Six Researchers Awarded The 2017 Infosys Prize

Six scientists have been awarded the prestigious Infosys Prize 2017, each receiving US$100,000 for their excellence in research.

AsianScientist (Dec. 6, 2017) – The Infosys Science Foundation has announced the winners of the Infosys Prize 2017 across six fields: Engineering and Computer Science, Humanities, Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physical Sciences and Social Sciences.

Now in its ninth year, the Infosys Prize continues to honor and recognize some of the best researchers and scientists of our time. Among the winners are a neuroscientist using computers to map the human brain, a computer scientist studying biological systems and a chemist trying to make DNA machines that can be used to study living cells. The prize for each category consists of a purse of Rs. 65 lakh (approximately US$100,000), a 22-karat gold medallion and a citation certificate.

The winners were shortlisted from over 236 nominations by a scholarly jury panel comprising renowned scientists and professors. The jury chairs of the six categories are: Professor Pradeep K. Khosla (University of California, San Diego) for Engineering and Computer Science; Professor Amartya Sen (Harvard University) for Humanities; Dr. Inder Verma (Salk Institute of Biological Sciences) for Life Sciences; Professor Srinivasa S. R. Varadhan (New York University) for Mathematical Sciences; Professor Shrinivas Kulkarni (California Institute of Technology) for Physical Sciences; and Professor Kaushik Basu (Cornell University and former SVP, World Bank) for Social Sciences.

The winners of the Infosys Prize 2017 are:

Engineering and Computer Science
Professor Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay, Director, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, for a scholarly record in algorithmic optimization and for its significant impact on biological data analysis. Her discoveries include a genetic marker for breast cancer, the determination of co-occurrence of HIV and cancers and the role of white cells in Alzheimer’s disease.

Professor Ananya Jahanara Kabir, Professor of English Literature, King’s College London, for her highly original explorations of the long-standing historical elements—conceptual, social and cultural—in colonial modernity, and for her subtle and insightful ethnography of cultural and political life in Kashmir.

Life Sciences
Professor Upinder Singh Bhalla, Professor, National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bengaluru, for his pioneering contributions to the understanding of the brain’s computational machinery. His investigations have revealed essential neuronal computations that underlie the ability to acquire, integrate and store complex sensory information, and to utilize that information for decision and action.

Mathematical Sciences
Professor Ritabrata Munshi, Professor, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai and Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, for his outstanding contributions to the analytic aspects of number theory. Besides ingenious contributions to the Diophantine problem, he has established important estimates known as sub-convexity bounds for a large class of L-functions with methods that are powerful and original.

Physical Sciences
Professor Yamuna Krishnan, Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Chicago, for her groundbreaking work in the emerging field of DNA architecture. By successfully manipulating DNA—the building blocks of life—to create biocompatible nanomachines, she has created novel ways of interrogating living systems, increasing our knowledge of cell function and getting one step closer to answering unresolved biomedical questions.

Social Sciences
Professor Lawrence Liang, Professor, School of Law, Ambedkar University Delhi, in recognition of his creative scholarship on law and society. His prodigious output in the fields of copyright law, popular culture and digital technologies and media raises probing questions about the nature of freedom, rights and social development. His provocative answers link historical context and ethical practice in unexpected and illuminating ways.

“This award aligns with our core principle of promoting science and inspiring young researchers in the country,” said Mr. K. Dinesh, President of the Board of Trustees at the Infosys Science Foundation. “We are pleased to note that the Infosys Prize is increasingly gaining recognition and has become one of the most coveted prize awards in the field of science and research in the country.”

The Awards Ceremony for the Infosys Prize 2017 will be held on January 10, 2018 in Bengaluru. The winners will be presented their awards by Professor Kip S. Thorne, Professor Emeritus at California Institute of Technology. Thorne is a theoretical physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2017 for his contributions to the observation of gravitational waves, posited by Albert Einstein a hundred years ago.


Source: Infosys Science Foundation.
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