Six scientists win Rs50-lakh Infosys awards for excellence

The Infosys Science Foundation, established by Infosys Technologies Ltd, on Monday announced the winners in the five categories of the Infosys Prize 2010. The Infosys Prize carries the biggest cash award for a scientific achievement in India, with tax-free prize money of Rs50 lakh.

The prize for excellence in mathematical sciences was awarded to Chandrashekhar Khare, professor of mathematics at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He won the prize for his ''fundamental contribution'' to the numbers theory, particularly the solution he found for the Serre conjecture, stated the citation of the jury, headed by Srinivasa S R Varadhan, professor of mathematics, and Frank J Gould, professor of science at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University.

Professor at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, Sandip Trivedi, won the prize in the physical sciences category for ''finding an ingenious way'' to solve two of the most outstanding puzzles of superstring theory - what is the origin of dark energy and why there is no mass-less scalar particle - simultaneously.

The citation of the jury, headed by Shrinivas Kulkarni, astrophysicist at the California Institute of Technology, said professor Trivedi ''revolutionised'' the field of superstring theory and provided ''the basis of much of the ongoing research throughput the world''.

Ashutosh Sharma, chair professor and principal investigator, Centre of Nanosciences, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, won the prize in the engineering and computer science category for his ''fundamental contributions'' in materials science.

The winner in the life sciences category was Chetan E Chitnis, principal leader, malaria group, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), New Delhi.