of the ICA.  The full citation is in the BICA (1), reproduced at the link:


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