How Mathematical Modelling Helped Control AIDS in India

The limited success of National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) I and II set up in the 1990s meant that the government had to something different to control HIV spread: India had roughly one-eighth of the world’s HIV burden. And in 2002, the US National Intelligence Council projected that by 2010, about 20-25 million people will […]

The ABC of X and Y

Jennifer Graves is Distinguished Professor at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. Her groundbreaking investigations into how genomes are organised in Australia’s unique fauna have yielded insights into our understanding of evolutionary genetics, particularly the function and evolution of mammalian genomes. She is also well known for her influential studies on human sex chromosomes and […]

G Padmanaban on the Way Forward for Indian Science

Govindarajan Padmanaban is a celebrated biochemist and biotechnologist, known for his work on malaria. In a career spanning 50 years, he has mentored several students, helped establish start-ups and several research institutes. Recently, Padmanaban turned 80 and on 23 March 2018, the Director, Anurag Kumar, released the second volume of his memoir, titled Doing Science […]

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 […]