A science communicator by profession, Biman Basu has been making significant contributions to the science and technology scenario in the Indian subcontinent through his popular science writings, radio talks and popular lectures for more than three decades,. A prolific writer on a wide range of topics, he writes in English, Bengali and Hindi and has written for both adults and children. As editor of the popular science monthly Science Reporter (published by the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research), he has regularly reviewed books on a wide range of science topics for his own journal and for other publications also. He has to his credit more than 600 popular science articles and over 200 radio talks and features. His popular science articles in English have appeared in most of the major national newspapers of the country and also in periodicals like the Reader's Digest, Computers Today, Yojana, and Indian & Foreign Review. He has also been writing for special issues of the prestigious Bengali weekly Desh, and has been a regular contributor to the Bengali children's monthly Kishore Jnan Bijnan. He has also written ten popular science books, some of which have been reprinted several times. Some of his books have also been translated into other Indian languages - Assamese, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, and Tamil.
Shantanu Basu is a Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Western University, in London, Ontario, Canada. Shantanu's personal and professional life has taken him across the world several times, with Canada representing his fifth country of residence. He received his PhD in Physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1993, and held academic positions at Michigan State University and the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, in Toronto, before joining Western in 1999. Shantanu is known as an expert in studies of the early stages of star formation and protoplanetary disk formation and evolution. He has made contributions to understanding fragmentation of interstellar molecular clouds, the role of magnetic fields and angular momentum in gravitational collapse and star formation, the origin of luminosity bursts from young stellar objects, and the origin of power-laws in the mass distribution of stars. He is one of the originators of the Migrating Embryo Model for protoplanetary disk evolution, which is a unified scenario for angular momentum transport, binary star and giant planet formation, and the formation of ejected freely floating low mass objects. Shantanu has published over 65 papers in major refereed journals, mostly as first or second author, and has given over 80 invited lectures and colloquia in 12 different countries. Shantanu has served as Site Leader for the Sharcnet supercomputing consortium at Western, Director of the Collaborative Program in Theoretical Physics, and Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Western for 2010-15. In 2013, Asteroid 277883 Basu was named after him by the International Astronomical Union.
I grew up in Lebanon before moving to Europe. Frequent electricity shortages during the wartime meant pitch-dark nights, and from the window of my room at home, I would very often gaze at the moon, the planets, and the white stream of stars in the sky we call the Milky Way. I did my Physics undergraduate studies in France (Avignon and Grenoble), and then mooved to Belgium to take a MSc in Astrophysics from the University of Liege. I then landed in the city of Heidelberg, Germany where I worked at the Max-Planck instiute for Astronomy towards my Ph.D degree. Since then, I have been working on problems related to star formation and turbulence in the interstellar medium of galaxies. My journey continued with postdoctoral appointments at the Centro de Astrofisica y Radioastronomia in Morelia (Mexico), the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute in Daejeon (Korea), the Astrophysics division of the French Atomic Energy Agency in Saclay (France) and Imperial College London. Today, I am a Marie Curie Intra-European Research fellow at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen.
Dr Priya Hasan did her Integrated Masters in Physics specialising in Astrophysics from the Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia in 1996. She did her PhD in Astronomy at Osmania University, Hyderabad in 2004. She did post-doctoral research in France and IUCAA, Pune. She was awarded the Women Scientist Award by Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi. The US Consulate, Hyderabad selected her for the International Visitors Leadership Program to visit and deliver lectures at select universities in the US like MIT, Harvard, CalTech, etc. She has presented her work in various conferences in India, Europe and US. Her research interests are in observational astronomy, star formation, star clusters and galaxies. At present she collaborates with groups in India, US, Brazil and Egypt. Priya recently visited The Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, USA on a Summer Internship Program of the International Astronomical Union. She is a member of the International Science Driven Team of the Thirty Meter Telescope. Priya is actively involved in olympiads, public outreach and science popularization programs for children and adults. At present she is an Assistant Professor in Physics at the Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad.
Prof S N Hasan is the Head, Dept of Mathematics, and Dean, Academic Affairs, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, before joining MANUU he was Head Dept. of Astronomy, Osmania University, Hyderabad and Director Japal-Rangapur Observatories. He completed his MSc and M Phil at the University of Hyderabad and his PhD at the Moscow State University. His research interests are Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy. He has published his research in national and international journals and has more than 20 years of teaching experience. He is actively involved in Olympiads, public outreach and science popularization programs for children and adults.
