On the occasion of the award of D.Sc.(Honoris causa) at 62nd Convocation of Panjab University to renowned Scientists- Prof. M.S. Raghunathan and Prof. Asoke Sen, the University will host public lectures by these awardees on March 11, 2013 in the Auditorium of the Dr. S.S. Bhatnagar University Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Panjab University. The lectures are being organized jointly by the Centres for Advanced Study in Mathematics and Physics of Panjab University in association with the Society for Promotion of Science and Technology(SPSTI), India.
The first lecture will be at 9.30a.m. by the distinguished mathematician – Hon’ble Padma Bhushan Prof. M. S. Raghunathan(Fellow of Royal Society), Former Professor of Eminence at TIFR and present Head, National Centre for Mathematics, IIT, Bombay on the topic – ‘Mathematics-Art that would rather be Science? . Thesecond lecture will be at 11.30a.m. by the renowned Mathematical physicist – Hon’ble Padam Bhushan Dr. Ashoke Sen(Fellow of Royal Society), distinguished Professor at the Harish Chandra Research Institute, Allahabad, on the topic- ‘Search for a Unified Theory’.
The lectures will be chaired by Professor Arun Kumar Grover, Vice-Chancellor Panjab University and Padam Bhushan Professor R. P. Bambah, Professor Emeritus and former Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University will be the Guest of Honour.
The First Speaker -Professor M. S. Raghunathan was born in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh on August 11, 1941. He had his schooling in Chennai, in P.S. High School, Mylapore and Madras Christian College School. He passed his SSLC (Secondary School Leaving Certificate) examination in 1955. He pursued his Intermediate at the St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore during 1955-57. He then returned to Chennai and joined B.A.(Hons.) in Mathematics, in Vivekananda College, which had a very good reputation. He received B. A. (Hons.) degree in Mathematics in 1960. He joined the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai as a Research Assistant immediately thereafter.
Professor Raghunathan received his Ph. D. Degree in Mathematics under the able guidance of Professor M. S. Narasimhan, from University of Bombay in 1966. After completing his Ph.D., Raghunathan spent a year at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, U.S., a well-known international centre for post-doctoral research. Through the years he visited several renowned centres in the U.S., Europe and Japan, on invitation, for various durations ranging from a few weeks to a year, and has spoken in several international conferences.
Professor Raghunathan is Former Professor of Eminence at TIFR and presently, he is Head, National Centre for Mathematics, IIT, Bombay.
Professor Raghunathan has made fundamental contributions to the Theory of Algebraic Groups. His book “Discrete Subgroups of Lie Groups” published in 1972 is a standard reference work in the area. One of his conjectures made in mid-1970s, known after him as the “Raghunathan conjecture”, has been very influential in the study of dynamics of a class of flows and their applications in various areas.
Professor Raghunathan has been decorated with various awards and honours. He is a recipient of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Mathematics (1977) as also the Srinivasa Ramanujan Medal of the Indian National Science Academy in 1991. During 1993 ‐ 1996 he held the prestigious S. N. Bose Professorship of INSA. In 1970, he gave one of the prestigious invited fifty‐minute addresses at the International Congress of Mathematicians held in Nice. In 1991, the Third World Academy of Sciences awarded him its Mathematics Prize. Professor Raghunathan has been elected Fellow by several national scientific academies: Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore; Indian National Science Academy Delhi; National Academy of Sciences, Allahabad. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, London. He was conferred the Padma Shri in January 2001 and the Padm Bhushan in 2012. He will be honoured with the Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa), 2013, by Panjab University, Chandigarh at its 62nd Convocation on 10.03.2013.
He has been a past Chairman of the National Board for higher Mathematics in the country. His international responsibilities include membership of the Executive Committee of the International Mathematical Union.
The second speaker, Professor Ashoke Sen from Harish-Chandra Research Institute, Allahabad, born in 1956, to Anil Kumar Sen, former professor of physics at the Scottish Church College, and Gouri Sen, a homemaker. He did his B.Sc. in 1975 from Calcutta University, and his MSc. in 1978 from IIT, Kanpur and completed his doctoral work in Particle Physics in 1982 at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He was post-doctoral fellow at Fermilab(1982-85) and SLAC(1985-88). In 1988, he joined the TIFR Mumbai. Since 1995 he has been a full professor at the Harish-Chandra Research Institute (HRI), Allahabad. Between 1998 and 2003, Professor Sen visited the Isaac Newton Institute in Cambridge, U.K., as Rothschild Visiting Professor, and, between 2004 and 2005, was at MIT as Morningstar Visiting Professor. He is married to Dr. Sumathi Rao, a condensed matter physicist at HRI.
Professor Sen is a theoretical physicist who has made a number of major original contributions to the subject of String Theory, which is a revolutionary and ambitious attempt to build a completely novel unifying substructure, of enormous mathematical sophistication, beneath the field theoretic understanding of the fundamental interactions achieved in the areas of Particle physics and Gravitation. Prof. Asoke Sen’s enormous Mathematical and Scientific talents and his consistent dedication to elucidation of the most fundamental aspects of String theory has led him to make repeated breakthroughs in String Theory over the last 30 years. Takenoverall, Prof. Sen has made wide ranging and seminal contributions to the architecture of String Theory and thus to the revolutions in Theoretical Physics paradigms during the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
Of his nearly 200 research papers, as many as 47 papers have over 100 citations each.
In recognition of his research contributions, Prof. Sen was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2013 which followed Padma Shri (2001). He is a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore; Indian National Science Academy, Delhi and the National Academy of Sciences, Allahabad. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Society since 1998. In 1994 he won the S.S. Bhatnagar award. Other honours conferred on him are the Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa), 2009, IIT Kharagpur, the Infosys Prize in the Mathematical Sciences, 2009 and the ICTP Prize in 1989. He will be conferred a D.Sc. (Honoris Causa) by Panjab University at it’s convocation on March 10, 2013.
In 2012 Prof. Sen became one of the nine winners of the first Yuri Milner Fundamental Physics Prize which — at $ 3 million (Rs 16.7 crore) — is the most lucrative academic prize in the world.
On this occasion while interacting with reporters ProfessorSen wished more Indians would get such prizes. “I am certainly very happy with this, but an award does not endorse any scientific theory… I see it (the award) more as a sort of entitlement… encouragement to younger people to take interest in fundamental science,” .
This programme is sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology, UT, Chandigarh Administration and has been organized with the kind coordination, cooperation and all the initiative and assistance rendered by Mr. Dharam Vir, President, Society for Promotion of Science & Technology in India(SPSTI); Prof. Keya Dharam Vir, General Secretary, SPSTI.