Indian Recipients of National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology & Innovation

Three notable Indian Americans, two inventors and a researcher were named by US President Barack Obama as recipients of National Medal of Science, and National Medal of Technology and Innovation. The Indian American scientists figured in a celebrated White House honors list for 2011, broadly underscoring India’s continued contribution to American advances. Two of them are IIT-ians, alumni of the academically elite Indian Institute of Technology. The 3 Indians are: S.R. Srinivasa Varadhan (National Medal of Science), Rakesh Agarwal (National Medal of Technology and Innovation) and B.Jayant Balinga (National Medal of Technology and Innovation). Here is a Brief Introduction:

  • S.R. Srinivasa Varadhan : S.R. Srinivasa Varadhan, a professor at New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, named a recipient of the National Medal of Science for his work in probability theory, especially his work on large deviations from expected random behaviour, which has revolutionized this field of study during the second half of the twentieth century and become a keystone of both pure and applied probability. The mathematical insights he developed have been applied in diverse fields including quantum field theory, population dynamics, finance, econometrics, and traffic engineering.
  • Rakesh Agrawal: National Medal of Technology and Innovation to given to Rakesh Agrawal, the Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor in the College of Engineering for an amazing record of innovations in improving the energy effectiveness and reducing the cost of gas liquefaction and separation. These innovations have had significant positive impacts on electronic device manufacturing, liquefied gas production, and the supply of industrial gases for diverse industries. He will receive the medal for his work in creating “ultra high purity acid”. Agrawal holds 116 U.S. patents, nearly 500 non-U.S. patents and authored 93 technical papers. Currently, he is working on renewable energy, trying to create low-cost solar cells and also convert biomass into liquid fuel.
  • B. Jayant Baliga : B. Jayant Baliga, North Carolina State University professor will also be given the National Medal of Technology and Innovation for development and commercialization of the Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor and other power semiconductor devices that are extensively used in transportation, lighting, medicine, defense, and renewable energy generation systems.

    This was for the first time that three have been recognized in a single year in a list typically dominated by USborn and US-educated geeks.


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