Famous Indian Scientists

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 1 
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
(Aerospace Scientist & 11th President of India)
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
16
Birthdate: October 15, 1931
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, India
Died: July 27, 2015
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, India’s 11th president, had earlier been an aerospace scientist at DRDO and ISRO. Known as the “People’s President” and the “Missile Man of India,” he was instrumental in India's Pokhran-II nuclear tests. He died of a cardiac arrest while delivering a lecture at IIM Shillong.
 2 
Srinivasa Ramanujan
(Mathematician)
Srinivasa Ramanujan
87
Birthdate: December 22, 1887
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Erode
Died: April 26, 1920

A self-taught genius Indian mathematician, Srinivasa Ramanujan is known for his contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory and continued fractions. Born into a humble family, the celebrated mathematician struggled with poverty but still managed to publish first of his papers in the Journal of the Indian Mathematical Society. Later, his collaboration with English mathematician G. H. Hardy proved very productive.

 3 
Aryabhata
(5th & 6th Century Indian Mathematician and Astronomer who Calculated the Value of Pi)
Aryabhata
55
Birthdate: 0476 AD
Birthplace: Assaka
Died: 0550 AD
Indian mathematician and astronomer Aryabhata pioneered the concept of “zero” and used it in his “place value system.” He had also worked on the approximation of pi and laid down the basic concepts of trigonometry, such as sine and cosine. He also mentioned that the Earth rotates on its axis.
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 4 
C.V. Raman
(Physicist)
C.V. Raman
32
Birthdate: November 7, 1888
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tiruchirappalli, Madras Province
Died: November 21, 1970
Indian physicist C.V. Raman earned the Nobel Prize in Physics after discovering the Raman effect. He was the first director of the IISc and founded the Indian Academy of Sciences and the Raman Research Institute. He destroyed his Bharat Ratna medal in protest against Jawaharlal Nehru’s policies on science.
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 5 
Vikram Sarabhai
(Scientist)
Vikram Sarabhai
5
Birthdate: August 12, 1919
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ahmedabad, India
Died: December 30, 1971

Padma Bhushan- and Padma Vibhushan-winning Indian scientist Vikram Sarabhai was born into the famous Sarabhai family of industrialists who were associated with the Indian Independence Movement. He made major contributions to India’s nuclear power and space research initiatives, developed textile research in India, and helped set up IIM-Ahmedabad.

 6 
Jagadish Chandra Bose
22
Birthdate: November 30, 1858
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bikrampur, Bengal Presidency, British India (Now Munshiganj District of Bangladesh)
Died: November 23, 1937

Indian physicist, biologist, and plant physiologist Jagadish Chandra Bose revolutionized science with his research on how plants and animals react to external stimuli. He founded the Bose Institute, made pioneering contribution to the field of radio and microwave optics, and also penned one of the first works of Bengali science fiction.

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 7 
Homi Bhabha
(Indian physicist)
Homi Bhabha
9
Birthdate: October 30, 1909
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mumbai, India
Died: January 24, 1966

Padma Bhushan-winning physicist Homi Bhabha revolutionized the Indian nuclear program singlehandedly. Born into an affluent family, he was educated at Cambridge. Initially geared toward a career in mechanical engineering, he later drifted to physics, eventually contributing to the formation of TIFR. The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre is named after him.

 8 
Satyendra Nath Bose
(Indian Mathematician and Physicist, Best Known for His Work on Quantum Mechanics)
Satyendra Nath Bose
15
Birthdate: January 1, 1894
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kolkata, India
Died: February 4, 1974

Best known for working with Albert Einstein to form Bose–Einstein statistics, Indian scientist Satyendra Nath Bose was a master of quantum mechanics. He played the esraj, loved poetry, and had mastered quite a few languages. The Padma Vibhushan winner was also made a Fellow of The Royal Society.

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 9 
Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar
(Astrophysicist Known for his 'Theoritical Studies of the Physical processes of importance to the Structure and Evolution of the Stars')
Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar
18
Birthdate: October 19, 1910
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lahore, Pakistan
Died: August 21, 1995

Remembered for his varied contribution to astrophysics, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar is perhaps best known for his work on the evolution of massive stars. Today known as Chandrasekhar limit, it contributed to final understanding of supernovas, neutron stars, and black holes. A prolific writer, he also did significant work on energy transfer by radiation in stellar atmospheres and convection on solar surface.

