Infosys Science Foundation
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enProf G. Mugesh from IISc and five others win Infosys Prize 2019
https://researchmatters.in/news/prof-g-mugesh-iisc-and-five-others-win-infosys-prize-2019
<span class="read-time">Read time: 5 mins<br /></span><span class="submitted-by"></span><div class="field field-name-field-graphic field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://researchmatters.in/sites/default/files/styles/large_800w_scale/public/infyprizewinners2019.jpg?itok=HqhTA2yi" width="800" height="450" alt="The Infosys Prize winners for 2019. Top (L–R): Manu V. Devadevan, G Mugesh, and Majula Reddy. Bottom (L–R): Siddhartha Mishra, Anand Pandian, and Sunita Sarawagi." title="The Infosys Prize winners for 2019. Top (L–R): Manu V. Devadevan, G Mugesh, and Majula Reddy. Bottom (L–R): Siddhartha Mishra, Anand Pandian, and Sunita Sarawagi." /></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p style="text-align: justify;">The Trustees of the Infosys Science Foundation (ISF) announced the winners of the Infosys Prize 2019 at an event held today at the Infosys campus in Electronic City, Bengaluru. The awards were presented in six categories — Engineering and Computer Sciences, Humanities, Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physical Sciences and Social Sciences. The winners include Dr. Manu V. Devadevan, Dr. G Mugesh, Dr. Majula Reddy, Dr. Siddhartha Mishra, Dr. Anand Pandian and Dr. Sunita Sarawagi.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The Infosys Prize 2019 for Engineering and Computer Science was awarded to Dr Sunita Sarawagi, Institute Chair Professor, Computer Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. She was awarded for her research in databases, data mining, machine learning and natural language processing, and for important applications of these research techniques. The prize recognizes her pioneering work in developing information extraction techniques for unstructured data. Prof. Sarawagi’s work has practical applications in helping clean up unstructured data like addresses on the web and in repositories, easing the handling of queries.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">In the Humanities category, the Prize was awarded to Dr Manu V. Devadevan, Assistant Professor, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Mandi. His work critically reinterprets much of the conventional wisdom about the cultural, religious and social history of the Deccan and South India. Dr. Devadevan's primary research interests include political and economic processes in pre-modern South India, literary practices in South India and the study of ancient inscriptions from the region.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Dr Manjula Reddy, Chief Scientist, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, received the award in the Life Sciences category for her groundbreaking discoveries concerning the structure of cell walls in bacteria. Dr. Reddy and her colleagues have revealed critical steps of cell wall growth that are fundamental for understanding bacterial biology. This work could potentially help in creating a new class of antibiotics to combat antibiotic resistant microbes. </p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The 2019 prize for Mathematical Sciences was awarded to Dr Siddhartha Mishra, Professor, Department of Mathematics, ETH Zürich, for his outstanding contributions to Applied Mathematics, particularly for designing numerical tools for solving problems in the real world. Prof. Mishra's work has been used in climate models, astrophysics, aerodynamics, and plasma physics. He has produced computer programs for complicated realistic problems such as tsunamis generated by rock slides, and waves in the solar atmosphere.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">In the Physical Sciences category, Dr G. Mugesh, Professor, Department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, received the award for his pioneering work in the chemical synthesis of small molecules and nanomaterials for biomedical applications. His work has contributed to the understanding of the role of trace elements, selenium and iodine, in thyroid hormone activation and metabolism, and this research has led to major medical advances.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The Infosys Prize 2019 in the Social Sciences category went to Dr Anand Pandian, Professor, Department of Anthropology, Krieger School of Arts & Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, USA, for his work on ethics, selfhood and the creative process. Prof. Pandian's research encompasses several themes such as cinema, public culture, ecology, nature and the theory and methods of anthropology. His writing pushes the boundaries of how anthropologists render into words the worlds they encounter. </p>
<p style="text-align: justify;"><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/infosys_prize_winners_announcement_2019.jpg" style="width: 100%; height: auto;" /></p>
<p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><em>(L–R): Salil Parekh – Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Infosys Limited; S. Gopalakrishnan (Kris) – Co-founder, Infosys Limited, Co-founder, Axilor Ventures, Trustee - Infosys Science Foundation; Nandan Nilekani - Co-founder and Non-Executive Chairman of the Board, Infosys Limited, Trustee – Infosys Science Foundation; S.D. Shibulal - Co-founder, Infosys Limited, Co-founder, Axilor Ventures Private Limited, President – Board of Trustees, Infosys Science Foundation; Narayana Murthy – Founder, Infosys Limited, Trustee – Infosys Science Foundation; K. Dinesh – Co-founder, Infosys Limited, Trustee – Infosys Science Foundation; Srinath Batni – Former Director, Infosys Limited, Co-founder Axilor Ventures, Trustee – Infosys Science Foundation. Photo: Infosys Science Foundation.</em></strong></p>
