Manindra Agrawal is a theoretical computer scientist recognized for his work on computational number theory and algebra. He is known particularly for his design of a deterministic polynomial time algorithm for testing if a number is prime. Agrawal was born in Allahabad, UP (India) in 1966. He did his BTech and PhD, both in computer science, from Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur in 1986 and 1991 respectively. He was a Humboldt Fellow in 1995 before joining IIT Kanpur as faculty in 1996. He is a member of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), and all academies of science and engineering of India. He is also a recipient of several awards including Clay Research Prize, Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award, Godel Prize, Fulkerson Prize, Infosys Prize, Humboldt Forschungspreis, and Padma Shri.

Research Interests

Manindra Agrawal started his research by investigating the structure of NP-complete sets, particularly the Isomorphism Conjecture which states that all NP-complete sets are isomorphic to each other under polynomial time computable isomorphisms. After a series of papers on this problem, he proved the conjecture for an interesting subclass of NP-complete problems: sets complete under reductions computable by constant depth circuits. His interest then moved on to computational number theory and algebra where he initiated a new approach for primality testing which culminated in the first deterministic polynomial time algorithm for the problem. In the last decade or so, he has worked primarily on Polynomial Identity Testing (PIT) problem: to check if a polynomial, given as a sequence of addition and multiplication operations, is non-zero. He has contributed to showing the fundamental importance of this problem to the quest of finding an explicit polynomial that requires exponential number of operations to compute. He has also been working on finding efficient algorithms for solving PIT.

Membership Type

International Member

Election Year


Primary Section

Section 11: Mathematics

Secondary Section

Section 34: Computer and Information Sciences