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Alumni Initiative: Named Lectures

The Named Lectures are an integral part of the academic programs at IIT Bombay. These lectures are donor instituted and many times for a specific cause that is close to the donor’s heart. Such lectures are an opportunity for the Institute to collaborate with eminent personalities from various fields. Most of our attendees are students, participants, alumni, and well-wishers all over the world. These lectures are open to everyone and are usually conducted physically within the campus.  

We have many such lectures in the Institute. In this edition, we introduce you to a few of these lectures.

Prof. N. R. Kamath Distinguished Lecture 

IIT Bombay has established the Prof. N. R. Kamath Chair Professorship for Institutional Excellence. This is the most prestigious chair of the Institute, and has been established in the memory of Prof. N. R. Kamath, who served IIT Bombay as a faculty member. Late Prof. N. R. Kamath was an outstanding teacher and technologist who had a profound influence on his students. Prof. Kamath played a decisive role as an academician and administrator during the formative phase of growth of not only the Chemical Engineering Department but also the Institute. He played a visionary role in setting up the teaching and research agenda for the department and was a motivating force for both the faculty and students of the department. During his era, he was a role model and mentor to many young faculty and students.

As a fitting tribute to the pioneering role he played in shaping the destiny of the Institute, the alumni of IIT Bombay have established this chair to honor his immense contribution to the Institute. Over the years, we have had the privilege of hosting revered and eminent academicians like Prof. Kaushik Basu, Prof. Bruce Hajek, Prof. Madhu Sudan, and Prof. Samir Mitragrotri, to this Chair.

Some of the talks given by these eminent personalities include:

  • Prof. Bruce Hajek – Life and Random Algorithms, 2021
  • Prof. Kaushik Basu – What ails the World Economy and What should India Do? – 2018 

 

Indira Foundation Lecture 

The Indira Foundation lecture series was established at IIT Bombay by the Indira Foundation of Connecticut, USA, founded by our distinguished alumnus - Mr. Avi Nash. This distinguished lecture series was instituted to invite speakers from various spheres of research to engage with a wide and diverse audience on interdisciplinary technical areas of interest. These lectures have potential for outreach and impact transcending knowledge in niche research areas. 

Some of the talks given by these eminent personalities include:

  • Prof. George Church from Harvard Medical School,
  • Prof. Uriel Frisch from the University of Nice,
  • Prof. Avi Wigderson, Professor at the School of Mathematics, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, 
  • Prof. Howard Stone, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, on Beauty and Surprises in Fluid Mechanics: Nature, Research – October 2017 
  • Prof. Michael B. Jordan, Professor, Department of Electrical Engg. And Computer Science, University of California at Berkeley on Machine Learning: Dynamical, Statistical and Economic Perspectives October 2019
  • Prof. Billie Spencer Jr. - on Advances in Computer Vision-based Civil Infrastructure Inspection and Monitoring – October 2018 

 

Radhika Rajan Women Leadership Lecture series 

Radhika Rajan Women Leadership Lecture series that is held annually at our Institute. This lecture series is organised with the generous support of Ms. Radhika Rajan, an alum from our class of 1970. The Radhika Rajan Women Leadership Lecture is well attended by students and faculty members belonging to various departments and centres in our Institute. We also invite academic leaders, distinguished corporate leaders, and several industry professionals to attend this lecture. In the previous years, we have had the privilege of hosting inspirational women leaders such as Ms. Rohini Nilekani and Ms. Santosh Yadav.  This year we have had Ms. Manjeet Hirani talking on “How to be HUMAN”.

 

Radhika Rajan: Graduating Year: 1977 Graduating Degree: M.Sc. Department: Physics

Current Occupation: 

At present, Radhika Rajan is Executive Vice President at DSP Investments, and heads DSP Investments, the umbrella company of the Kothari Family Office, in Mumbai. She is also a Non-Executive Independent Director of Sonata Software. Ms. Rajan is a results-focused financial-market professional with over 25 years of profit-responsible experience, primarily in New York. She is a US citizen and long-term resident of New York who relocated to India a few years ago. Radhika has focused on India as an investment destination since 1999, when she became the New York based Executive Vice-President of Mphasis, an Indo-US IT services startup, which is now a leading IT services company. Prior to joining the Fund, she advised TCG and several other private equity groups on various companies and proposed investments in the US-India corridor. Before 1999, Ms. Rajan worked as a global macro proprietary trader at JP Morgan (formerly Chemical Bank), Itochu, UBS, Bank of America and Bank of Montreal where she created and managed several profitable trading structures. As a global macro trader, she traded and took proprietary positions in a range of currencies, cash and options, in interest rate and commodity futures and in derivatives, with a focus on emerging markets.

 

She serves on the Boards of several Indian companies, such as Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL), Tata Sikorsky Aerospace, Tata Lockheed, TAS-AGT, Nova Integrated, Sonata Software, and Sonata IT Limited. Post-graduation, she did her MBA from IIM Ahmedabad. She was a National Science Talent scholar through her undergraduate and graduate years.