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Manjul Bhargava: An Artist of Music and Math

Number theorist Manjul Bhargava is also a tabla master.
Rebecca Davis, NPR
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Number theorist Manjul Bhargava is also a tabla master.

At 28, Manjul Bhargava has already won a coveted full professorship at Princeton University. An expert in number theory, the study of the properties and relationships of numbers, Bhargava is also a master of the tabla, a small Indian hand drum used to create music with rhythmic, precise patterns.

Number theory is the type of math that describes the swirl in the head of a sunflower and the curve of a chambered nautilus. Bhargava says it's also hidden in the rhythms of classical Indian music, which is both mathematical and improvisational. He sees close links between his two loves -- both create beauty and elegance by weaving together seemingly unconnected ideas.

As part of a Morning Edition series exploring the intersection of art and science, NPR's Richard Harris reports on the beauty of mathematics, its ties to art -- and the man who straddles both worlds.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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