The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge announced April 16, that 51 “eminent scientists” including Indian-American mathematician at Princeton, Manjul Bhargava, have become fellows or foreign members of the Royal Society, for their “exceptional” contributions to science.
Bhargava, Princeton’s Brandon Fradd, Class of 1983, Professor of Mathematics and recipient of the Fields Medal, is recognized internationally as one of the foremost mathematicians today.
He is a leading expert in number theory, a branch of mathematics in which he has made several pioneering breakthroughs. His research includes foundational contributions to arithmetic statistics and to the theory of quadratic and higher degree forms, number fields, class groups, and ranks of elliptic curves. Bhargava is also well-known for his contributions to the public popularization of mathematics, and held the first Distinguished Chair for the Public Dissemination of Mathematics at the National Museum of Mathematics in New York.
Apart from Bhargava, another Indian-Americans and a South Asian in America were inducted into the Royal Society are Professor Akkihebbal Ravishankara ForMemRS, University Distinguished Professor, Departments of Chemistry and Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University; and Sri Lankan-origin Professor Kumar Wickramasinghe FRS, Distinguished Professor and Nicolaos G and Sue Curtis Alexopoulos Presidential Chair of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, University of California, Irvine.
Prior to joining Colorado State, Dr. Ravishankara was at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Chemical Sciences Division (CSD) of Earth System Research Laboratory for nearly 30 years in Boulder, CO. There, he served as the Director of CSD from 2006 through 2014, and was a Senior Scientist prior to the Directorship. Before coming to NOAA, he was at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Dr. Ravishankara has worked over the past three and a half decades on the chemistry of the Earth’s atmosphere as it relates to stratospheric ozone depletion, climate change, and regional air quality.
Dr. Ravishankara’s many awards include the Polanyi Medal of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Stratospheric Ozone Protection award of the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the American Chemical Society’s award for Creative Advances in Environmental Sciences, according to his biography on the University website.. He is currently a co-chair of the WMO/UNEP Science Assessment Panel on Stratospheric Ozone and a member of the Science Advisory Panel of the Climate Clean Air Coalition of UNEP, and serves of numerous boards.
Prof. Wickramasinghe earned his bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in electronics and electrical engineering at King’s College London, and University College London, respectively. He worked at IBM for many years and has more than 100 patents to his name. He is a pioneer in nanotechnology research and innovation, having developed such technologies as the vibrating-mode atomic force microscope, magnetic force microscope, electrostatic force microscope, Kelvin probe force microscope, scanning thermal microscope and apertureless near-field optical microscope.
Others of Indian origin inducted include Professor Gurdyal Besra FMedSci FRS, the Bardrick Professor of Microbial Physiology and Chemistry, Institute of Microbiology and Infection, School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, U.K.; Professor Gagandeep Kang FRS, executive director of Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, India; Professor Anant Parekh FRS, Professor of Physiology, Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, U.K.; Professor Akshay Venkatesh FRS, Professor, School of Mathematics, Institute for Advanced Study, U.K..
All those selected will be formally admitted as fellows of the Royal Society at a ceremony on July 12, when they will sign the charter book in London. All Fellows are elected for life and among past distinguished fellows are Isaac newton, Charles Darwin, and Stephen Hawking.