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Dr. Mathukumalli Venkata Subbarao

Dr. Mathukumalli Venkata Subbarao was a practitioner of number theory, a mathematician who had explored the intricacies of this subject with unswerving loyalty for close to 60 years.

Dr. Subbarao was born on May 4, 1921, in the village of Yazali in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. As there was no school in the village, he was taught at home by his father, M. Narasimha Rao, during his elementary level education. His mother, M. Venkata Subbamma, then accompanied him as he left home for the rest of his education -- to the city of Tenali for his high school education, Guntur for his preliminary college, and afterwards to Presidency College, Madras (now known as Chennai), where he received his M.A. in mathematics in 1941. He then joined the mathematics department of the University of Madras to work with Professor Vaidyanathaswamy for his M.Sc., obtained in 1945, and his Ph.D., which he completed in 1951.

He began teaching as Assistant Professor in mathematics at Presidency College in Madras (1946-1953), taking a two-year study leave to complete his doctorate. At that point, the state of Andhra Pradesh was officially separated from the state of Madras, and he was transferred to the new state to become the Head of the Mathematics Department and help to shape the government colleges at Rajahmandry (1953-1954) and Cuddapah (1954-1955). In 1955 he left government service to become Reader in Mathematics at Sri Venkateswara University in Tirupati, and became the Head of the Department of Mathematics in 1958.


In 1960, he came to the United States as a Visiting Professor of Mathematics at the University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri. The next year, he joined the regular faculty as Associate Professor and served for two more years. He moved to Canada to join the faculty at the University of Alberta in Edmonton in 1963. In 1966, he returned to India as Chairman of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Kerala, Trivandrum and Cochin for one year (1966-1967). He returned to the University of Missouri for a year as Professor of Mathematics (1967-1968), and resettled in the University of Alberta in Canada as Professor Mathematics, where he stayed until his retirement (1968-1990).  After 1990, he stayed on the faculty of the University of Alberta as Professor Emeritus, Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (1991- 2006).  During the last period, he concentrated solely on his research, and in 2004 received an award from the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, for holding NSERC research grants continuously for over 25 years.  Just before his death in 2006, published a book, Partition Theory, in collaboration with A.K. Agarwal and Padmavatamma.

Dr. Subbarao resided primarily in the North American continent since 1960, and became a Canadian citizen in 1978. His collaborations and travels took him all over the world. While maintaining close links to India, Dr. Subbarao also visited and collaborated with leading mathematicians in Canada, the United States, Hungary, Japan, China, Singapore, and Australia.




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Dr. Mathukumalli Venkata Subbarao

A Life in Photographs


The graduating Honours class in Mathematics from Presidency College in Madras, 1941.  Dr. Subbarao is on the extreme right in the second row.

Dr. Subbarao, now Assistant Professor in Mathematics at the Presidency College, Madras, is seated second from the right in the first row.



Students of Dr. Subbarao come to give him a send off when he was leaving the Government Arts College in Rajahmandry in 1954.

Dr. Subbarao (first row, center) with the staff and students of the Department of Mathematics, Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, India, 1960.


Dr. Subbarao arrives at the University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, U.S.A., 1960.


Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Award for Excellence, 2004.

Dr. Subbarao’s last research work, published just before his death in 2006.



Template Created by: Garry Wong & Chris Goetz

Last Updated: 06/27/2008 20:38:14



This page is written in valid XHTML 1.0 & CSS.