Nish dishes on being a mathematical and musical prodigy

by Mindy Tuong

SAN JOSE, CALIF. – Sophomore Nishanth Tharakan, better known as Nish, shares his talents and passions in and outside of music.

Tharakan is a virtuoso with perfect pitch, amassing proficiency in singing, piano, tenor and baritone saxophone over the course of his life. His parents encouraged him to pursue musical endeavors from a young age, pushing him to do what he loves. He explains, “I like all instruments. I like the piano because you can do multiple melodies on it at the same time but I like the saxophone because I can look at something and play it instantly.”

Nishanth Tharakan pictured smiling by the campus library. (Photo Credit: Mindy Tuong)

Of all things, he is most passionate about math and music. “I’m split between either playing music or trying to figure out more things in math past what I’ve learned in class.” With his talented predisposition in conjunction with hours of arduous practice, he is an important part of Silver Creek Band and Silver Creek Jazz Band. Tharakan loves to teach others and currently posts YouTube videos pertaining to all things math, from basic algebra to calculus. 

On his start on YouTube, he says, “First, I did small music stuff. My dad pushed me to do that. He said, ‘Hey, you’re good at music! Make some videos.’” After a dry spell of few views, one of his videos went viral and he was ecstatic. He later moved onto doing math tutorials as he is an avid teacher. “I got inspired by the way my teacher teaches math very well. Maybe there’s a few things here and there I can communicate to other people who need help with math. It’s not just a math exercise for me, it’s a communication exercise.” In the future, he plans to pursue a career in which he can teach and talk to others, hopefully in the music or math realm. 

When he’s not debating the efficacy of chain rule or pointing out the sharpness or flatness of a note, Tharakan enjoys playing video games, specifically “Dungeons and Dragons.” He is interested in the worldbuilding and communication aspects of the game as they facilitate his creative inclination.

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