Indian student named first recipient of 2019 Templeton-Ramanujan Fellowship

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Sandra Nair, a 20-year-old Indian, who is in her third year at U.C. Santa Cruz, studying physics and mathematics, was named as the first recipient of the 2019 Templeton-Ramanujan Fellowship.

According to a Templeton World Charity Foundation Inc. press release, Nair will receive up to a $5,000 monetary grant for furthering educational pursuits and development in STEM.

The award is part of the highly competitive Spirit of Ramanujan STEM Talent Initiative, and is the first of 30 financial grants to be issued yearly for the next three years, totaling $550,000, the foundation said.

The Templeton-Ramanujan Fellowship will support her research with Shamit Kachru, the Wells Family Director of the Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics and Chair of the Department of Physics at Stanford in the summer of 2019, the press release added.

“Professor Kachru is a wonderful mentor as well as a world-renowned theoretical physicist, whom I feel extremely privileged to work with. One day, I hope to have made extensive and successful collaborations among those in theoretical physics and mathematics communities and am confident that the Spirit of Ramanujan community will be a huge help in actualizing this goal,” Nair said in a statement.

Under his mentorship, Nair will study the physics of black holes, exploring the interplay of mathematics and physics as found in string theory and quantum field theory.

The Spirit of Ramanujan STEM Talent Initiative strives to find undiscovered geniuses around the world as it honors the legacy of Srinivasa Ramanujan.

According to a press release, the initiative supports emerging engineers, mathematicians and scientists, who lack traditional institutional support through financial grants and mentorship opportunities.

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