Nine Indian-Americans chosen as Sloan Research Fellows of 2024

Preeya Khanna. PHOTO:
Vineet Augustine. PHOTO:

Nine Indian-Americans and one Australian of Indian origin are among the 126 researchers from the United States and Canada chosen for the Sloan Research Fellows of 2024.

These scholars “represent the most promising scientific researchers working today” noted the Sloan website adding their accomplishments and future prospects position them as the upcoming cohort of scientific frontrunners in the United States and Canada. It further added that each recipient is awarded $75,000 as part of the annual scholarships, which can be utilized over a two-year period for any expenses that contribute to the advancement of their research activities.

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The Indian American fellows include Priyanka Raina from Stanford University and Arvind Satyanarayan from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the field of Computer Science; Dipti Nayak from  University of California, Berkeley, in the field of Earth System Science; Aaditya Ramdas from Carnegie Mellon University, and Ananth Shankar from Northwestern University, both in the field of Mathematics; Vineet Augustine from University of California, San Diego, Vijay Mohan K Namboodiri from University of California, San Francisco, and Preeya Khanna from University of California, Berkeley, all three in the field of Neuroscience; and Karan K. Mehta from Cornell University in the field of Physics. The Australian of Indian origin, Vikram Ravi is also chosen in the field of Physics.

Raina, currently serving as an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University earned her B. Tech in Electrical Engineering from the IIT Delhi in 2011, according to the Standford website. She further received her SM and PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT in 2013 and 2018, respectively. She specializes in researching and developing high-performance, and “energy-efficient architectures for domain-specific hardware accelerators in existing and emerging technologies and agile hardware-software co-design.”

Karan Mehta. PHOTO:

Satyanarayan, an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at MIT leads the Visualization Group at MIT CSAIL. He has garnered acclaim for his contributions, earning an NSF CAREER award and receiving best paper awards at academic conferences such as ACM CHI and IEEE VIS. He completed his doctoral studies in Computer Science at Stanford University.

Nayak, serves as an Assistant Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology at University of California, Berkeley. “In the Nayak lab, we are developing a wide range of genetic, genomic, and biochemical tools for methanogenic archaea of the genus Methanosarcina as well as implementing these techniques to study their physiology, metabolism, evolution, and cell biology” stated the Berkeley faculty website.

Ramdas is an Assistant Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, in the Departments of Statistics and Machine Learning. He researches mathematical statistics and learning with a focus on designing algorithms that not only boast robust theoretical foundations but also demonstrate effective performance in practical applications. His main research interests include selective and simultaneous inference game-theoretic statistics, and distribution-free black-box predictive inference, noted his school’s website.

Shankar, an Assistant Professor at Northwestern University, received his PhD from Harvard University in 2017. He previously served as a CLE Moore Instructor at MIT and later held a faculty position at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. His research primarily centers around arithmetic geometry and number theory, with a specific emphasis on Shimura varieties and Abelian varieties.

Augustine is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurobiology at the University of California, San Diego. He obtained his BS-MS from IISER, Kolkata in 2013, and later completed his PhD at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena in 2019. According to the UCSD website, recognizing the outstanding quality of his doctoral research, he was honored with the prestigious Scripps Fellowship. That honor allowed him to bypass the conventional postdoctoral phase and establish his own laboratory at Scripps Research, La Jolla in 2019. Subsequently, his lab relocated to UCSD in 2022. Augustine’s research has been covered by The New York Times, Scientific American, and National Public Radio.

Namboodiri serves as an Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco. According to the Namboodiri lab website, he earned his B.Tech. in Engineering Physics from IIT-Bombay in 2008, followed by a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2015. Subsequently, he earned his postdoctoral research with Dr. Garret Stuber at UNC-Chapel Hill and University of Washington Schools of Medicine in 2020.

Khanna is an Assistant Professor who teaches Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at the University of California. She integrates the fields of sensorimotor systems neuroscience, network modeling, and neurotechnology development aiming to “uncovering principles of how distributed brain networks coordinate to control skillful dexterous movements” said the Berkeley website.

Mehta, an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell University received his B.S. degrees from UCLA in Physics and Electrical Engineering in 2010. He earned his doctoral degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT in 2017. After serving as a postdoctoral fellow and senior scientist in the Physics department at ETH Zurich, he became a part of Cornell ECE in January 2022. He leads a research group that focuses on the “intersection of photonics, atomic physics, and quantum technologies” said the Cornell Engineering website.

Ravi, an Australian of Indian origin, is the Assistant Professor of Astronomy at the California Institute of Technology. He studied at the Valley School in Bengaluru, India, and Narrabri High School, NSW Australia.



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