Monday, October 25, 2010

Infosys Prizes for 2010

The Prizes have been announced.

First of all, congratulations to the winners!

Three things that are noteworthy about this year's Prizes:

  1. All the Prize winners -- except one -- are working in India. The lone exception is UCLA's Prof. Chandrashekhar Khare, who gets the Mathematics Prize. [Last year, Prof. Abhijit Banerjee of MIT won one of the Social Sciences Prizes; IIRc, his India-centric work was cited as the reason for considering him for what is essentially an "Indian" Prize. Perhaps Prof. Khare has some strong Indian connections].

  2. The Social Sciences Prize is shared by two women: Prof. Nandini Sundar and Amita Baviskar. They are the only women among the six Laureates this year.

  3. Prof. Ashutosh Sharma of IIT-K gets the Engineering Prize. [And the Jury for this Prize redeems itself after its null result of last year; see my rant about that fiasco]


  1. Pratik Ray said...

    Wouldn't it be nice to have the award citation in the Infy press release?

    In particular, it will be interesting to know if the Infy jury decided whether Prof Sharma's work published over last one year resulted in him getting the prize (if not, why didnt he get the prize last year itself?)

    Went over the post for 2009 prizes, and the irony of not finding a suitable candidate in engineering in the first year was not lost on me, especially since all of a sudden now engineering research in India seems prize-worthy.

    Infosys must be commended for providing a boost to the research scenario in India. And congratulations to the winners for their achievement.

  2. Pranav Dandekar said...

    PS: Prof. Khare seems to be at Utah, not UCLA, as mentioned in your post.

  3. Abi said...

    @Pranav: I went by the affiliation mentioned in the announcement. While I did a quick search to get his home page (so I can give a link), I failed to note the Utah URL.

    After seeing your comment, I checked again: here's his web page at UCLA.

    Bottomline: I have no idea about Prof. Khare's institutional affiliation(s).

  4. Abi said...

    @Pratik: It is strange, isn't it, that the Prize announcement does not come with a nice, well-written citation?

    Perhaps, Infosys Foundation doesn't want us to take its Prizes seriously ...

  5. Sivaramakrishnan said...

    Yes, I was searching for the Infosys website yesterday for citations, and was surprised to find none. For one, it's very important to make people aware of the good work that these scientists have done, else the award is pretty pointless. Secondly, it's important that the awarding of these prizes be transparent, and not give chance to possible controversies in the future.

    To me, it seems clearly as if the people at the top, are not envisioning the future of this award.

    Ps : As far as the the Physical Sciences award goes, Prof. Sandip Trivedi is a world renowned string theorist. Over the past few years he(along with collaborators) has come up with a few interesting and promising ideas which might help explain a lot of open questions in cosmology, in the context of string theory.