The Infosys Foundation, the corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm of Infosys, has constituted a corpus of INR 30 crores for the Chennai Mathematical Institute (CMI). This corpus will be used to enhance faculty compensation and support fellowship requirements for research students.
In addition, the grant will enable CMI to invite distinguished mathematicians from across the world to mentor students and boost the institute’s quality of research.
In recent years, CMI has attracted a number of young faculty members. It has also seen a welcome trend of students returning for postgraduate studies after gaining work experience. The corpus from the Infosys Foundation will allow CMI to provide its faculty members with facilities such as housing and standard benefits like health coverage. It will also help the institute to increase scholarships at the Masters and Doctoral levels to attract greater number of talented students.
“Infosys and the Foundation are committed to enriching higher education and research across disciplines including mathematics and science. We also believe that motivated professors are key to encouraging students to push the realms in research. We are honored that our contribution can help CMI to attract the best and the brightest teachers and students,” said Dr. Sudha Murty, Chairperson, Infosys Foundation.
“CMI has established itself as a center of excellence and the preferred destination for students who wish to pursue mathematics. The corpus created by Infosys Foundation will allow us to expand our teaching programs to other areas related to the mathematical sciences. It will also help us improve the quality and quantity of postgraduate teaching and research faculty,” said Professor Rajeeva Karandikar, Director, Chennai Mathematical Institute.
As part of its efforts to support research and increase public awareness of mathematics as an intellectual discipline, Infosys has undertaken various other initiatives. These are aimed at building a strong talent pool of mathematicians and prepare them for exciting career opportunities in research and data analytics.
In August 2014, the Infosys Science Foundation (ISF) organized ‘Gnanadeepa’. This workshop trained over 680 middle school mathematics and science teachers from rural Karnataka in a four-point framework that can be used as a tool to effectively teach concepts in mathematics and science. The company has also instituted a prize to encourage research in mathematics under the aegis of the Infosys Prize. Past winners of this prize include mathematicians like Dr. Manjul Bhargava, R. Brandon Fradd Professor of Mathematics at Princeton. Infosys sponsored the International Mathematical Union’s Leelavati Prize to recognize outstanding public outreach work for mathematics in 2014. This award was accorded to Adrian Paenza for his contributions in changing and influencing the way Argentinians perceive mathematics in their daily life. The company has also provided a grant of approximately INR 2.1 crore (US$ 350,000) to the New York Academy of Sciences to support their After School Mentoring Program in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Founded in 1989, CMI has an impressive track record in the field of mathematics and computer science. Its programs are rated among the top in India. Very recently, Arul Shankar, who did his undergraduate studies at CMI, was named in the citation for the 2014 Fields Prize winner, Dr. Manjul Bhargava. Arul Shankar did his PhD with Manjul Bhargava as his advisor at Princeton University.
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