Dr. Abhay Ashtekar
Penn State University, PA
Dr. Abhay Ashtekar (b. July 5, 1949, Maharasthara, India) is the director of the Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos, and holder of the Eberly Chair at Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Ashtekar received his PhD in Physics from the University of Chicago in 1974 and won the First Gravity Prize in 1977, in an annual international competition by the Gravity Research Foundation. He was awarded Doctor Rerum Naturalium Honoris Causa by the Friedrich-Schiller Universit at Jena, Germany in 2005 and by the Université de Aix-Marseille II, France in 2010. He is a former president of the International Society for General Relativity and Gravitation.
Dr. Ashtekar's research focuses on classical general relativity and quantum gravity. One of his most important contributions is the introduction of a new set of canonical variables, called Ashtekar variables, which provide the connection representation of canonical general relativity. This new set of variables led to the loop representation of quantum general relativity and, in turn, loop quantum gravity. He has given over 130 invited plenary talks at various conferences and workshops worldwide. He is a fellow of both the American Association for Advancement of Science and the American Physical Society, and is one of only 51 honorary fellows of the Indian Academy of Sciences drawn from the international community. He chairs the International Advisory Committee of the Indigo Consortium in connection with the LIGO-India initiative.
Dr. Astekar has been editor of several scientific publications and written a number of articles on a semi-popular level. He is on the editorial board of Scholarpedia.
For more information, see this webpage.