 10 
Brahmagupta
(Mathematician and Astronomer)
Brahmagupta
15
Birthdate: 0598 AD
Birthplace: Bhinmal
Died: 0670 AD

Ancient Indian astronomer and mathematician Brahmagupta is best remembered for laying down rules to calculate with zero and for penning the texts Brāhmasphuṭasiddhānta and Khaṇḍakhādyaka. His other achievements include his work on surds and positive and negative numbers. He also devised a formula for the area of a cyclic quadrilateral.

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 11 
Shakuntala Devi
(Human Computer)
Shakuntala Devi
50
Birthdate: November 4, 1929
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bangalore
Died: April 21, 2013

A child prodigy who was never formally educated, Shakuntala Devi became a mathematical genius earning the title of Human Computer for her exceptional calculating abilities. The Indian genius was also an astrologer and a gifted writer who authored books on maths, astrology, homosexuality in India and a crime thriller novel.

 12 
Bhāskara II
(Mathematician)
Bhāskara II
12
Birthdate: 1114 AD
Birthplace: Bijjaragi, Vijayapur, Karnataka
Died: 1185 AD

Renowned 12th-century mathematician and astronomer Bhāskara II is remembered for producing the first written work with full use of the decimal system. Siddhānta-Śiromani remains his most notable work. He also worked on quadratic equations and succeeded Brahmagupta as the head of the Ujjain cosmic observatory.

 13 
Meghnad Saha
(Indian Astrophysicist Who Developed the ‘Saha Ionisation Equation’ and ‘Thermal Ionisation’)
Meghnad Saha
6
Birthdate: October 6, 1893
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bangladesh
Died: February 16, 1956

Indian astrophysicist Meghnad Saha is best remembered for developing the thermal ionization equation. A grocer’s son, he relied on merit alone to excel in academics and eventually became a professor at the universities of Allahabad and Calcutta. He was also a Lok Sabha MP and a Fellow of the Royal Society.

 14 
Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis
6
Birthdate: June 29, 1893
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kolkata
Died: June 28, 1972

Best known for conceptualizing the Mahalanobis distance, Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis was a renowned Padma Vibhushan-winning Indian statistician who played a major role in his country’s industrialization policies of the Second Five-Year Plan. He also taught at his alma, Presidency College, and was one of the founders of the Indian Statistical Institute.

 15 
M. S. Swaminathan
(Indian Agronomist Who is Known as the Main Architect of the Green Revolution in India)
M. S. Swaminathan
14
Birthdate: August 7, 1925
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kumbakonam, India

Ramon Magsaysay Award-winning geneticist M. S. Swaminathan is best known for his contribution to the Indian Green Revolution. Featured on Time, he introduced high-yielding varieties of wheat and rice seedlings to Indian farmers. He is also known for his administrative work as part of the Indian civil services.

 16 
Abdul Qadeer Khan
(Nuclear Physicist, Metallurgical Engineer)
Abdul Qadeer Khan
13
Birthdate: April 1, 1936
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India
Died: October 10, 2021

Pakistani engineer Abdul Qadeer Khan was a major figure in the development of his country’s nuclear plans. His research also focused on uranium enrichment. He was later apparently involved in transfer of nuclear technology to Iran, among other countries, but was pardoned by then-president Pervez Musharraf.

 17 
C. N. R. Rao
(Chemist)
C. N. R. Rao
3
Birthdate: June 30, 1934
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bangalore, Kingdom of Mysore, British India

C. N. R. Rao already had a PhD degree at age 24 and became the youngest lecturer at the IISc. The Padma Shri- and Padma Vibhushan-winning Indian chemist is best known for his research on areas such as surface chemistry, superconductivity, and nano technology. He is a self-confessed technophobe.

 18 
Salim Ali
(Ornithologist)
Salim Ali
9
Birthdate: November 12, 1896
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Died: June 20, 1987

Known as the Birdman of India, legendary ornithologist Salim Ali was the first to conduct bird surveys in India. The Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan winner is best remembered for penning the book The Book of Indian Birds, and for setting up the Bharatpur and Ranganathittu bird sanctuaries.

 19 
Prafulla Chandra Ray
5
Birthdate: August 2, 1861
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Khulna
Died: June 16, 1944

Indian Bengali chemist Prafulla Chandra Ray founded the country’s first pharma company, Bengal Chemicals. Educated in Calcutta and Edinburgh, he later worked from his home, a room on the first floor of the college where he taught. Knighted for his achievements, he donated generous sums to the Brahmo Samaj initiatives.