<blockquote><p style="text-align: justify;">Addressing the gathering, Mr. S. D. Shibulal, Co-Founder, Infosys Limited and the President of the Infosys Science Foundation, said, “The Infosys Prize continues to recognize exemplary work in scientific research and enquiry. Many Infosys Prize laureates have gone on to contribute significantly in key areas like healthcare, genetics, climate science, astronomy and poverty alleviation, amongst other things. Their work has immediate implications for the human race and the planet. We hope it catalyzes social development.” </p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote><p style="text-align: justify;">Mr. N. R. Narayana Murthy, founder of Infosys and trustee of the Infosys Science Foundation, called on the need for helping youngsters pursue fundamental research enthusiastically. “They should be encouraged and equipped to become contributors to solving huge problems that confront us every day. I want India to be a place where discovery and invention happen every month,” he said.</p>
</blockquote>
<p style="text-align: justify;">There was also a brief interaction with the media and students, where some of the trustees fielded some of the questions related to the prize. Ms. Nandita Jayaraj, an independent free-lance science journalist while congratulating the winners noted that there was better representation this time. She further mentioned that she would like to see the Chair of the Jury also be well represented, to which, Mr. Kris Gopalakrishnan responded saying 30% of the jury committee members were women. </p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The winners will be awarded on 7th January 2020 at a separate function at Infosys, Bengaluru. The award includes a pure gold medal, a citation and a prize purse of USD 100,000 (or its equivalent in Rupees). </p>
<p style="text-align: justify;"><em>(With inputs based on a press release from the Infosys Science Foundation).</em></p>
</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-inline clearfix"><div class="field-label">Tags: </div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/tags/infosys-prize" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Infosys Prize</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/tags/infosys-science-foundation" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Infosys Science Foundation</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/tags/awards" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Awards</a></div></div></div><span property="dc:title" content="Prof G. Mugesh from IISc and five others win Infosys Prize 2019" class="rdf-meta element-hidden"></span><ul class="links inline"><li class="statistics_counter first last"><span>360 reads</span></li>
</ul>Thu, 07 Nov 2019 12:00:00 +0000Research Matters1863 at https://researchmatters.inUnderstanding the Riemann Hypothesis—the most crucial unsolved problem in mathematics
https://researchmatters.in/news/understanding-riemann-hypothesis%E2%80%94-most-crucial-unsolved-problem-mathematics
<span class="read-time">Read time: 4 mins<br /></span><span class="submitted-by"></span><div class="field field-name-field-graphic field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://researchmatters.in/sites/default/files/styles/large_800w_scale/public/math.jpg?itok=lMnPQMQz" width="800" height="450" alt="Understanding the Riemann Hypothesis—the most crucial unsolved problem in mathematics" title="This image is not a true representation of Reimann Hypothesis" /></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p style="text-align: justify;">In the last one hundred and sixty years, in spite of hundreds of claims, some of them from first-class mathematicians, the Riemann Hypothesis, or the holy grail of mathematics, remains as elusive as ever. The conjecture, which originated from the work of Bernhard Riemann on the distribution of prime numbers, has now been extended and generalised into a monstrous beast. Its cunning and long arms now encompass almost all areas of mathematics, far beyond its site of origin. From a technical point of view, the Riemann Hypothesis is a prediction about the solutions of an equation involving 'L-functions', which, at best, can be described as esoteric and abstruse.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Why then are we interested in this conjecture? Well, mathematicians look for symmetries which are both meaningful and beautiful. They try to understand nature by unveiling symmetries and patterns of the underlying design, which though are invisible to our naked eyes (senses), nevertheless are visible to the eyes of mathematics. This effort has been the leading force in humankind's search for the unification of the laws of physics. For example, our understanding that the magnetic field and the electric field are related stems from this.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Why then can't we find a pattern in the distribution of prime numbers - the basic building blocks of our counting system? Apparently, primes do not follow any rules. They stick up wherever they want in the infinite number line. Riemann showed that the primes and the zeros of the zeta function—a special L-function—are related, and though primes fail to show any respect for rules and discipline, the zeros exhibit a pattern; they all line up on 'the critical line'. But, failing to come up with a proof of this 'fact', Riemann wrote it down as a plausible hypothesis in his famous 1859 memoir.