Infosys Prize Celebrates the Best in Research across Sciences and Humanities
Increases the prize purse to INR 65 lakh (over US$ 100,000) across all categories
Kolkata – January 5, 2015: The Infosys Science Foundation (ISF) today honored six of the finest scientists and researchers for their stellar contributions to science and research. The Chief Guest, Nobel Laureate and Thomas W. Lamont University Professor at Harvard University, Prof. Amartya Sen, felicitated the winners across the six prize categories of Engineering and Computer Science, Humanities, Life Sciences, Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Social Sciences. The laureates in each category received a purse of INR 65 lakhs (over US$ 100,000), a 22 karat gold medallion and a citation certificate describing their winning work. The prize purse has been increased from INR 55 lakhs to INR 65 lakhs this year.
The distinguished members of the jury, Prof. Pradeep K. Khosla − Engineering and Computer Science, Justice. Leila Seth – Humanities, Prof. Inder Verma – Life Sciences, Prof. Srinivasa S. R. Varadhan – Mathematical Sciences, Prof. Shrinivas Kulkarni – Physical Sciences, and Prof. Kaushik Basu – Social Sciences, cited the work done by the winners.
- The six winners of the Infosys Prize 2014 are Prof. Jayant Haritsa, Prof. Shamnad Basheer, Prof. Shubha Tole, Prof. Madhu Sudan, Prof. Srivari Chandrasekhar and Prof. Esther Duflo
- This year’s winners have been recognized for research in fields as diverse as database design and optimization, interpretation of patent laws, understanding emotion and cognition in the brain, probabilistically checkable proofs, green chemistry, and affordable healthcare
- The number of nominations received for the six categories have increased by over 60 percent since 2009. This year’s winners were selected from a pool of 219 nominations by an esteemed panel of experts and academicians
- In a span of six years, the Infosys Prize has been successful in recognizing and awarding 38 researchers and scientists for their outstanding contribution to their fields of expertise
- The awards ceremony was attended by eminent scientists and leaders from different industries. Mr. N. R. Narayana Murthy, President of the Board of Trustees, Infosys Science Foundation and other trustees of the ISF - Mr. Mohandas Pai, Mr. Kris Gopalakrishnan, Mr. S. D. Shibulal, Mr. Srinath Batni, Mr. K. Dinesh and Dr. Vishal Sikka, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Infosys were present at the event
Congratulating the winners via a video recording, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Hon'ble President of India, said:
"I congratulate all the winners of the Infosys Prize 2014 and thank them for their contributions to the world of knowledge. I am confident that their achievements will inspire our youth to dedicate themselves to the service of science and society.
"A scientific culture must determine the choices and decisions made by individual societies and nation. Research endeavors must advance the realm of knowledge and improve the lives of the common man. It must bring about social, environmental and economic betterment of our people. I am convinced that India’s future is inextricably linked to the progress we can make in establishing strong foundation for scientific research within our country."
The Chief Guest, Prof. Amartya Sen, Nobel Laureate and Thomas W. Lamont University Professor at Harvard University, said:
"I have had the great privilege of being associated with the Infosys Prize since its inception, and have been thrilled to witness its constructive contribution in encouraging intellectual enterprise and creativity in India - and about India. By recognizing outstandingly original research, the Infosys Prize has both a celebratory and facilitating role, and the Prize has already won a treasured position in the academic world. I congratulate the Prize winners this year for their remarkable contributions that are being celebrated, which will also inspire other researchers, including the next generation of daring thinkers."
Mr. N. R. Narayana Murthy, President of the Board of Trustees, Infosys Science Foundation and Founder, Infosys, said:
"In a historic year for our country, the successful launch of the Mangalyaan in 2014 made India the first nation to reach the Mars orbit on its first attempt. This is an example of engineering excellence under constraints and challenges. Through the Infosys Prize, the Infosys Science Foundation celebrates the incredible talent of researchers who overcome and solve various challenges – scientific, social and economic. I hope the younger generation will take note of their accomplishments and be inspired by their work and its recognition."
The winners of Infosys Prize 2014 are:
Engineering and Computer Science
Jayant Haritsa, Professor, Supercomputer Education and Research Centre (SERC) and Chair, Department of Computer Science and Automation (CSA), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, India.
Prof. Jayant Haritsa has been awarded this prize for his contributions to the design and optimization of database engines.
Shamnad Basheer, Founder and Managing Trustee, Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA), Bangalore and Founder, SpicyIP, India.
Prof. Shamnad Basheer has been awarded this prize for his contributions to the analysis of a range of legal issues, including pharmaceutical patent injunctions and enforcement.
Shubha Tole, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai, India.
Prof. Shubha Tole has been awarded this prize for her significant contributions to studying the hippocampus and amygdala – centers of learning and memory in the brain. Her work can lead to a better understanding of human behavior, cognition and emotions.
Madhu Sudan, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research New England and Adjunct Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) department and Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, USA.
Prof. Madhu Sudan has been awarded this prize for his seminal contributions to probabilistically checkable proofs and error-correcting codes.
Srivari Chandrasekhar, Chief Scientist and Head, Division of Natural Products Chemistry, CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad, India.
Dr. Srivari Chandrasekhar has been awarded this prize for his contributions in the general area of synthetic organic chemistry with a special focus on the synthesis of complex molecules from natural sources.
Esther Duflo, Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics, Department of Economics, MIT and Founder and Director, Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), Cambridge, USA.
Prof. Esther Duflo has been awarded this prize for her pioneering and prodigious contributions to development economics, with important implications for policies pertaining to the delivery of services to the poor.