Being A Mathematician Is Not That Far Removed From Being A Monk: Prof. Mahan Mj
Prof. Mahan Mj, also known as Mahan Maharaj or Swami Vidyanathananda, is not a typical math scholar. Born Mahan Mitra in 1968, he has a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, in mathematics. He renounced worldly life to become a monk by joining the Ramakrishna Mission in 1998, but continues to teach and research in mathematics. After St Xavier’s Collegiate School in Kolkata, he graduated from IIT Kanpur. He initially wanted to major in electrical engineering, but his love for mathematics got the better of him. A recipient of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for science and technology in 2011 and Infosys Prize in mathematics in November 2015, Mahan speaks to Leslie D’Monte from Mint, and explains why he sees no contradiction in being a monk and simultaneously doing research in a subject like complex geometry at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR).
In conversation with Pallava Bagla from NDTV, Infosys Prize 2015 laureate Professor G. Ravindra Kumar explains his contributions to the physics of high intensity laser matter interactions. In particular for providing, for the first time, unequivocal evidence of turbulent magnetic fields and the discovery of terahertz frequency acoustic waves, in laser produced hot dense plasmas. These results have significance to testing stellar and astrophysical scenarios.
Monk Who Won Prize For Math Follows No Religion But Science
Until recently the holder of a bank account with just a few thousand rupees, Professor Mahan Maharaj, an ascetic monk, is today the winner of a Rs. 65 lakh-prize for his work in geometry. Pallava Bagla from NDTV caught up with Prof. Mahan MJ who has won the Infosys Prize this year for his contributions to geometric group theory, low-dimensional topology and complex geometry.
'Science Is My Religion,' Says Monk Who Won Rs. 65 Lakh Prize For Math
NDTV profiles Professor Mahan Maharaj, an ascetic monk, who has won The Infosys Prize this year. The highly-regarded mathematics professor who has just been appointed by the elite Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai, has won the coveted Infosys Prize in Mathematics.
An article in Mint elaborates upon this year’s Infosys Prize winners which include a structural biologist, a monk and a former military officer, who are among the six who have won the 2015 Infosys Prize for their work on the malaria parasite, geometric group theory and military history, respectively. "I am impressed with the way Umesh Waghmare has seamlessly transcended the boundaries of physics, chemistry and engineering of materials, and has impacted our understanding of the microscopic mechanisms responsible for the material behavior of engineering materials of importance to industry," said jury member Pradeep Khosla, eminent computer scientist and Chancellor of University of California, San Diego. President Pranab Mukherjee will confer the awards that carry a prize money of Rs.65 lakh each on the winners in February 2016.
RTE Not The Answer, Improve Government Schools: N R Narayana Murthy
Infosys founder N R Narayana Murthy believes that while Right to Education Act is a progressive legislation, it may not be the answer to quality education for poor children. The answer, he says, lies in improving government schools. In an interview with The Times of India, Murthy also expressed concern over countries like South Korea and Singapore doing better than India in research.
The Infosys Science Foundation recently announced the winners of the 2015 Infosys Prize, which envisages Rs 65 lakh in cash and a 22-carat gold medallion. Infosys Founder N R Narayana Murthy told The Times of India, "Today, Infosys Prize is the prize for science and research. There is a lot of influence that this lends and we are happy to be encouraging people to do better. Some of the people who were recognised first by us have gone on to win international awards. Manjul Bhargava for example went on to win the Fields Medal."
Infosys Award For Ramakrishna Mission Monk, Bengaluru Scientist
A Ramakrishna Mission monk and a Bengaluru scientist were among six winners of the Infosys Prize 2015 for their outstanding contribution in their respective subjects. "The winners were selected from 206 nominations in all six categories from universities across the world. I hope their work will stimulate minds of future talent and open up a new world of possibilities for all of us," S.D. Shibulal, president, Board of Trustees, Infosys Science Foundation told Business Standard while announcing the list of winners of Infosys Prize 2015.
