Four Indian American scholars and two of Indian origin were elected April 12 as new members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
A total of 228 individuals were chosen – 188 from the U.S. and 40 others from around the globe – by the academy, including some of the world’s most accomplished scholars, scientists, writers, artists, as well as civic, business and philanthropic leaders, according to the academy.
Among the Indian American honorees in the academy’s 237th class were Hari Balakrishnan of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Manjul Bhargava of Princeton University, Sumit Kumar Ganguly of Indiana University, and Pradeep K. Khosla of U.C. San Diego.
Foreign honorary members of Indian origin included Raghavendra Gadagkar of the Indian Institute of Science and Rohini Nilekani of the Bangalore-based Arghyam Foundation.
“It is an honor to welcome this new class of exceptional women and men as part of our distinguished membership,” Don Randel, chair of the academy's board of directors, said in a statement. “Their talents and expertise will enrich the life of the academy and strengthen our capacity to spread knowledge and understanding in service to the nation.”
Balakrishnan is a professor of computer science at MIT. Additionally, he serves as the founder and chief technology officer at Cambridge Mobile Telematics. He previously served as an adviser at Meraki, co-founder of StreamBase Systems and consultant at Sandburst.
He earned a bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras and a doctorate at U.C. Berkeley, both in computer science.
Bhargava is a mathematics professor at Princeton University. Additionally, he is a professor of number theory at Leiden University and an adjunct professor at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai and the University of Hyderabad. Previously, Bhargava was a recipient of the Fields Medal in 2014, as well as many other awards throughout his career.
Ganguly is a professor of political science at Indiana University. He holds the Rabindranath Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilizations and directs the Center on American and Global Security at the university.
A specialist on the international and comparative politics of South Asia, he has previously taught at James Madison College of Michigan State University, at Hunter College of the City University of New York, the School of Public and International Affairs at Columbia University, and the University of Texas at Austin. He earned a doctorate at the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign.
Khosla is the chancellor at U.C. San Diego, a position he has held since August 2012. Additionally, he serves as a member of Avigilon’s board of directors. Previously, he served as a professor and dean of the engineering college at Carnegie Mellon University and a board member at Quantpoint Inc. and founding charter member of TiE.
Khosla earned his bachelor’s in electrical engineering from IIT Kharagpur and his master’s and doctorate degrees in electrical and computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon.
Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of the country's oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers, convening leaders from the academic, business and government sectors to respond to the challenges facing the nation and the world.
Members contribute to academy publications and studies in science, engineering and technology policy, global security and international affairs, the humanities, arts and education, and American institutions and the public good, an academy news release said.
Among the 2017 class are winners of the Pulitzer and Wolf prizes, MacArthur Fellows, Fields Medalists, Presidential Medal of Freedom and National Medal of Arts recipients, and Academy Award, Grammy Award, Emmy Award and Tony Award winners.
“In a tradition reaching back to the earliest days of our nation, the honor of election to the American Academy is also a call to service,” said academy president Jonathan F. Fanton. “Through our projects, publications and events, the academy provides members with opportunities to make common cause and produce the useful knowledge for which the Academy's 1780 charter calls.”
The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on Oct. 7 in Cambridge, Mass.