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Three U.S. Indian Scientists Get White House Honor

ST Team
Thursday, October 6, 2011
ST Team
Three Indian Americans, two inventors and a researcher, are among a dozen top scientists and innovators named by President Barack Obama as recipients of the nation's highest honors in their fields. New York University's Srinivasa S.R.Vardhan is among seven researches named to receive the National Medal of Science, while two Indian Institute of Technology alumni, Purdue University's Rakesh Agarwal, and North Carolina State Univeristy's B. Jayant Baliga are among five named for Technology and Innovation medals.

“Each of these extraordinary scientists, engineers, and inventors is guided by a passion for innovation, fearlessness even as they explore the very frontiers of human knowledge, and a desire to make the world a better place,” says President Barack Obama. The recipients will receive their awards at a White House ceremony later this year. Indian American origin Scientists and researchers have occasionally featured before in the White House honors list, but this is the first time that three have been recognized in a single year in a list typically dominated by U.S. born and educated.

Varadhan, an alumnus of Presidency College, Chennai and Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, won the award for his work in probability theory, especially his work on large deviations from expected random behavior, which has revolutionized this field of study during the second half of the twentieth century. Agrawal, an alumnus of IIT Kanpur, won the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, for an extraordinary record of innovations in improving the energy efficiency and reducing the cost of gas liquefaction and separation. Baliga, an alumnus of IIT Chennai, also won the technology medal, 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.

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