Dr. Doug Johnstone is a Senior Researcher at the National Research Council in Canada. He is also cross appointed as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Victoria where he supervises graduate students and occasionally teaches. Doug is extremely proud to have supervised two recent PhD students who have gone on to win the prestigious Plaskett Medal from the Canadian Astronomical Society for the best Astronomy or Astrophysics Thesis in Canada. For two years, 2012-2014, Doug was seconded to Hawaii as the Associate Director of the James Clark Maxwell Telescope, a 15-m telescope on Maunakea devoted to observations of the sky at sub-millimetre wavelengths. Doug's main research interests follow the formation of stars and planetary systems. He began his professional life as a theorist at the University of California, Berkeley, working on the evolution of circumstellar disks around young stars, back before extra-solar planet detections were common. He has worked at the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics and the University of Toronto, and has been a long-term visitor in the Netherlands, France, Germany, and Taiwan. Today, Dr. Johnstone's research focuses on the formation and evolution of structure in molecular clouds, attempting to disentangle the physical processes through which a molecular cloud sheds into individual stars.
Fumitaka Nakamura is an Associate Professor at National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). He is also a faculty at Sokendai, the Graduate University for Advanced Studies. He received his PhD in Physics at Nagoya University in 1995. He spent 1.5 years as a Postdoc at Center for Computational Physics at University of Tsukuba. After that, he became an Assistant Professor at Niigata University and became an Associate Professor at Niigata University in 1997. Niigata is located on the west coast of main island is famous for rice and Japanese sake. Niigata is also famous for fish. He really enjoyed his life in Niigata. in 2000, he got a JSPS fellowship for doing research abroad and joined McKee and Klein.s Computational astrophysics group at University of California at Berkeley for 2 years. In 2010, he moved to Division of Theoretical Astronomy at NAOJ as a Associate Professor. Today, his research focuses on star cluster formation and magnetic field in ISM. Although he is a theorist doing numerical MHD simulations, he started observational studies of star formation at NAOJ. Now, he is Principle Investigators of Nobeyama 45-m Star Formation Legacy Project and CCS Zeeman Project. He is interested in both numerical simulations and observations of star-forming regions.
Devendra Ojha is a Professor in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai. He received his PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics from the Strasbourg University, France in 1994, and held postdoctoral positions at Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune and Institut d.Astrophysique de Paris, France, before joining TIFR as a faculty in 1997. The area of specializations of Devendra encompasses a rather wide range - multiple fields of astrophysics (viz. Galactic Structure, InterStellar Medium, Star Formation), as well as design, development and operation of astronomical instruments. Selected accomplishments in these areas are: discovery of "Thick Disc" population in our Galaxy based on star counts studies. The primacy of this work is that this work appears prominently in the classical text book "Galactic Astronomy" by Binney & Merrifield (1998); discovery of a large number of young brown dwarfs in Galactic star -forming regions which established new insights about the initial mass function; discovery of infrared dark clouds in our Galaxy, and global characterization (luminosity, mass-loss rate) of asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars in the inner bulge from infrared studies. Apart from scientific results Devendra has also played a crucial role in development and successful operation of many infrared instruments. These include the operation of 100 cm TIFR balloon-borne far-infrared telescope; development of instrument for the small satellite mission of ISRO for carrying out Infra-Red Spectroscopic Imaging Survey (IRSIS); development of near-infrared spectrometer and imaging cameras for ground-based Indian telescopes. Devendra has published over 90 papers in major refereed journals and 2 of the papers have got more than 180 citations, while 7 have more than 50 citations. Devendra is serving as Chairperson of the TIFR Balloon Facility Committee since April 2011. He is currently Chairperson of the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at TIFR.
Dr. Throop is a Senior Scientist with the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, USA. He received a PhD in Planetary Science from the University of Colorado, USA, in 2000. He is involved with the New Horizon.s mission to Pluto, working with the visible-IR spectrometer (Ralph) team. Dr. Throop has been a member of the science team for NASA.s New Horizons mission since 2003, and was involved in its historic flyby of Pluto on July 14, 2015. He is responsible for writing award-winning software for operations planning. He has also been involved with the Cassini mission.s imaging team in the data acquisition and analysis of ring studies in particular. He is a frequent consultant to the US's NASA and the National Science Foundation. While working at NASA, he managed two of NASA's major scientific research programs. While living in Africa, Dr. Throop worked extensively with rural schools, helping to develop their science programs and inspire the next generation of leaders. He has presented more than 100 lectures for science festivals, planetariums, school groups, and public events across the USA, Mexico, and Africa. Dr. Throop.s work has been featured in Science, Nature, Time, The Washington Post, on the History Channel, and National Geographic TV.