An Interview with Dr. V.K. Bhat, Associate Professor & Director, School of Mathematics
Dr. Vijay Kumar Bhat is an Associate Professor & Director of the prestigious School of Mathematics in the College of Sciences at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University. A highly experienced academician and renowned researcher Dr. Bhat has a huge number of publications to his credit. Most of his work is in the field of Ring Theory & Graph Theory. A very popular figure among the student community, Dr. Bhat shares his ideas & thoughts with us.
Dr. Bhat, many thanks for taking time out and speaking to us. Sir, tell us a little bit about your Academic and Research background?
Dr. Bhat: It is my pleasure to speak to you. I am a graduate from University of Kashmir. After qualifying UGC/CSIR NET examination in 1993, I did my Ph.D. from University of Jammu which I completed in 1999. My areas of interest are Algebra, Coding Theory and Graph Theory.
Dr. Bhat, Can you tell us a little bit about the field of Mathematics in general and specifically regarding your area of specialization?
Dr. Bhat: Carl Friedrich Gauss referred to mathematics as "the Queen of the Sciences”. The Mathematician Benjamin Peirce called Mathematics "the science that draws necessary conclusions". Albert Einstein, on the other hand, stated that "as far as the laws of Mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality." Mathematics can, broadly speaking, be subdivided into the study of quantity, structure, space, and change (i.e. arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and analysis). There are other sub areas of these four like Topology, Group Theory, Ring Theory, Operator Theory, Coding Theory, Mechanics, Number Theory, Fuzzy Set Theory etc. Mathematics is used throughout the world as an essential tool in many fields, including natural science, engineering, medicine, and the social sciences. My area of interest is Algebra (skew polynomial rings). These rings have applications in coding theory, control theory and solving ordinary differential equations.
Dr. Bhat, What are the Career options for students who pursue Mathematics in general as their field of interest? Are there any career options in Applied Mathematics in the industry?
Dr. Bhat: Students with a Masters degree in Mathematics get jobs mainly in Statistics department and Education department. Stock Exchanges also have positions for Mathematics knowing people. Some students who opt for Operations Research courses or Applied Mathematics get jobs in industry as well.
Sir, What are the projects that the School of Mathematics is working on currently? What are your plans for the School in the next five years?
Dr. Bhat: At present we have two research projects, one in “Operator Theory” with Dr. Sharma and another in “Algebra” with me. Three more projects have been submitted by faculty and final approvals are awaited.
Sir, can you tell something about the experiences of your visits to abroad?
Dr. Bhat: I have visited some countries including U.S.A, Ukraine, Russia, Iran, Malaysia, Philippines and Brazil in connection with attending conferences and research schools. I also presented research papers during these conferences. I saw that the attendance during the different sessions of these conferences was impressive. All participants were active and involved. Discussions would go on even during coffee/lunch breaks. Arrangements (related to academics) were so managed that one would get the required information (even before we think of it). Graduate students make a good use of the opportunity of meeting eminent academicians. They would approach you with their ideas and problems.
Sir, since you have a lot of experience of teaching at various prestigious universities & institutions, I would like to ask how do our students at SMVDU compare against them?
Dr. Bhat: Our students are good (in general). They need our proper guidance so that they could enter the domain of the best students of prestigious institutions. Both (faculty and students) need to be careful. Faculty is responsible for imparting the quality education and proper guidance. Students are required to be sincere, punctual, regular and curious to know new things and cooperative. Some of our students have performed very well and are well placed.
Sir, any advice that you would like to pass on to the students at SMVDU for achieving success in their career?
Dr. Bhat: Dear students “Try to be good students”. Try to the best of your capability. By your activities make your teachers, parents, friends and countrymen proud of you!
Sir, Many thanks for sparing your precious time to speak to us and for advising the students.