 20 
Rajnath Singh
(Politician)
Rajnath Singh
28
Birthdate: July 10, 1951
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chandauli district

The current Indian defense minister Rajnath Singh has previously held other important portfolios, such as home affairs and agriculture. He has also been a BJP president and the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. Born into a farmer’s family, he worked as a physics lecturer before he joined the RSS.

 21 
Jayant Narlikar
(Physicist, Astronomer, Astrophysicist, Scientist, University teacher, Science fiction writer)
Jayant Narlikar
5
Birthdate: July 19, 1938
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kolhapur

Born to a math professor father and a Sanskrit scholar mother, Astrophysicist and IUCAA professor Jayant Narlikar grew up to collaborate with Sir Fred Hoyle, leading to the conformal gravity theory, also known as the Hoyle-Narlikar theory. He has won the Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan and penned sci-fi novels, too.

 22 
Asima Chatterjee
(Chemist)
Asima Chatterjee
0
Birthdate: September 23, 1917
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kolkata, India
Died: November 22, 2006
 23 
Varāhamihira
(6th Century Indian Astrologer, Astronomer and Polymath)
Varāhamihira
4
Birthdate: 0505 AD
Birthplace: Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, India
Died: 0587 AD

Best known for his treatise on mathematical astronomy, Pancha-siddhantika, Indian philosopher, astronomer, and polymath Varahamihira was well-versed in Western astronomy. He had also penned Brihat-Samhita and is believed to have been one of the Navaratnas, or Nine Jewels, of the court of Indian king Yashodharman Vikramaditya.

 24 
Bhāskara I
(Indian Mathematician Who Helped to Disseminate the Mathematical Work of 'Aryabhata')
Bhāskara I
5
Birthdate: 0600 AD
Birthplace: Parbhani, India
Died: 0680 AD

Legendary 7th-century astronomer Bhāskara I is best known for deciphering Aryabhatta’s work and was the first to use a circle to mean a “zero” in the Indian decimal system. The Mahabhaskariya and the Laghubhaskariya remain two of his best works. He was also an expert in early mathematical astronomy.

 25 
Narinder Singh Kapany
(Indian-American Physicist Best Known for His Work on Fiber Optics)
Narinder Singh Kapany
3
Birthdate: October 31, 1926
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Moga, Punjab, India
Died: December 4, 2020

The pioneer of fiber optics, Indian-American physicist Narinder Singh Kapany had over 100 patents in his name. He was the first to send images through fiber optics and also worked on areas such as laser technology and solar energy. He and his wife also established the California-based Sikh Foundation.

 26 
Harish-Chandra
(mathematician, physicist, university teacher)
Harish-Chandra
3
Birthdate: October 11, 1924
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kanpur
Died: October 16, 1983

Harish-Chandra was an Indian American physicist and mathematician whose contributions to representation theory made him one of the most prominent mathematicians of the 20th century. Over the course of his illustrious career, Harish-Chandra was honored with several prestigious awards, such as the Frank Nelson Cole Prize and Srinivasa Ramanujan Medal. In 1977, he received India's third-highest civilian award, Padma Bhushan.

 27 
S. R. Ranganathan
(Indian Mathematician and Librarian Known for His Development of 'Colon Classification')
S. R. Ranganathan
3
Birthdate: August 9, 1892
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Sirkazhi, Tamil Nadu, India
Died: September 27, 1972

S. R. Ranganathan was an Indian librarian and mathematician. Ranganathan is best remembered for developing the colon classification, a system of library classification, which is currently used in research libraries all over the world. In India, he is considered the father of library science, information science, and documentation. His birthday is observed as National Librarian's Day in his home country.

 28 
E. C. George Sudarshan
(Physicist, University teacher)
E. C. George Sudarshan
5
Birthdate: September 16, 1931
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kottayam district

Padma Vibhushan winner and nine-time Nobel Prize nominee theoretical physicist E. C. George Sudarshan was born in India but moved to the U.S. to study at the University of Rochester. He later joined Harvard and made ground-breaking discoveries in topics such as quantum optics, tachyons, and the quantum Zeno effect.

 29 
Raja Ramanna
(Former Physicist Best Known for His Role in India’s Nuclear Program During Its Early Stages)
Raja Ramanna
3
Birthdate: January 28, 1925
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Mysore, Karnataka, India
Died: September 24, 2004

Raja Ramanna was an Indian nuclear physicist, remembered for his role in the development of India’s nuclear weapons program. Beginning his career under Homi Bhabha, he eventually served as the director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, overseeing India’s first nuclear weapons test in 1974.  Meanwhile he also served as the secretary for defense research and later headed Atomic Energy Commission.

