Monday, March 27, 2023

Two Bengaluru professors among six Infosys Prize winners


Bengaluru, Nov 13 (IANS) Indian Institute of Science (IISc) professor Jayant Haritsa and Intellectual Property (IP) academic and consultant professor Shamnad Basheer, both from Bengaluru, are among six winners of the Infosys Prize for this year.

Each prize, comprising a purse of Rs.55 lakh, a 22-carat gold medallion and a citation, is awarded by Infosys Science Foundation, a not-for-profit trust, set up by the global software major and funded by a corpus of Rs.100 crore ($16 million), contributed by the IT firm, its trustees and co-founders in 2009.

“Haritsa, computer science and automation department professor at IISc, has been awarded the prize under the Engineering and Computer Science category for his contribution to the design and optimisation of database engines,” the Foundation said in a statement here Thursday.

Haritsa also heads the supercomputer education and research centre at the institute.

Basheer, founder of SpicyIP, India, bagged the prize for his contribution to the analysis of a range of legal issues, including pharmaceutical patent injunctions and enforcement in the Humanities category.

As India’s premier blog on IP and innovation law and policy, SpicyIP does accurate reporting of IP developments across the country.

Basheer is also founder and managing trustee of Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA) in Bengaluru.

Shubha Tole, associate professor at Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), got the prize under the Life Sciences category for her contribution to studying the hippocampus and amygdale centres of learning and memory in the brain.

“Tole’s work can lead to a better understanding of human behaviour, cognition and emotions,” the statement noted.

Tole is also a principal investigator at the TIFR’s biological sciences department.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) adjunct professor Madhu Sudhan has been awarded the prize under the Mathematical Sciences category for his seminal contribution to probabilistically checkable proofs and error-correcting codes.

As a principal researcher at Microsoft Research in New England in the US, Sudan also heads the electrical engineering and computer sciences (EECS) department and computer science and artificial intelligence laboratory (CSASIL) at MIT in Boston.

Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) senior scientist Srivari Chandrasekhar at the Hyderabad-based Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) has bagged the prize under the Physical Sciences category for his contribution to the synthetic organic chemistry with special focus on the synthesis of complex molecules from natural sources.

Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics at MIT, Esther Duflo, got the prize under the Social Sciences category for her pioneering contribution to development economics, including the work related to India and Africa.

Duflo is also founder-director of Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab in the US.

“The Foundation has been able to recognise some of the best researchers of our time through the prize. Their contributions are an inspiration to students and professionals and have the potential for real-time impact on individuals and society,” Infosys co-founder and Foundation president N.R. Narayana Murthy said on the occasion.

A panel of jurors, comprising renowned scientists and professors from the world over, evaluated the noted winners.

The Infosys Prize jury chairs are Pradeep Khosla, Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, Inder Verma, Srinivasa S.R. Varadhan, Shrinivas Kulkarni and Kaushik Basu.

President Pranab Mukherjee will award the winners and felicitate them Jan 5 in Kolkata.

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