Two women among six winners of Infosys Prize 2019

Infosys (PTI)

Two women are among the six who bagged the 11th 'Infosys Prize 2019' that was announced by Infosys Science Foundation (ISF) on Thursday.

ISF announced the winners of the Infosys Prize2019 in six categories - Engineering and Computer Sciences, Humanities, Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences.

The prize celebrates the success of the recipients in science and research by recognizing their achievements in each category, the foundation said.

The prize for each category comprises a gold medal, a citation and a prize purse of USD 100,000 (or it's equivalent in Rupees) this year.

Sunita Sarawagi and Manjula Reddy are the two women who won the Infosys Prize under Engineering and Computer Science and Life Sciences category respectively.

Sarawagi, an Institute Chair Professor, Computer Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, is awarded for her research in databases, data mining, machine learning, and natural language processing, and for important applications of these research techniques.

Reddy, a Chief Scientist, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, is awarded for her ground-breaking discoveries concerning the structure of cell walls in bacteria.

The Infosys Prize 2019 for Humanities is awarded to Manu V Devadevan, Assistant Professor, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Mandi for his original and wide-ranging work on pre-modern South India;for Mathematical Sciences it was awarded to Siddhartha Mishra, Professor, Department of Mathematics, ETH Zurich, for his outstanding contributions to Applied Mathematics, particularly for designing numerical tools for solving problems in the real world.

In the Physical Sciences category the prize was awarded to G Mugesh, Professor, Department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, for his seminal work in the chemical synthesis of small molecules and nano materials for biomedical applications; and in Social Sciences category it was awarded to Anand Pandian, Professor, Department of Anthropology, Krieger School of Arts & Sciences, Johns Hopkins University for his imaginative work on ethics, selfhood and the creative process.

A panel of accomplished jurors comprising renowned scholars and professors shortlisted the winners of Infosys Prize 2019 from 196 nominations, the foundation said.

The Jury Chairs of Infosys Prize 2019 are Prof Kaushik Basu (Social Science), Prof Arvind (Engineering and Computer Science), Prof Shrinivas Kulkarni (Physical Science), Prof Akeel Bilgrami (Humanities), Dr Mriganka Sur (Life Sciences), Prof Srinivasa S R Varadhan (Mathematical Sciences).

Winner in the Physical Sciences category Professor G Mukesh, who was present at the event, termed it as one of the "best moments" in his life.

Recalling that he came from a farmer's family from a small village, with parents not formally educated, Mukesh said, "I'm grateful to Infosys Foundation that has decided to give an award in the area of interface of Chemistry and Biology, which is in my opinion very important."

"We will be working two areas that are developing compounds that can regulate biological system under disease conditions like Endothelial dysfunction, which is the beginning of heart attack. The second area is developing compounds to treat stroke in neurodegeneration," he added.

The winners will be awarded 'Infosys Prize 2019' on January 7, 2020, in Bengaluru and Nobel laureate economist Amartya Sen will be the Guest of Honour at the event.

The Infosys Prize is awarded by the ISF, a not-for-profit trust set up in 2009.

The Trustees of the foundation include: Srinath Batni, K Dinesh, S Gopalakrishnan, NR Narayana Murthy, Nandan Nilekani, T V Mohandas Pai and Shibulal S D.

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