Bangalore – November 18, 2016
The Infosys Science Foundation (ISF) today announced the winners of the Infosys Prize 2016 in the categories of Engineering and Computer Science, Humanities, Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physical Sciences and Social Sciences. Now in its eighth year, the Infosys Prize continues to celebrate and recognize some of the best researchers and scientists of our time. Among the winners are a star gazer, a mathematician who was a child prodigy, and a physician scientist who is also a tireless humanitarian. The prize for each category consists of a purse of Rs. 65 Lakhs, a 22 karat gold medallion and a citation certificate.
The winners were shortlisted from over 250 nominations by an esteemed and erudite jury panel, comprising of renowned scientists and professors. The jury chairs of the six categories are: Prof. Pradeep K. Khosla (University of California San Diego) for Engineering and Computer Science; Prof. Amartya Sen (Harvard University) for Humanities; Dr. Inder Verma (Salk Institute of Biological Sciences) for Life Sciences; Prof. Srinivasa S. R. Varadhan (New York University) for Mathematical Sciences; Prof. Shrinivas Kulkarni (California Institute of Technology) for Physical Sciences; and Prof. Kaushik Basu (Cornell University) for Social Sciences.
The six winners were informed of their selection shortly before the announcement via a phone call from the trustees and the respective jury chairs.
Engineering and Computer Science
Prof. V. Kumaran, Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, for his seminal work in complex fluids and complex flows especially in transition and turbulence in soft walled tubes and channels. His work is of high practical utility in cardio-vascular and pulmonary health. Kumaran’s work is characterized by high quality applied mathematics and theoretical physics combined with innovative experiments and simulation. It has been translated into innovative technologies for lab-on-a-chip devices for point-of-care diagnostics.
Prof. Sunil Amrith, Mehra Family Professor of South Asian Studies, Professor of History, Harvard University, US, for his outstanding contributions to the history of migration, environmental history, and the history of international public health, and in recognition of his field-changing research on the interrelated past of contemporary Asia.
Dr. Gagandeep Kang, Executive Director of Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI), Faridabad, for her pioneering contributions to understanding the natural history of rotavirus and other infectious diseases that are important both globally and in India. Her findings have enormous implications for vaccines and other public health measures to thwart these infections.
Prof. Akshay Venkatesh, Professor, Department of Mathematics, Stanford University, US, for his exceptionally wide ranging, foundational and creative contributions to modern number theory. Akshay’s unique ability to use wide ranging techniques drawn from analytic number theory, ergodic theory, homotopy theory to address concrete problems in number theory, and discover new phenomena attest to the essential unity of mathematics.
Dr. Anil Bhardwaj, Director, Space Physics Laboratory, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, for his outstanding contributions to Planetary Science and Exploration, including detection and delineation of the nature and origin of planetary X-rays. His experiments on Chandrayaan-1 and Mars Orbiter Mission revealed new features of solar wind interactions with lunar surface and provided important clues for understanding thermal escape of the Martian atmosphere.
Prof. Kaivan Munshi, Frank Ramsey Professor of Economics, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge, UK, for his remarkably deep analysis of the multifaceted role of communities, such as ethnic groups and castes, in the process of economic development.
Speaking during the event, Mr. S. D. Shibulal, President - Board of Trustees, Infosys Science Foundation said, “While much has evolved within the Foundation and many initiatives have been added on, the fundamentals of why we instituted the Infosys Prize haven’t changed. The prize continues to be our flagship initiative that is aimed at recognizing the work of inspiring researchers and scientists. I am happy to say that the prize is gradually evolving into one of the most aspirational recognitions in the country.”
Congratulating the winners, Mr. Shibulal added, “The winners of the Infosys Prize 2016 were selected from over 250 nominations. We are grateful to our jury panel for awarding these exceptional candidates and highlighting their wonderful achievements. The Infosys Prize winners have made stellar contributions to our society, and I hope that they will inspire the next generation of scientists in India.”
The Awards Ceremony for the Infosys Prize 2016 will be held on January 7, 2017, in Bangalore, where Prof. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society and Nobel Prize Laureate, will felicitate the winners.
The Infosys Prize is awarded under the aegis of the Infosys Science Foundation, a not-for-profit trust set up in 2009. The Infosys Science Foundation is funded by a corpus which today stands at over INR 130 Crore (over US$ 20 million), contributed by the trustees and Infosys.
For more information on the winners, please visit www.infosys-science-foundation.com.
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