Saturday, April 22, 2006

Sixty years of TIFR

The latest issue of Current Science has an article by Prof. B.V. Sreekantan about the history of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (pdf). It's a long article, with lots of mind-numbing details about all kinds of research that has been done there during the sixty years of the Institute's existence. It's definitely not for the outsider!

It's also disappointing in another sense: there is just physics, physics, and more physics, with very little about the other fields.

Must read for physicists interested in TIFR!


  1. Anonymous said...

    in a related note, I guess CS has allowed the 'coolie' debate to continue for too long. This issue has one more hail-ganganpratap letter. :)).

    I am particularly curious about that "overnight cleaning and plumbing" bit. I havent followed the entire corres. on this issue in CS. Is this guy quoting someone??

  2. Anonymous said...


    One of the interesting note for TIFR is about providing public education in the field of Computer Science and programming. I do not know the status now, but around 1980, TIFR joined with DOE-National Center for Software Training program, by offering one-year part-time computer program. The program was open to any graduate, with the admission through a competitive quiz-type (objective questions) entrance exam. There were 30 quiz questions, in the field of English, Maths and Computer Science and Programming, and passing score was 12 out of 30. (Sample question: A room has dimensions of 10 ft x 12 ft x 8 ft height. A light bulb hangs at the center of the ceiling with 1 ft below ceiling level. What is the distance from the bulb to the farthest corner of the room?- No calculator is allowed.)

    The institute used to admit about 100+ students every year for this prestigeous program. The students had unlimited opportunity to work on Main Frame and Midi-computers, when even PCs were not in widespread use in our country. With TIFR tag, most of the passouts migrated to USA.

    Yogesh Upadhyaya
    New Jersey, USA

  3. Abi said...

    Aswin: Yes, I was also horrified by that 'letter to the editor'. However, I should let that pass without any comment.

    Yogesh: Thanks for that perspective. I thought it was such a pity that Prof. Sreekantan chose to not talk about anything other than physics.