A monk and a former military officer are among the six winners of the seventh edition of the Infosys Science Foundation’s Infosys Prize 2015. An article in The Indian Express elaborates upon this year’s Infosys Prize winners, including Umesh Waghmare from theoretical science unit at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research ( engineering and computer science); Jonardon Ganeri, visiting professor of philosophy at the New York University and King’s College London (Humanities); Amit Sharma from the structural and computational biology group at the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, New Delhi (life sciences); and G Ravindra Kumar, from the department of nuclear and atomic physics at the TIFR, Mumbai (physical sciences).
Among Infosys Prize 2015 Winners Are Ex-Army Officer, Monk
The Infosys Science Foundation (ISF) recently announced the winners of the Infosys Prize 2015 across six categories: engineering and computer science, humanities, life sciences, mathematical sciences, physical sciences and social sciences. While elaborating upon the aim of the Infosys Science Foundation and the Infosys Prize, S.D. Shibulal, president, Board of Trustees, Infosys Science Foundation told The Financial Express, "We set up the Infosys Science Foundation and instituted the Infosys Prize to restore the romance of research."
The Infosys Prize, which was instituted in 2009 with the aim of encouraging science research in the country, carries a purse of ₹65 lakh in each of the six categories. S.D. Shibulal, president, Board of Trustees, Infosys Science Foundation, told The Hindu Business Line that the initiative is making continuous progress and is flaming scientific curiosity amongst students. The winners of this year's Infosys Prize include an eclectic mix of personalities ranging from a monk to an ex-army officer.
An article in The New Indian Express details out this year’s winners of the Infosys Prize, given in six categories: engineering and computer science, humanities, life sciences, mathematical sciences, physical sciences and social sciences. The winners were chosen by a panel of jurors comprising scientists and professors from across the world, and the prize for each category consists of a purse of INR 65 lakh, a 22-karat gold medallion and a citation.
In its 7th year now, the coveted Infosys prize this year in Life Sciences was awarded to Dr Amit Sharma, group leader, structural and computational biology group, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), New Delhi, for his outstanding contributions in deciphering the molecular structure, at the atomic level, of key proteins involved in the biology of pathogenesis of malarial parasite. An article in BioSpectrum India elaborates upon Dr Sharma’s past and present work. He has a PhD from Northwestern University, USA, in Protein Crystallography (1995). He then pursued his post-doctoral work at the Oxford University, UK, between 1996-2000, in the area of structural biology.
Simulations Are Cost-Effective: Umesh Waghmare, JNCASR
This year, Umesh V Waghmare, chairman and professor, Theoretical Sciences unit at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research ( JNCASR), has been awarded the Infosys Prize 2015 for his innovative use of computer simulations and modelling for investigating microscopic mechanisms. Prof. Waghmare, the only Bengalurean amongst this year’s six winners, spoke to The Economic Times about his research its applications in various industries.
In an interview in Mumbai with Live Mint, Prof. Madhu Sudan, Microsoft Researcher and Infosys Prize 2014 Mathematics Laureate, said he would rather encourage young research scientists to chase their own dreams than incrementally build on other people’s ideas. He also touched upon how mathematics is increasingly being used to verify algorithms, ensuring that programs do what they were designed to. Comfortable with the idea that nature itself is an algorithm, Sudan believes playing Solitaire is as intellectually challenging as chess.
Infosys Aims At Spreading The Culture Of Science & Research
In an interview with The Tribune, SD Shibulal, President, Board of Trustees (2015), ISF, talks about the Infosys Science Foundation and its initiatives especially the Infosys Prize, an annual award instituted to honour outstanding achievements of researchers and scientists.
In an interview with The New Indian Express, Prof. Jayant Haritsa, Professor, Supercomputer Education & Research Centre and Chair of Department of Computer Science & Automation, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, and Infosys Prize 2014 Engineering Laureate, spoke to edex on the need for more students to take up research in the field of database systems.
An article in Live Mint talks about how after frequent fiddling under the hood, Infosys Prize 2014 Engineering and Computer Science laureate and Professor of Supercomputer Education & Research Centre and Chair of Department of Computer Science & Automation, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, Jayant Haritsa, warns why big data without careful testing may be big hype.
