Satish Dhawan: The Father of Experimental Fluid Dynamics in India

It was in 1946 that Dhawan arrived at the Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory of the California Institute of Technology (GALCIT, now Graduate Aerospace Laboratories), wanting to work with Hans Liepmann. But the Indian students Liepmann had worked with until then had given him the impression that “perhaps the select group that came to Caltech from India […]

Structures in Turbulence: An interview with Garry Brown

Garry Brown is professor emeritus at the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University. He is a distinguished fluid dynamicist, well-known for his work with Anatol Roshko where they found unexpected order within turbulent flow. He was at IISc in late 2017, teaching a course on shear turbulence with his friend Roddam Narasimha. Excerpts […]

Meet Lakshmi Sita, the biotech pioneer who mass-produced sandalwood trees from test tubes

The former IISc professor’s plant tissue culture lab attracted visitors such as Prince Charles and Ratan Tata   In the summer of 1976, a young scientist named Lakshmi Sita joined IISc as a post doctoral fellow. She had just completed her PhD after working on growth substances and tissue culture of sweet corn from Victoria […]

“Simplifying solutions can make science more application oriented”

Fathima Benazir and Alex D Paul were classmates in school. Many years later, Fathima, a postdoctoral fellow at IISc, began looking for opportunities abroad and happened to share her research work with Alex who comes from the corporate sector. Alex, after going through her work, encouraged Fathima to come up with a product that can […]

A Centre Dedicated to the Jigsaw Puzzle of Hypersonic Research

In 2011, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) signed an MoU with BrahMos Aerospace to create a new centre for studying an exciting aspect of scientific research in today’s world: hypersonic flight. The Centre of Excellence for Hypersonics was inaugurated that year by APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India and eminent aerospace scientist. Although […]

‘It took many years to develop these technologies…but today they are helping society’

A cell for the Application of Science and Technology to Rural Areas (ASTRA), now Centre for Sustainable Technologies (CST), was created at IISc in 1974 to initiate and promote work of rural relevance as a weapon against poverty. IISc’s then Director, Satish Dhawan, who was deeply concerned about science and society, invited Amulya Reddy [a […]

To P or Not to P: The Search for Significance

Is the P value as reliable as we believe? This article examines the meaning and limitations of this ubiquitous measure of significance   “The null hypothesis is never proved or established, but is possibly disproved.” – Ronald A Fisher Statistics is a versatile field that emerged from 17th century political science and state governance. In […]

Participants of an INUP Hands-on Training Program (Photo courtesy: INUP/CeNSE)

Nanotechnology for the Nation

The Indian Nanoelectronics Users’ Program (INUP), at IISc and IIT Bombay, is training researchers across the country to build national capability in nanoelectronics Since it began in 2008, the Indian Nanoelectronics Users’ Program (INUP) has received exceptional positive feedback from its participants. Among them are college teachers who say that their participation in the training […]

“Whenever the Government Needs Any Input, They Consult Us”

The Divecha Centre for Climate Change was set up in IISc in 2009 with funding from US-based philanthropists, Arjun and Diana Divecha, and the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, founded by British investor Jeremy Grantham. Since its establishment, the Centre has focussed primarily on research, and on raising awareness on climate change […]

Climate Change, an Evening in Paris, and a Calculator from IISc to See into Our Future

An interactive climate change calculator from IISc reveals the path we can take to ensure that global temperatures are kept in check. It also shows us the path to disaster   On a sunny spring afternoon at the Rose Garden in the White House, the US President Donald Trump made a sweeping proclamation. “We’re getting […]