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The twentieth century witnessed a tremendous flux in mathematical ideas, which blended and mixed branches of mathematics as never before. Representation theory and geometry became the two central pillars on which mathematicians tried to lay the grand edifice of number theory. L-functions, arising from geometry and representation, played a crucial role to bridge distant concepts.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Halfway into the century, a geometric rendition of the Riemann hypothesis was formulated. This progress immediately occupied the centre stage of mathematics and became one of the driving forces in the development of modern algebraic geometry. Some twenty-five years later, when this beast was finally tamed, half of the mathematics had been revolutionised in the endeavour. The range of mathematical applications of this result can hardly be undermined. Among other things, this settled a long-standing conjecture of Ramanujan regarding the growth of sequences of numbers arising from certain highly symmetric functions, called modular forms. Ramanujan conjecture plays a central role in the construction of optimal graphs, which are proposed to be the basis of post-quantum elliptic curve cryptosystems. In other words, these will keep us secured when the machines become too intelligent!</p>
<p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/1000px-vignetteriemannhypothesis.svg.png" style="width: 25%; height: auto;" /></p>
<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>A representation of an almost correct statement of the Riemann hypothesis</strong></p>
<p style="text-align: center;"><em><a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Riemann_hypothesis#/media/File:VignetteRiemannHypothesis.svg" target="_blank">Image credits</a>: AstroOgier, via Wikimedia commons, under license CC BY-SA 4.0</em></p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The original Riemann hypothesis, however, is a far cry. To make any headway in this problem, we need to analyse the behaviour of these L-functions inside a region called the 'critical strip'. Curiously, our understanding of the objects outside this region is quite clear, but once we cross the 'wall' and get inside, we are as good as blind. Even our present-day highly sophisticated algebraic-geometric tools fail to make any significant dent in the wall to shed any light. Our only successful approach, which only scratches some information from the wall, is more than a hundred years old.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Perhaps a new approach can be extracted from the analytic theory of those mysterious highly symmetric functions called automorphic forms on higher rank groups - the grand generalisation of modular forms. After all, these functions are the very incarnation of symmetry which the Riemann hypothesis is all about. A study in this direction can become an exciting field of research.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><em>This article is the first of a three-part series from leading Indian researchers on the unsolved challenges in the field of mathematics and science as they find solutions to them. This article is attributed to Prof. Ritabrata Munshi, Professor, School of Mathematics, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai and Statistics and Mathematics Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata. Prof. Munshi won Infosys Prize 2017 in Mathematics by Infosys Science Foundation. </em><em>The article series has been facilitated by Infosys Science Foundation.</em></strong></p>
<hr />
<p style="text-align: justify;"><em>This article has been minorly edited to correspond to the editorial guidelines of Research Matters. </em></p>
</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-inline clearfix"><div class="field-label">Tags: </div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/tags/reimann-hypothesis" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Reimann Hypothesis</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/tags/infosys-prize" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Infosys Prize</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/tags/ritabrata-munshi" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Ritabrata Munshi</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/tags/tifr" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">TIFR</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/tags/isi-kolkata" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">ISI Kolkata</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/tags/infosys-science-foundation" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Infosys Science Foundation</a></div></div></div><span property="dc:title" content="Understanding the Riemann Hypothesis—the most crucial unsolved problem in mathematics" class="rdf-meta element-hidden"></span><ul class="links inline"><li class="statistics_counter first last"><span>1922 reads</span></li>
</ul>Fri, 01 Nov 2019 06:22:20 +0000Research Matters1851 at https://researchmatters.inTwo IISc Professors among six awarded the Infosys Prize 2018
https://researchmatters.in/news/two-iisc-professors-among-six-awarded-infosys-prize-2018