 30 
Udupi Ramachandra Rao
(Scientist)
Udupi Ramachandra Rao
0
Birthdate: March 10, 1932
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Udupi district, Karnataka, India
Died: July 24, 2017
 31 
Mylswamy Annadurai
4
Birthdate: July 2, 1958
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kothavadi, Coimbatore district, Tamil Nadu, India

Aerospace engineer and scientist Mylswamy Annadurai, also known as the Moon Man of India, had humble beginnings in his native village, Kodhawady, in southern India. He later grew up to be a key member of ISRO and contributed immensely to Indian space programs such as Chandrayaan-1 and Mangalyaan.

 32 
Yellapragada Subbarow
(Biochemist)
Yellapragada Subbarow
3
Birthdate: January 12, 1895
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bhimavaram
Died: August 9, 1948

Yellapragada Subbarow was an Indian biochemist who is credited with developing methotrexate, an immune-system suppressant and chemotherapy agent which is widely used to treat autoimmune diseases and cancer. He also helped American plant physiologist Benjamin Duggar discover chlortetracycline, the world's first tetracycline antibiotic.

 33 
Tessy Thomas
(aerospace engineer, engineer, scientist)
Tessy Thomas
3
Birthdate: 1963
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Alappuzha

Tessy Thomas is an Indian scientist who became the first-ever woman to head an Indian missile project when she served as project director for Agni-IV. For her immense contribution to the field of missile technology, Tessy Thomas was honored with the prestigious Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award.

 34 
Venkatraman Ramakrishnan
(Structural biologist)
Venkatraman Ramakrishnan
3
Birthdate: 1952 AD
Birthplace: Chidambaram,Tamilnadu India

Venkatraman Ramakrishnan is a British-American structural biologist whose research on the function of the ribosome earned him the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry which he shared with Ada Yonath and Thomas A. Steitz. From 2015 to 2020, he served as the president of the Royal Society.

 35 
Janaki Ammal
(Botanist)
Janaki Ammal
4
Birthdate: 1897 AD
Birthplace: Thalassery
Died: 1984 AD

Janaki Ammal was an Indian botanist whose work concerning phytogeography, cytogenetics, and plant breeding earned her India's fourth-highest honor, the Padma Shri, in 1977. She is credited with improving India’s indigenous sugarcane varieties. She also helped analyze sugarcane's geographical distribution across India.

 36 
Vijay P. Bhatkar
(Architect of Param Series of Supercomputers)
Vijay P. Bhatkar
3
Birthdate: October 11, 1946
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Akola district, Maharashtra, India

Vijay P. Bhatkar is an Indian educationalist and computer scientist. One of the pioneers of India's IT industry, Bhatkar is renowned for initiating the development of Param supercomputers. Over the course of his career, Bhatkar has been honored with many prestigious awards, such as the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan.

 37 
Augustus De Morgan
(British mathematician)
Augustus De Morgan
4
Birthdate: June 27, 1806
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Madras Presidency
Died: March 18, 1871

Augustus De Morgan was a British logician and mathematician. He is best remembered for formulating De Morgan's laws which are widely applied in solving mathematical equations. He also came up with the term mathematical induction, a mathematical proof technique. 

 38 
Raj Reddy
(Computer scientist, University teacher)
Raj Reddy
3
Birthdate: June 13, 1937
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Andhra Pradesh

Raj Reddy is an Indian-American computer scientist. One of the pioneers of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Reddy was honored with the prestigious Turing Award in 1994 for his contribution to the field of artificial intelligence. He is the first computer scientist of Asian descent to win the award, which is often referred to as the Nobel Prize of Computer Science.

 39 
Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar
(Father of research laboratories)
Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar
4
Birthdate: February 21, 1894
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bhera
Died: January 1, 1955

Known as the father of research laboratories, Indian physical chemist Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar was a BHU professor. An avid poet, he also penned the kulgeet of the university. He was the first chairman of UGC, headed CSIR, and played a key role in setting up many R&D labs in India.

 40 
Madhava of Sangamagrama
(One of the Greatest Indiaan Mathematicians-Astronomers of the Late Middle Ages)
Madhava of Sangamagrama
4
Birthdate: 1340 AD
Birthplace: Kerala, India
Died: 1425 AD

Fifteenth-century Indian astronomer and mathematician Madhava of Sangamagrama is largely remembered as the man who established the Kerala School of mathematics. Of his most notable works are his discovery of the power series and his research on the infinite series. He was known as Golavid, or the Master of Spherics.

