Indian-origin Stanford professor wins top US award for science

SansadTV Bureau

A 79-year-old Indian-American Stanford University professor is among 10 innovators to receive US National Medal of Science announced by President Barack Obama for their contribution to the field of science.

Pune-graduate and Padma Bhushan recipient Thomas Kailath will receive the United States’ highest honour for achievement and leadership in advancing the fields of science at a White House ceremony later this year.

“These scholars and innovators have expanded our understanding of the world, made invaluable contributions to their fields, and helped improve countless lives,” Obama was quoted as saying by National Science Foundation, a US government agency, said on Friday.

Awarded annually, the medal recognises individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science and engineering.

Born in 1935 to a Malayalam-speaking Syrian Christian family who hailed from Kerala, Kailath has authored several books including well-known Linear Systems.

After graduating from the University of Pune in 1956, Kailath received his Master’s degree and his doctorate degree in 1961, both from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology US. He was the first India-born student to receive a doctorate in electrical engineering from MIT.

He joined Stanford University as Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering in 1963 and was promoted to Professor in 1968, and was appointed the first holder of the Hitachi America Professorship in 1988.

He is also known for his contributions to the information and system sciences.