<div class="field field-name-field-op-author field-type-node-reference field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/people/paramananda-barman-%E0%A6%AA%E0%A7%B0%E0%A6%AE%E0%A6%BE%E0%A6%A8%E0%A6%A8%E0%A7%8D%E0%A6%A6-%E0%A6%AC%E0%A7%B0%E0%A7%8D%E0%A6%AE%E0%A6%A8">Paramananda Barman (পৰমানন্দ বৰ্মন)</a></div></div></div><span class="read-time">Read time: 3 mins<br /></span><span class="submitted-by"></span><div class="field field-name-field-graphic field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://researchmatters.in/sites/default/files/styles/large_800w_scale/public/igs_-_part_10_60.jpg?itok=1GEJXAgh" width="800" height="450" alt="" /></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p style="text-align: justify;">The Infosys Science Foundation (ISF) has announced the winners of the Infosys Prize 2018 today, 13 November 2018. Among the winners who are in Indian institutes are two Professors from the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, and one each from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The Infosys Prize is presented annually in six categories— Engineering and Computer Sciences, Humanities, Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences. The prize includes a gold medal, a citation and prize money of USD 100,000.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Professor Navakanta Bhat, Chairperson, Centre for Nano Science and Engineering at IISc has been awarded in the Engineering and Computer Sciences category. His <a href="http://nnfc.cense.iisc.ac.in/nano/index.html" target="_blank">contributions</a> include designing novel transistors, biosensors and ultra-precise gas sensors for space and environmental monitoring. Some of his newsworthy research, which have been covered by <em>Research Matters</em>, can be found <a href="https://researchmatters.in/news/union-transistors-novel-upgrade-combines-two-transistors-one" target="_blank">here</a> and <a href="https://researchmatters.in/article/electronic-nose-%E2%80%98sniff-out%E2%80%99-notorious-gases" target="_blank">here</a>.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Professor Kavita Singh, Dean, School of Arts & Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi has been awarded the prize in Humanities. Prof. Singh has made immense <a href="https://www.jnu.ac.in/content/ksingh" target="_blank">contributions</a> in the study of Mughal, Rajput and Deccan art, and the historical function and role of museums.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">In the Life Sciences category, Professor Roop Mallik, Department of Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai has received the award. He was considered for this award for his pioneering <a href="http://www.tifr.res.in/~roop/" target="_blank">works</a> on molecular motor proteins, crucial for the functioning of cells. One of his works on how insulin could help us digest fats has been covered by <em>Research Matters</em> <a href="https://researchmatters.in/news/scientists-study-how-insulin-helps-us-digest-fats" target="_blank">here</a>.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Prof. Nalini Anantharaman, Professor and Chair of Mathematics, Institute for Advanced Study, University of Strasbourg, France, has been selected for the Prize in the Mathematical Sciences category for her work on quantum physics.</p>
<blockquote><p style="text-align: justify;">“The quantum world is one of the deepest secrets of the universe and mathematics is the language that helps us understand this world. Mathematicians and physicists have been trying for decades to unravel the mysteries of this subatomic world. Prof. Anantharaman’s work impressively explores the deep relationship between classical and quantum systems and the unexpected use of entropy to prove some of the hard results,” reads a press release by Infosys.</p>
</blockquote>
<p style="text-align: justify;">In the Physical Sciences category, Professor S.K. Satheesh, Centre for Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences, IISc, and Director, Divecha Centre for Climate Change has received this honour. Prof Satheesh has been selected for this award for his <a href="http://caos.iisc.ac.in/faculty/satheesh/Publications.htm" target="_blank">research work</a> on climate change.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The Infosys Prize 2018 for Social Sciences category has been awarded to Professor Sendhil Mullainathan, University Professor, Professor of Computation and Behavioral Science, and George C. Tiao Faculty Fellow, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business for his <a href="https://www.chicagobooth.edu/faculty/directory/m/sendhil-mullainathan" target="_blank">contributions</a> in behavioural economics. The press release from Infosys informs that Prof. Mullainathan’s research has had a substantial impact on diverse fields of development, public finance, corporate governance and policy design.</p>
<blockquote><p style="text-align: justify;">“Infosys Prize laureates have achieved prestigious milestones in their domains, and the ISF believes that this year’s winners will continue to raise the bar for science and research over the next decade. By recognizing these outstanding researchers and celebrating their achievements, the Infosys Prize aims to inspire young minds to explore science as a career option and advance innovation in the country,” reads a press release published by Infosys.</p>
</blockquote>
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</ul>Tue, 13 Nov 2018 13:53:16 +0000Research Matters1235 at https://researchmatters.in