Mahendra Lal Sircar memorial lecture 2007


Professor Sabyasachi Bhattacharya
Director, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai

TITLE: Patriotism, protectionism, patronage and science:
"memories of underdevelopment"
DATE:  July 20, 2007
TIME:  3:30 pm
PLACE: C. V. Raman Hall, IACS


Development of scientific institutions in post-colonial India was driven by a "patriotic" conviction that science and technology will lead to prosperity for the underdeveloped and impoverished nation. At the same time, global political alignments and vivid memories of the colonial experience led to a "protectionist" policy for the fledgling domestic industry. This protectionism spilled over to basic science enterprises as well and blended seamlessly with the prevailing feudal patronage culture. Unintended casualties of this spillage were professional integrity and commitment to excellence, the key ingredients for developing a robust scientific culture. Finding a national consensus to address this issue is an essential step towards initiating the much-needed rescue process today, when the Government appears able and willing to allocate substantial financial resources towards the development of science and technology in the country but at the same time seeks more accountability and better performance.

Previous MLS Lecture

Mahendra Lal Sircar memorial lecture 2006

SPEAKER: Prof. Supriyo Datta,  Thomas Duncan Distinguished professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University, U.S.A
TITLE: Nanodevices and Maxwell's Demon
DATE:  July 18, 2006
TIME:  3:00 pm


    It is common to differentiate between two ways of building a nanodevice: a top-down approach where we start from something big and chisel out what we want and a bottom-up approach where we start from small like atoms or molecules and assemble what we want. When it comes to describing current flow, the standard approach could be labeled conceptually as a "top-down" one that starts from large conductors and works its way down. In this talk I will present a "bottom-up" view of electrical conduction and use it to illustrate spintronic device concepts along with fundamental questions like wave-particle duality, reversibility and entanglement.


    Prof. Supriyo Datta obtained his Bachelor's degree from IIT Kharagpur with Gold from President of India in 1975. He did his MS and Ph D from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA in 1977 and 1979 respectively. He is currently the Thomas Duncan Distinguished professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and also Director of NASA Institute for Nanoelectronics and Computing, Purdue University, U.S.A.

    He has contributed in different fields of research, from ultrasonics to spin electronics, molecular electronics and nanoscale device physics. A major part of Datta's work was to develop esoteric quantum transport formalism (non equilibrium Green's function) in to a powerful practical tool that can be used to model nanoelectronic devices. His pioneering work in spintronics has been widely referred to in the literature as Datta-Das transistor.

    Prof. Datta received Cledo Brunetti Award in 2002 from IEEE for the outstanding and innovative simulation of nanoscale electronic devices and Herbert Newby McCoy award in 2006 for the most important contribution to science.