Prof. T. Madhavan (1941-2021), former faculty member of IIMA (1980-2003) was known for his sincerity, humility and dedication with which he inspired generations of students and faculty at IIMA.
Born on 03 May 1941, he obtained a B. Sc and M. Sc degree in Statistics from the Presidency College, Madras, in 1961 and 1963 respectively. For over a decade thereafter, he taught in various capacities: As a tutor in mathematics at A. M. Jain College, Madras (1965-66), as Associate Lecturer in Statistics and Mathematics at P.S.G College of Technology, Coimbatore (1966-69) and then as Lecturer at PSG College (1969-75).
In 1974, he attended a summer school in operations research at IIMA. That first brush with IIMA would stay with him until his retirement in 2003 as he first pursued his doctoral studies at IIMA (1975-80) and was then appointed as faculty in the Centre for Management in Agriculture Area of IIMA in 1980, after which he moved to the Production & Quantitative Methods Area.
While pursuing his doctoral studies as a resident of Dorm-16, he was very active in tutoring PGP students and was a core committee member of the Students' Stores. He also developed an interest in the computing centre at IIMA. His dissertation was titled "A Framework for Infrastructure Planning" with Prof. Jahar Saha as the chair and Profs. V L Mote, M Malya and Ranjit Gupta as the other members of the Thesis Advisory Committee. The focus of the thesis was "on the logistics of where to locate the centres, how to link villages with the nearest centres and how these should be developed in a phased manner."
In his long stint at IIMA, Prof. T. Madhavan was associated with various roles in research, teaching and administration. Several research projects on media planning, rural roads, distribution of petroleum products, handloom projects, pilgrim logistics, to name a few, were conducted with the aid of computer-based analysis. He took a keen interest in the CAT exam-setting and overall admission process. In teaching, his major contribution was in running the popular course called SMDA (Statistical Methods for Data Analysis), initially co-delivered with Prof. Raghavachari. In 2016, he co-authored a book with Prof. V L Mote called Operations Research (Wiley).
He was fluent in Tamil, English, Hindi and Sanskrit and had a terrific repertoire in recounting classical Sanskrit sources on a variety of topics. His generosity was wide-to students, colleagues and even the children of colleagues, whom he would often assist in their studies. Those who were close to him remember his warmth and humility.
A collection of tributes to him is available on this link.
A collection of snippets of his time at IIMA, is available on this link.
Date of Birth: May 03, 1941
Date of Death: June 21, 2021