Two Indian-American scientists are among 23 scientists who have won this year’s prestigious MacArthur Fellowship for showing exceptional creativity in their respective fields. The Indian-Americans — Manu Prakash and Subhash Khot are alumunus of Indian Institiute of Technology (IIT) in Kanpur and Bombay respectively.
About MacArthur Program:-
- TheMacArthur Fellows Program, MacArthur Fellowship, or “Genius Grant” is a prize awarded annually by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation typically to between 20 and 30 individuals, working in any field, who have shown “extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction” and are citizens or residents of the United States.
- According to the Foundation’s website, “the fellowship is not a reward for past accomplishment, but rather an investment in a person’s originality, insight, and potential.” The current prize is $625,000 paid over five years in quarterly installments.
- This figure was increased from $500,000 in 2013 with the release of a reviewof the MacArthur Fellows Program. Since 1981, 942 people have been named MacArthur Fellows, ranging in age from 18 to 82.
- The award has been called “one of the most significant awards that is truly ‘no strings attached.'”
- The Program allows no applications. Anonymous and confidential nominations are invited by the Foundation and reviewed by an anonymous and confidential selection committee of about a dozen people.
- The committee reviews all nominees and recommends recipients to the President andboard of directors. Most new Fellows first learn of their nomination upon receiving a congratulatory phone call. MacArthur Fellow Jim Collins described this experience in an editorial column of The New York Times.
Awards – 2016
The complete list of 23 winners of Macarthur Fellowship,
- Ahilan Arulanantham, human rights lawyer
- Daryl Baldwin, linguist and cultural preservationist
- Anne Basting, theater artist and aducator
- Vincent Fecteau, sculpto
- Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, playwright
- Kellie Jones, art historian and curator
- Subhash Khot, theoretical computer scientist
- Josh Kun, cultural historian
- Maggie Nelson, writer
- Dianne Newman, microbiologist
- Victoria Orphan, geobiologist
- Manu Prakash, physical biologist and inventor
- José A. Quiñonez, financial services innovator
- Claudia Rankine, poet
- Lauren Redniss, artist and writer
- Mary Reid Kelley, video artist
- Rebecca Richards-Kortum, bioengineer
- Joyce J. Scott, jewelry maker and sculptor
- Sarah Stillman, long-form journalist
- Bill Thies, computer scientist
- Julia Wolfe, composer
- Gene Luen Yang, graphic novelist
- Jin-Quan Yu, synthetic chemist
Among this, Prakash works as an Assistant Professor in Department of Bioengineering at the Stanford University, while Khot is a theoretical computer scientist at the New York University. Manu Prakash is not only one of the most innovative scientists of our day, he is also using his interdisciplinary expertise to improve human health around the world.
- Khot is a theoretical computer scientist whose work is provides critical insight into unresolved problems in the field of computational complexity. His continued ingenuity and tenacity in exploring the potential of the UGC will drive this important and fruitful area of research for many years to come. Khot received a B.Tech (1999) from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, and a PhD (2003) from Princeton University.
- Sri Lankan-American Ahilan Arulanantham is the third South Asian to bag this prestigious award. He is an attorney working to secure the right to due process for individuals facing deportation.