Asian Scientist Magazine (Dec. 6, 2022) — Six researchers have been awarded the Infosys Science Prize for their contributions to STEM fields and society in India. The prestigious Infosys Science Prize is awarded in six categories: Engineering and Computer Science, Humanities, Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physical Sciences and Social Sciences.
The award in the Engineering and Computer Science category was given to Suman Chakraborty of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, for his pioneering research on the interaction of fluid mechanics, interfacial phenomena, and electromechanics at the micro and nanoscale. Through this understanding, he has invented low-cost medical devices to treat, prevent and diagnose diseases in resource-limited settings in India.
Vidita Vaidya of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, won the Life Sciences award for her discoveries about the brain mechanisms underlying mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. Her research examines how serotonin, a neurotransmitter, influences brain energy regulation and behaviour after stress or trauma in early life.
Mahesh Kakde of the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, has received the Mathematics Prize for his outstanding contributions to algebraic number theory. His profound work on the noncommutative Iwasawa main conjecture, Gross-Stark conjecture, and Brumer-Stark conjecture resolves outstanding conjectures at the core of number theory.
The Physical Sciences prize was awarded to Nissim Kanekar, professor at the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Pune. Using observations of galaxies during the “high noon” period – when stars form at a maximum rate – he has put robust limits on possible secular variations of the fine structure constant and the electron-to-proton mass ratio.
The prize in Social Sciences was awarded to Rohini Pande, Professor of Economics and Director of Yale University’s Economic Growth Centre. She has conducted outstanding research on governance and accountability, women’s empowerment, the role of credit in the lives of the poor, and the environment. In emerging economies, such as India, her research has the potential to impact policy design positively. Sudhir Krishnaswamy of the National Law School of India University, Bengaluru, won in the Humanities category for his insightful understanding of the Indian Constitution.
Kris Gopalakrishnan, president of Infosys Science Foundation said that in addition to solving the current problems, the awardees’ work will lay the groundwork for finding solutions to existential crises facing humanity– impacts of climate change, accessibility to diagnoses and healthcare, mental health challenges, and fulfilment of fundamental human rights.
Source: The Infosys Prize ; Images: Shelly Liew/Asian Scientist Magazine
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