MIT professors Madhu Sudan, Esther Duflo among winners of the Infosys Prize 2014

Six eminent researchers awarded.

By The American Bazaar Staff

WASHINGTON, DC: Two eminent professors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Madhu Sudan and Dr. Esther Duflo, are among the winners of this year’s prestigious Infosys Prize 2014, awarded by The Infosys Science Foundation (ISF).

Now in its sixth year, the Infosys Prize, were awarded to recipients across six categories: Engineering and Computer Science, Humanities, Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physical Sciences and Social Sciences, according to a press release.

The prize consists of a purse of Rs. 55 Lakhs, a 22 karat gold medallion and a citation certificate for each category.

The Infosys Prize honors high-caliber researchers for impactful contributions to their fields. This year’s winners have been recognized for research in fields as diverse as database design and optimization, interpretation of patent laws, understanding emotion and cognition in the brain, probabilistically checkable proofs, green chemistry and affordable health care.

The winners of the Infosys Prize 2014 were evaluated by a panel of jurors comprising esteemed scientists and professors from around the world. The jury chairs are Prof. Pradeep K. Khosla − Engineering and Computer Science, Prof. Amartya Sen – Humanities, Prof. Inder Verma – Life Sciences, Prof. Srinivasa S. R. Varadhan – Mathematical Sciences, Prof. Shrinivas Kulkarni – Physical Sciences, and Prof. Kaushik Basu – Social Sciences.

The winners of the Infosys Prize 2014 are:

Engineering and Computer Science – Jayant Haritsa: Professor, Supercomputer Education and Research Centre (SERC) and Chair, Department of Computer Science and Automation (CSA), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, India.

Haritsa has been awarded this prize for his contributions to the design and optimization of database engines.

Humanities – Shamnad Basheer: Founder and Managing Trustee, Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA), Bangalore and Founder – SpicyIP, India.

Basheer has been awarded this prize for his contributions to the analysis of a range of legal issues, including pharmaceutical patent injunctions and enforcement.

Life Sciences – Shubha Tole: Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India.

Tole has been awarded this prize for her significant contributions to studying the hippocampus and amygdala – centers of learning and memory in the brain. Her work can lead to a better understanding of human behavior, cognition and emotions.

Madhu Sudan
Madhu Sudan

Mathematical Sciences – Madhu Sudan: Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research New England and Adjunct Professor, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (EECS) department and Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Sudan has been awarded this prize for his seminal contributions to probabilistically checkable proofs and error-correcting codes.

Physical Sciences – Srivari Chandrasekhar: Chief Scientist and Head, Division of Natural Products Chemistry, CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad, India.

Chandrasekhar has been awarded this prize for his contributions in the general area of synthetic organic chemistry with a special focus on the synthesis of complex molecules from natural sources.

Esther Duflo

Social Sciences – Esther Duflo: Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics, Department of Economics, MIT and Founder & Director, Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), Boston, USA.

Duflo has been awarded this prize for her pioneering and prodigious contributions to development economics, with important implications for policies pertaining to the delivery of services to the poor.

Dr. N. R. Narayana Murthy, President, Board of Trustees, Infosys Science Foundation said in a statement, “The Infosys Science Foundation has been able to recognize some of the best researchers of our time through the Infosys Prize. The past laureates have established themselves further and each year there is palpable excitement as we await the announcement of the winners. Their contributions will be an inspiration to students and professionals and have the potential for real-time impact on individuals and society. The ISF continues to focus on its paramount agenda of fostering a culture of scientific thinking through initiatives such as public lectures, workshops for science teachers from rural areas, and science oriented events for school students.”

The award ceremony for the Infosys Prize 2014 will be held on January 5, 2015, in Kolkata, where the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, will felicitate the winners.

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