In The Next 5-10 Years, There Will Be An Enormous Number Of New Reagents To Cure Cancer
Dr. Inder Verma, Infosys Prize Life Sciences jury chair and, Professor, Laboratory of Genetics, Salk Institute in an article in The Economic Times talks about the future of cancer treatment. He thinks there will be drugs in plenty, but many of them expensive. "When penicillin was discovered first," said Verma, "they had just enough to treat six people. So the doctors used to collect the urine of patients, purify the drug and give it back to them. I am sure someone would have said, 'this is useless'." Similarly in cancer. The drugs will be expensive in the first wave, but then the price will drop to low levels after some time.
Infosys Felicitates Six Researchers And Scientists
"This is an example of engineering excellence under constraints and challenges. I hope the younger generation will take note of their accomplishments and be inspired by their work and recognition," Infosys Science Foundation President (2014) N.R. Narayana Murthy told Business Standard at the Infosys Prize 2014 Prize Presentation Ceremony.
An article in The Hindu quoted Prof. Amartya Sen, Economics Professor at Harvard and Infosys Prize Humanities Jury Chair, speaking at the Infosys Prize Presentation Ceremony eemphasizing that Sanskrit as a language is important in India today. He also said that a distinction should be made between Sanskrit as a great language and a general vehicle of thoughts on the one hand, and specific religious ideas that may be expressed in the language, on the other.
In an article in The Hindu BusinessLine, Narayana Murthy, President, Board of Trustees, Infosys Science Foundation while announcing the Infosys Prize 2014 said Shubha Tole has been chosen for Life Sciences, while Esther Duflo for Social Sciences.
Murthy Pitches For Higher Autonomy To Educational Institutions
In an article in the Business Standard, speaking on the sidelines of an event organized to announce Infosys Prize 2014 here, he said, "That's where I think the role of AICT and UGC must be reduced and we should provide full autonomy to professors, researchers and administrators of university. Then I think things will improve a lot like it happens in advanced countries."
An article in The Hindu details the winners of the Infosys Prize 2014. The Rs. 65 lakh prize is awarded to researchers in six categories: Humanities, Social Sciences, Physical Sciences, Engineering and Computer Science, Mathematical Sciences, and Life Sciences. A neuroscientist, a legal scholar of patent law and a development economist are among the six recipients of the ‘Infosys Prize 2014’.
An article in Times of India talks about Prof. Jayant Haritsa, Engineering Laureate of Infosys Prize 2015. Mahatma Gandhi and masala dosa. These were the two reasons that made Prof. Haritsa pack his bags and return home to Bengaluru from the US. And it's been an eventful journey for this IISc professor who has been picked for the prestigious Infosys Prize 2014 in engineering and computer science. More precisely, for his work in making database systems more accurate and faster.
Shamnad Basheer, Esther Duflo Among Infosys Prize Winners
An article in Live Mint talks about the Infosys Prize and how it awards outstanding contributions in six categories of research and the winners in humanities, social sciences, physical sciences, engineering and computer science, mathematical sciences, and life sciences.
IT Veteran N R Narayana Murthy Pitches For Higher Autonomy To Educational Institutions
Speaking to The Economic Times about higher autonomy and less governmental interference in the functioning of educational institutions N R Narayana Murthy said “I think, my own personal view is there should be higher and higher levels of autonomy, government should not interfere in setting up colleges, in running colleges. The market, the society will decide which is a good university, which is not a good university, rather than government mandating.”
Prof. Shubha Tole Wins Infosys Prize 2014 In Life Sciences
An article in Bio Spectrum India, details the winner Prof. Shubha Tole’s work, in the Life Sciences category, who is professor and principal investigator in the department of biological sciences, at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), in Mumbai. It was cited that she had made significant contributions in understanding how the brain structure and circuitry are formed in the embryo, leading to better understanding of human behavior, cognition and emotions.
Infosys Prize 2014: IISc, MIT Professors Among 6 Winners
An article in India Today speaks about the winners of the Infosys Prize 2014 who 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 health care.
Scientific Progress Helped By Sharing Of Ideas, Says Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen
An article in The Economic Times quoted Prof. Amartya Sen, Economics Professor at Harvard and Infosys Prize Humanities Jury Chair speaking at the Infosys Prize Presentation Ceremony saying “The golden age of Indian mathematics was directly inspired by what we Indians were learning from work done in Babylon, Greece and Rome.”
