Shrinivas Kulkarni, Professor of Astronomy and Planetary Science at California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, is the Director of Caltech Optical Observatories and the Director of the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute. He is a leading figure in time-domain astrophysics across the electromagnetic spectrum. (

@Siliconeer #Siliconeer #DanDavidPrize #ShrinivasKulkarni #CaliforniaInstituteofTechnologyPasadena @CalTech #TiESV #IndianAmerican – Indian American scientist Shrinivas Kulkarni has won the prestigious Dan David prize for his contribution in the field of astronomy, writes Harinder Mishra.

Kulkarni is a professor of astrophysics and planetary science at California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

He is a pioneer and leading figure in time-domain astrophysics across the electromagnetic spectrum who built and conducted the Palomar Transient Factory, a large-area survey of the night sky in search of variable and transient phenomena.

The survey has turned up thousands of stellar explosions, transforming our knowledge of the transient sky.

The $1 million prize is a joint international enterprise endowed by the Dan David Foundation headquartered at Tel Aviv University.

Kulkarni, with this honor, joins other prominent Indian laureates of the Dan David prize including author Amitav Ghosh, music conductor Zubin Mehta and renowned chemist C.N.R. Rao.

The honor will be conferred at a festive awards ceremony in Tel Aviv, May 21 in the presence of the laureates.

Three Dan David prizes of $1 million each are given every year in the categories of “Past,” “Present” and “Future” to people around the world who have made outstanding contributions to humanity in the sciences, humanities, or through their work in civil society.

The recipients in the “Past” category are generally drawn from the field of history, archaeology, paleontology, biography, etc; the “Present” from arts, media, policy, economics, etc; and the “Future” from one of the exact or natural sciences.

The “Future” category this year is dedicated to astronomy and will be shared by Kulkarni, Andrej Udalski of the University of Warsaw and Neil Gehrels of NASA for their discoveries on time-domain astrophysics.

The prize, now in its 16th year, was established by the late Dan David, an international businessman and philanthropist who envisioned a project that would extend beyond traditional academic categorizations.

This vision is fulfilled by a “roving” formula that seeks to reward achievements in all fields of human endeavor rather than in a fixed set of categories.

In order to encourage and foster new generations of scholars, the laureates are required to donate 10 per cent of their prize money towards scholarships for graduate or post- graduate researchers in their respective fields.