Four Indian Americans awarded by Office of Naval Research

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NEW YORK – Four Indian American researchers received the 2017 Young Investigator Award given to them by the Office of Naval Research’s Science and Technology Organization. Dhruv Batra, Pavithra Prabhakar, Padmini Rangamani and Kaushik Sengupta were among the 34 that were honored.

Batra was recognized for “Explainable and Trustworthy Intelligent Systems” in the Machine Learning, Reasoning and Intelligence program and is an assistant professor at Georgia Tech’s School of Interactive Computing.

He has earned his master’s degree and a doctorate from Carnegie Mellon University along with his bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology Banaras Hindu University. Batra has also held minor positions at Microsoft Research, Carnegie Mellon University and MIT.

Prabhakar was chosen for “Design of High-Assurance Cyber-Physical Systems” in the Science of Autonomy program and is an associate professor of computer science at Kansas State University. She is a Michelle Munson-Serban Simu Keystone Research Faculty Scholar and according to an India West report, her research interests include cyber-physical systems, formal verification, automata theory and logic.

She has earned a bachelor’s degree from the National Institute of Technology Warangal, a master’s degree from the Indian Institute of Science and a doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prabhakar was an assistant professor at IMDEA Software Institute and a postdoctoral researcher at the California Institute of Technology before she joined Kansas State in 2015.

Rangamani was selected for “Non Equilibrium Thermodynamics of Biological Membranes” in the Undersea Medicine program and is an assistant professor in the mechanical and aerospace engineering department as well as a faculty-affiliate in the bioengineering department at U.C. San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering.

Her research is focused on understanding the design principles of biological systems. She was a chancellor’s postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at U.C. Berkeley in 2013-14.

Rangamani earned a Ph.D. in biological sciences in 2010 at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York.

Sengupta received the “Bit-to-THz: Universally Programmable THz Surfaces with Sub-wavelength Field and Response Synthesis” in the Expeditionary Maneuver Warfare and Combating Terrorism Department program and is an assistant professor of electrical engineering at Princeton University.

Sengupta earned a bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology along with a master’s degree and a doctorate from the California Institute of Technology. He was also an IBM Fellow, an IEEE Fellow, a Caltech Institute Fellow and a recipient of the IIT Kharagpur Prime Minister Gold Medal.



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