Narayana Murthy Pitches For Higher Autonomy To Educational Institutions
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle on the sidelines of the Infosys Prize 2014 announcement Narayana Murthy said, "I think the role of AICT and UGC must be reduced and we should provide full autonomy to professors, researchers and administrators of university. Then I think things will improve a lot like it happens in advanced countries."
An article in the Deccan Herald covered the Infosys Prize 2014 Announcement. 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.
An article in The New Indian Express covers details of all the winners of the Infosys Prize 2014. The award is given annually to honor outstanding achievements of contemporary researchers and scientists across six categories each carrying a prize of a gold medal, a citation and a purse of Rupees 65 Lakh. The award intends to celebrate success in research and stand as a marker of excellence in these fields. A jury, comprising eminent leaders in each of these fields, evaluates the achievements of the nominees against the standards of international research, placing the winners on par with the finest researchers in the world.
Sanskrit Not Only A Language But A Vehicle For Thoughts And Ideas: Amartya Sen
In article in the Indian Express, Prof. Amartya Sen, Economics Professor at Harvard and Infosys Prize Humanities Jury Chair, stating that in his student life, Sanskrit was his second language, Sen said: “Sanskrit as a language is important in India. But a distinction should be made between Sanskrit as a great language and as a general vehicle of thoughts and specific ideas”. He added that the distinction was made clear to him in his student life.
An article in the Times of India interviews Prof. Esther Duflo, Infosys Prize 2014 Social Sciences Laureate, and a leading light in development economics who teaches at MIT and researches in India, believes Kolkata has the potential to become a major tourist destination for the West if it manages to preserve its unique character and showcase it to the world.
Murthy Pitches For Higher Autonomy To Educational Institutions
In an article with Business Today, Narayana Murthy speaks about higher autonomy saying "So my view is that instead of trying to curb things, in the beginning there will be certain percentage of people who will take advantage of this freedom. But that's ok. A small percentage of people will suffer. But in the end, we will come out with a system of education, with a system of university, with a system of colleges that are of a better quality than what it is”.
An article in the Times of India details the work of Shamnad Basheer, Infosys Prize 2014 Humanities Laureate, and Prof. Esther Duflo, Infosys Prize 2014 Social Sciences Laureate. Prof. Basheer was quoted saying "The Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IADA) is an initiative to help students from marginalized sections of society to access legal education…” and Prof. Duflo was quoted saying “We are currently in the field following the long-term impact of Bandhan's great programme, targeting the hard core poor”.
In an interview with Mumbai Mirror, Infosys Prize 2014 Life Sciences winner Shubha Tole, Professor at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), is quoted as saying, "I can only do a limited amount of science myself, or with my students and post-docs, but if I help students discover the joy of science, and they go on to contribute to the scientific enterprise, my investment is amplified, isn't it?"
We Need Lawyers Who Are Creative, Holistic, Altruistic, Maverick Problem-Solvers
In an interview with Careers360, Infosys Prize 2014 Humanities winner Professor Shamnad Basheer – Founder and Managing Trustee, Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access; and Founder, SpicyIP, India; talks about what ails the Indian legal education system, and his strong belief that law has the potential to redress inequity and transform him into an agent for social change.
In an article in India Today, Professor Madhu Sudan – Infosys Science Prize winner and Principal Researcher, MIT, talks about how he seeks to better understand and improve computing environments. He was quoted as saying, "Theoretical computer science blends the challenge and excitement of mathematics, along with the utility of any applied engineering field. Solving a problem here has the aspect of solving a hard puzzle – when you manage to resolve a question, you feel an immediate sense of exhilaration. Our work helps to open up ways in which computers and computing environments can be improved upon."
Dr. Verma is the Infosys Prize Life Sciences jury chair and a Professor in the Laboratory of Genetics at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. He was recently quoted in an article in The Hindu as saying, “Cancer mutations are being exposed; cancer is in retreat. Through a combination of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, molecular and genetic therapy, cancer will become a chronic disease rather than a terminal one.” The quote was picked up from a lecture he delivered at the National Centre for Biological Sciences.