Several Indian-Americans Among 2020 Sloan Research Fellows

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Six Indian-Americans and one Indo-Canadian won the prestigious Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship for 2020. The New York City-based Alfred P. Sloan Foundation recently announced its winners describing  the 126 early-career scholars who were “recognized as representing the most promising scientific researchers working today.” .

“Their achievements and potential place them among the next generation of scientific leaders in the U.S. and Canada,” the Sloan Foundation said in its press release.

Winners receive $75,000, which may be spent over a two-year term on any expense supportive of their research.

Chemistry

Monika Raj (Photo: auburn.edu)

Monika Raj, Auburn University – Raj is an Assistant Professor at Auburn, specializing in organic chemistry. She has a Ph.D. from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. She did a Post Doc at New York University and another at the University of Pennsylvania. Raj has several awards.

Computational and Evolutionary Molecular Biology

Ami Bhatt (Photo: Stanford.edu)

Ami Bhatt, Stanford University – Bhatt is an Assistant Professor of Medicine (Hematology) and of Genetics. She did her Ph.D., from the University of California, San Frncisco, in biochemistry and moleculr biology, and her MD from the same institution. She worked at Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School after doing her residency there. She has received several awards and is the Co-founder and Co-President of Global Oncology.

Computer Science

Sanjam Garg, (Photo: Berkeley.edu)

Sanjam Garg, University of California, Berkeley – Garg is an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests are in cryptography and security, and more broadly in theoretical computer science. He obtained his PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2013 and his undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi in 2008. He is the recipient of various honors apart from the 2020 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, such as the 2013 ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award. His research has been recognized with best paper awards at EUROCRYPT 2013, CRYPTO 2017, and EUROCRYPT 2018.

Aditya Parameswaran (Photo: stanford.edu)

Aditya Parameswaran, University of California, Berkeley – Parameswaran is an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Berkeley’s School of  Information and Electrical Engineering. The recipient of numerous awards, his research interests lie in building tools for simplifying data analytics, i.e., empowering individuals teams to leverage data sets more efficiently,

Mathematics

Ila Varma (Photo: math.toronto.edu)

Ila Varma, University of Toronto – Varma is an Assistant Professor at U of T Department of Mathematics, with an adjunct position at UC San Diego. She was a National Science Foundation  Postdoctoral Fellow at Columbia University and Harvard University. She received her Ph.D. in September 2015 at Princeton University under the advisement of Fields Medal recipient Manjul Bhargava and Richard Taylor.

Physics

Srabanti Chowdhury (Photo: stanford.edu)

Srabanti Chowdhury, Stanford University – Chowdhury is an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering (EE) at Stanford. Her research focuses on wideband gap (WBG) materials and device engineering for energy efficient and compact system architecture for power electronics, and RF applications. She received her B.Tech in India in Radiophysics and Electronics (Univ. of Calcutta) and her M.S and PhD in Electrical Engineering from University of California, Santa Barbara. She has received several awards and recognitions over her career.

Vedika Khemani (Photo: Stanford.edu)

Vedika Khemani, Stanford University – Khemani is an Assistant Professor of Physics at Stanford. She was a Junior Fellow at Harvard University from 2016 to 2019. She did her Ph.D. in Theoretical Conensed Matter Physics from Princeton University. Khemani grduated from Harvey Mudd College.

Eligibility requirements for applying for this fellowship include having a Ph.D. or equivalent degree in chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, molecular biology, neuroscience, ocean sciences, physics, or a related field.

Candidates must be members of the faculty of a college, university, or other degree-granting institution in the U.S. or Canada.

Candidates must be tenure-track, though untenured, as of September 16, 2019; and a candidate’s faculty position must carry a regular teaching obligation.


Awarded annually since 1955, the fellowships honor scholars in the U.S. and Canada whose creativity, leadership, and independent research achievements make them some of the most promising researchers working today, the press release said.

Past Sloan Research Fellows include many famous scientists including physicists Richard Feynman and Murray Gell-Mann, and game theorist John Nash. Fifty fellows have received a Nobel Prize in their respective field, 17 have won the Fields Medal in mathematics, 69 have received the National Medal of Science, and 19 have won the John Bates Clark Medal in economics, including every winner since 2007.

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