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Prominent Mathematician in India Accused of Plagiarism

January 28, 2008

Calcutta University mathematician Mahimaranjan Adhikary has been accused of plagiarism by his home institution after reviewers writing in Math Reviews found three of his papers to be tainted. Math Reviews is a publication of the American Mathematical Society.

According to the reviewers, substantial parts of Adhikary's papers had been lifted from other people's work, often word for word. The reviewers merely pointed this out and did not use the term "plagiarism" to describe the misdeeds.

Readers of the reviews, however, could infer what the reviewers were getting at. So did Adhikary's home institution. A group of scholars at his university then determined that Adhikary had, indeed, plagiarized material.

Adhikary holds prestigious positions in Indian mathematics and is the author of several textbooks. His specialty is algebra, and he is best known for his work on graph theory, the topic of the disputed papers.

Regarding the paper titled "The connectivity of squares of box graphs,” the reviewer noted that Adhikary had "copied verbatim from mathematicians like Simoes-Pereira, D. Bauer and R. Tindell,” and suggested that the paper should not have been published.

The other two papers in question are titled "On edge-connectivity of inserted graphs" and "Factors of inserted graphs."

Queried about the charges, Adhikary told The Times of India, "I'm not willing to comment. I'll have to go through the AMS reviews to see if what you are saying is true."

"The charges against Adhikary are true," said Manjusha Majumdar, head of Calcutta University's department of mathematics, who led an inquiry.

“We are checking if Adhikary's other papers, including his thesis, were copied too,” said CU registrar Samir Bandyopadhyay. "In the past, when such a case was proved against a principal of an affiliated college, his thesis was cancelled."

The university’s Syndicate will decide the punishment to be meted out to Adhikary, who worked for over three decades at CU and had recently been recalled from retirement to continue his studies.

Source: Times of India, Jan. 2, 2008.

Start Date: 
Monday, January 28, 2008