Endowment reward for string theorists

9 December 2003

String theory in India recently received an unexpected boost when Jeffrey Epstein, a billionaire based in New York, gave string theorists associated with the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Mumbai a cheque for $100,000 (€86,200). The money will be managed by the Physics Department of Harvard University as a “TIFR String Theory Travel Fund”. Andrew Strominger of Harvard, who facilitated the gift, said that this team has “the highest intellectual output per dollar of any such group in the world”. A strong collaboration between the Physics Department at Harvard and TIFR is expected to begin when the young string theorist Shiraz Minwalla of Harvard joins the TIFR in 2004.

The gift is a real reward for the Indian string theorists who have made sustained and influential contributions to the subject of string theory over many years. Important contributions are in the areas of string dualities, black-hole physics, matrix models and cosmology.

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