 41 
Birbal Sahni
(Palaeobotanist)
Birbal Sahni
6
Birthdate: 1891 AD
Birthplace: Saharanpur district
Died: April 10, 1949

Birbal Sahni was a pioneer of palaeobotanical research in India. The founder of the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany, he also taught botany at BHU and Lucknow University. He was also interested in music and tennis, and loved collecting coins. He was a Fellow of The Royal Society, too.

 42 
Ashoke Sen
(Physicist)
Ashoke Sen
3
Birthdate: July 15, 1956
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kolkata

Ashoke Sen is an Indian theoretical physicist whose immense contribution to string theory has earned him accolades and respect around the world. The recipient of several prestigious awards like the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan, Sen also serves as a professor at several prestigious institutions like the Harish-Chandra Research Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Korea Institute for Advanced Study.

 43 
Raghunath Anant Mashelkar
(Engineer, Scientist)
Raghunath Anant Mashelkar
3
Birthdate: January 1, 1943
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Goa

Deeply connected with Indian innovation movement, Raghunath Anant Mashelkar is especially known for his contributions to transport phenomena. Throughout his career, he had held important positions, including the post of the Director General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. He also chaired many important national committees, investigating diverse issues like drug regulatory system and national auto fuel policy.

 44 
Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan
(Scientist)
Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan
3
Birthdate: October 24, 1940
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ernakulam, India

Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan is an Indian space scientist who supervised the development of several scientific satellites including the Indian Remote Sensing Satellites IRS-1A and IRS-1B and the Indian National Satellite (INSAT-2) while serving as the director of ISRO Satellite Centre. He served as the chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for nine years from 1994 to 2003.

 45 
Tathagat Avatar Tulsi
(Indian Physicist and a Former Child Prodigy)
Tathagat Avatar Tulsi
3
Birthdate: September 9, 1987
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Patna, Bihar, India

Considered as a child prodigy, Tathagat Avatar Tulsi is an Indian physicist, who finished high school at the age nine, earned his B.Sc. at eleven and M.Sc. at twelve. At twenty-one, he earned his PhD and in the following year joined IIT Mumbai as Assistant Professor on contract, where he worked until he lost his job due to bad health.  

 46 
Shridhara
(Mathematician)
Shridhara
3
Birthdate: 0870 AD
Birthplace: India
Died: 0930 AD

Tenth century Indian mathematician, philosopher and Sanskrit scholar Śrīdhara Ācāryya is chiefly known for his two mathematical treaties; Patiganita (the science of arithmetic) and Trisatika (also called Patiganitasara ). In Bījaganita, his treaties on algebra, he provided practical algebraic applications and also a formula for solving quadratic equations.  Other scholarly treaties attributed to him are Navasatī, Bṛhatpati, Ganitasara and Ganitapanchavimashi.

 47 
Hemachandra
(Indian Scholar, Poet, Mathematician, Philosopher, and Grammarian)
Hemachandra
2
Birthdate: 1088 AD
Birthplace: Dhandhuka, India
Died: 1173 AD

Hemachandra was an Indian Jain mathematician, poet, scholar, and polymath. He played an important role as King Kumarapala's advisor during the latter's reign during which Gujarat became a center of culture. Hemachandra's influence over the king helped establish Jainism as the official religion of Gujarat. He also played a significant role in banning animal slaughter in Gujarat.

 48 
Anil Kakodkar
(Engineer)
Anil Kakodkar
2
Birthdate: November 11, 1943
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Barwani

Anil Kakodkar is an Indian mechanical engineer and nuclear physicist who served as the director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) from 1996 to 2000. He is one of the core members of the team which conducted Pokharan II nuclear tests. Over the course of his career, Kakodkar has received several prestigious awards, such as the Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan.

 49 
Narendra Karmarkar
(Indian Mathematician)
Narendra Karmarkar
4
Birthdate: 1956 AD
Birthplace: Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, India
 50 
S. R. Srinivasa Varadhan
(Indian American Mathematician Known for His Fundamental Contributions to 'Probability Theory')
S. R. Srinivasa Varadhan
2
Birthdate: January 2, 1940
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Chennai, India

S. R. Srinivasa Varadhan is an Indian American mathematician whose contributions to probability theory have earned him several prestigious awards including the National Medal of Science in 2010. He is also renowned for coming up with a unified theory of large deviations. He is currently serving as a professor at the Courant Institute.