Program

4:00 PM - 4:45 PM Uma Ramakrishnan: How understanding tiger genomes can help save a species
4:45 PM - 5:30 PM Amritanshu Prasad: Securing information in the internet era
5:30 PM - 6:00 PMRefreshment Break
6:00 PM - 6:45 PM Yashwant Gupta: Reaching out to the stars
6:45 PM - 7:30 PM S. Krishnaswamy: Of molecular shapes and functions: the Madras contribution

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Speakers

Uma Ramakrishnan
National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bengaluru

How understanding tiger genomes can help save a species

Like many other charismatic species, tigers are headed towards extinction. Can scientists help save them? Studying the DNA of tigers can help us estimate their populations and track their movements across forests. Such studies, helped by recent technological advances like genome sequencing, shed light on the history of tigers as a species. They reveal that the Indian tiger holds the key to the survival of the species.

Amritanshu Prasad
The Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai

Securing information in the internet era

Cryptography, the science of transmitting coded messages, was once solely associated with spies and the transmission of military information during wartime. Today we routinely transmit sensitive information like banking passwords over the internet as coded messages. How is this information secured? How have the algorithms that we use to code and decode such information changed over the years? Will advances in mathematics and computer science make it easier to break these codes? Can they help us design stronger codes?

Yashwant Gupta
National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, Pune

Reaching out to the stars

Astronomy is among the oldest of sciences, star gazing being as old as man himself. How large is our universe? How is it evolving over time? We will take a tour through the vast expanses of the Universe, starting with the tools we use to study the cosmos and moving on to some of the secrets that our explorations have revealed. We will see how the different branches of astronomy have evolved, and how they complement each other, as well as what keeps astronomers busy through the nights (and days).

S. Krishnaswamy
The Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai

Of molecular shapes and functions: the Madras contribution

We are all composed of molecules: proteins, nucleic acids, fats, and carbohydrates, among others. How do these molecules function? Are their shapes and functions related? Can molecules take any sort of shape? How can we answer these questions? And, finally, what does all this have to do with Madras?

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