Meet Priyamvada Natarajan, Indian Yale professor on TIME's 2024 list of 100 most influential people - Hindustan Times
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Meet Priyamvada Natarajan, Indian Yale professor on TIME's 2024 list of 100 most influential people

BySumanti Sen
Apr 18, 2024 02:13 PM IST

Theoretical astrophysicist Priyamvada Natarajan was featured in Time Magazine’s 2024 list of 100 most influential people on Wednesday, April 17

Theoretical astrophysicist Priyamvada Natarajan was featured in Time Magazine’s 2024 list of 100 most influential people on Wednesday, April 17. The list is published annually and includes global leaders, titans of industry, athletes, media stars and other pioneers across various creative fields.

Meet Priyamvada Natarajan, the Indian Yale professor now on TIME's 2024 list of 100 most influential people (Yale University website)
Meet Priyamvada Natarajan, the Indian Yale professor now on TIME's 2024 list of 100 most influential people (Yale University website)

American astrophysicist Shep Doeleman wrote about Natarajan in the TIME article, saying, “Priya has a knack for pursuing the most creative research, and as a fellow astronomer, I am always inspired by her work. Her latest result takes us one step closer to understanding our cosmic beginnings.”

“In November, a novel approach developed years ago by Natarajan brought us closer to under­standing a basic mystery in astron­omy: How do the supermassive black holes that lurk at the centers of most galaxies form?” Doeleman added.

Meet Priyamvada Natarajan

Natarajan is an associate professor in the astronomy and physics departments at Yale University, and works in cosmology with emphasis on dark matter. Natarajan was awarded the Emeline Conland Bigelow Fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute of Harvard University in 2008.

According to Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, “Natarajan’s research interests span several areas in contemporary astrophysics, from gravitational lensing studies of clusters and galaxies to the formation of the first black holes and their subsequent growth in the universe. A key focus of her work has been the detailed mapping of the spatial distribution of dark matter in cosmic structures.”

The website says that Natarajan completed her undergraduate degree and also did her graduate work in the history and philosophy of science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She got her PhD from the University of Cambridge (England) in theoretical astrophysics. Subsequently, she was elected to a junior research fellowship under Title A at Trinity College, Cambridge. Nataratan was also a fellow of the Whitney Humanities Center at Yale in 2006–2007.

According to campuspress.yale.edu, “Among her many honors, Natarajan is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Physical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She also is the recipient of Guggenheim and Radcliffe fellowships.”

The website adds, “At Yale, where she has been a faculty member since 2000, Natarajan is director of the Franke Program in Science and the Humanities, which fosters communication, mutual understanding, collaborative research, and teaching among diverse scientific and humanistic disciplines.”

After the announcement of the recent honour, Natarajan took to X to express her joy. “I'm honored, delighted, and grateful to be a part of this incredible group,” she wrote.

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