LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory Scientific Collaboration) kindled interest world over. Sixty-one scientists from India participated in this global cooperative effort. Two of the scientists, both from Chennai – one from IIT-M and another from CMI – part of this team, were selected to work further on this validation process. Dr K G Arun, Associate Professor at Chennai Mathematical Institute (CMI), describes this as a critical breakthrough in the field of astrophysics that would provide new insights into the evolution of the universe.
Lakshmi Narayanan (LN), Vice Chairman, Cognizant Technology Solutions, a trustee of CMI, said that the two professors worked with two other LIGO centres in Australia and the US.
CMI, now on its 27th year, has been evolving among the finest institutes for teaching and research in mathematics, computer science and physics. Around 225 students pursue undergrad, graduate and doctoral studies in mathematics and allied sciences. The learning is through interaction with a large number of faculty members-full-time, adjunct and visiting who number around 55 – in courses, seminars and discussions, as also through lectures and interactive sessions with eminent mathematicians. The visitors included S R S Varadhan from the New York University who has been closely associated with CMI and continues as an Advisor; Manjul Bhargava from the Princeton University who delivered the convocation address last year; David Mumford from Brown University, USA and Madhu Sudan from Harvard. The CMI faculty had a meeting with Subra Suresh, who headed the US National Science Foundation and presently President, Carnegie Mellon University.
CMI has attracted talent from far and wide. Dr Rajeeva L Karandikar (RK) heads CMI as its Director. Many will remember RK’s interpretation of the exit polls of 2014 Lok Sabha elections conducted by Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) and presented by CNN-IBN. His predictions proved substantially correct though RK was at pains to reinforce time and again on the power and limitations of opinion polls! A product of the renowned Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Kolkata, RK has been researching on probability theory, stochastic processes and applications of statistics and cryptography.