Connect with us


Indian American Scholars awarded fellowships with Sloan Foundation



SLOAN_logoNEW YORK (Diya TV) – Among the crowd of 126 scholars and researchers from the U.S. and Canada selected as this year’s fellowship grantees for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation were seven Indian Americans.

Venkat Chandrasekaran of the California Institute of Technology, Abhinav Gupta of Carnegie Mellon, Ankur Moitra and Yogesh Surendranath of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Devi Parikh of Virginia Tech, and Surjeet Rajendran and Nikhil Srivastava of the University of California at Berkeley were the Indian American recipients of the awards this year.

The research fellowships have been handed out since 1955, and honor career scientists and scholars who are identified early as the industry’s future. Often charged with spearheading the next generation of scientific research, those who are selected by the foundation receive a grant of $55,000 to further their research and studies.2016-SRF-Announcement-Spotlight

Chandrasekaran, an assistant professor in the computing and mathematical sciences department at the California Institute of Technology, leads a research team focused on mathematical optimization. Specifically, Chandrasekaran is searching for an understanding of the power and limitations of convex optimization. His thesis, which also studied the specifics of convex optimization, received the Jin-Au Kong Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Prize for the best Ph.D. thesis in electrical engineering at MIT. He’s also been the recipient of the Young Researcher Prize in Continuous Optimization for his work on matrix decomposition.

Gupta serves as an assistant professor in Carnegie Melon’s Robotics Institute. His research has put the magnify glass on how humans interact with their environment and how their perception of visual world depends on these interactions and their abilities.

Moitra works as an assistant professor at MIT’s department of mathematics, and is also a member of the computer science and artificial intelligence lab at the school. Prior to his arrival in Cambridge, Moitra was an NSF CI Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, and also a senior postdoc in the computer science department at Princeton University. Moitra’s work has specialized in multiple areas of algorithms, and lately has been working on the intersection of algorithms and machine learning.

Surendranath, Moitra’s MIT counterpart, spends his time in a lab focused on addressing global challenges in the areas of chemical catalysis, energy storage and utilization, and environmental stewardship. The technological advances discovered by him and his team have allowed for new methods for controlling the selectivity and efficiency of inner-sphere reactions at solid-liquid interfaces.

Parikh, leader of Virginia Tech’s computer vision lab, was previously awarded the Allen Distinguished Investigator Award from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation in 2014. She is using her prize money to help computers “read” complex images with the use of cartoon clip art scenes. Correspondingly, she is hopeful that her research will be able to shine a light on new ways to use synthetic data to deepen our current understanding of computer vision.

Rajendran, a graduate of both Caltech and Stanford University, with degrees in both mathematics and a Ph.D. in physics respectfully, has very broad interests. His studies range from theoretical physics, to a strong focus physics beyond the standard model. Physics’ standard model has withstood multiple experimental tests, leaving many questions unanswered. His desire is to seek out a new invention; one which would develop new experimental avenues to clear the path for discoveries of new types of physics.

More from Diya TV