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Shrinivas R. Kulkarni FRS (born 1956) is a professor of astrophysics and planetary science at California Institute of Technology. He is on the Space Interferometry Mission science team and is the director of optical observatories at California Institute of Technology, including Palomar and Keck. He is also the Jury Chair for the Infosys Prize 2013 for the discipline of Physical Sciences.
Shrinivas Ramchandra Kulkarni was born in the small town of Kurundwad on October 4, 1956 in southern Maharashtra and had his early education in Hubballi, Karnataka, India. He obtained his MS in Physics from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi in 1978, and his PhD at the University of California, Berkeley in 1983, and later became a professor at California Institute of Technology. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, London, in 2001, one of only ten living Indian born scientists to do so. He was elected to be member of National Academy of Science in 2003. He has received many awards including the NSF's Alan T. Waterman award in 1992 and the Helen B. Warner Prize from the American Astronomical Society in 1991.
Kulkarni is known for shifting between different fields within astronomy, using wide range of wavelength in observation. He started off his career as a radio astronomer. He studied molecular clouds and discovered four arms of milky way galaxy. He was a member of the team that discovered the first millisecond pulsar, PSR B1937+21. He discovered the first optical counterpart of binary pulsars, and the first Globular cluster pulsar. He was a member of the team that showed that soft-gamma-ray repeaters are super-nova remnants. His team showed in 1997 that gamma-ray bursts came from extragalactic sources, and identified optical counterparts. This work led to the detailed studies of the sources of gamma-ray bursts. He was also a member of the team that observed first Brown dwarf, Gliese 229. His current work involves Palomar Transient Factory which has succeeded in finding a new type of object.
- Personal webpage
- An accomplished observer Frontline - Oct. 27 - Nov. 09, 2001
- A Star Called Kulkarni Rediff - August 19, 2003
- Nature Podcast 24 May 2007 - Nature
- Kulkarni Inducted Into The Royal Society, 2001