Subhash Kak (Hindi: सुभाष काक; Subhāṣ Kāk) (born March 26, 1947 in Srinagar, Kashmir) is an Indian American computer scientist. He is Regents Professor and a previous Head of Computer Science Department at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater who has made contributions to cryptography, neural networks, and quantum information. He is also notable for his Indological publications on history, the philosophy of science, ancient astronomy, and the history of mathematics.
- 1 Life
- 2 Kak neural network
- 3 Kak's three-stage protocol
- 4 Indological publications
- 5 Philosophy
- 6 Books
- 7 See also
- 8 Notes
- 9 External links
Subhash Kak completed his BE from NIT Srinagar and Ph.D. at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi in 1970. He taught there. During 1975-1976, he was a visiting faculty at Imperial College, London, and a guest researcher at Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill. In 1977, he was a visiting researcher at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bombay. In 1979 joined Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge where he was the Donald C. and Elaine T. Delaune Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. In 2007, he joined the Computer Science department at Oklahoma State University.
His research in the fields of cryptography, random sequences, artificial intelligence, and information theory have been published in peer-reviewed journals. He proposed a test of algorithmic randomness and a type of instantaneously trained neural networks (INNs) (which he and his students have called "CC4 network" and others have called "Kak neural networks"). He claims to be amongst the first to apply information metrics to quantum systems. He was featured as one of the pioneers of quantum learning in the journal Neuroquantology edited by Cheryl Fricasso and Stanley Krippner.
Kak has argued that there are limits to the intelligence machines can have and it cannot equal biological intelligence. He asserts that:
- "...machines fall short on two counts as compared to brains. Firstly, unlike brains, machines do not self-organize in a recursive manner. Secondly, machines are based on classical logic, whereas Nature's intelligence may depend on quantum mechanics."
- "[Further], if machines with consciousness are created, they would be living machines, that is, variations on life forms as we know them. Second, the material world is not causally closed, and consciousness influences its evolution. Matter and minds complement each other."
Kak neural network
The Kak neural network, also called the CC4 network is an instantaneously trained neural network that creates a new "hidden neuron" for each training sample, achieving immediate training for binary data. The training algorithm for binary data creates links to the new hidden node that simply reflects the binary values in the training vector. Hence, no computation is involved.
Kak's three-stage protocol
Kak's writings concerning the astronomy of the Vedic period in his book The Astronomical Code of the Rigveda (1994) support the "Out of India" theory, questioning mainstream views on the Indo-Aryan migration and the nature of early Indian science. His chronology and astronomical calculations have been opposed by several Indologists (such as Michael Witzel) and Western historians (such as Kim Pfloker),. Kak's interpretation has been included in recent overviews of astronomy in the Vedic period in India and the West.
The Astronomical Code of the Rigveda and Archaeoastronomy
The Astronomical Code of the Rigveda (New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan, 1994; revised and enlarged edition, New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal, 2000) claims regularities in the organization of the Rigveda, connecting the structure to certain numbers in the astronomy-based ritual of the five-layered brick altars of the Vedic times.
Kak's archaeoastronomical claims have the effect of significantly extending the Vedic period, postulating the arrival of Indo-Aryan speakers to the 7th millennium BC. This claim is in contradiction with mainstream Indology and historical linguistics and science historians
Kak arranges the number of hymns in each book of the Rigveda as follows, and compares the arrangement to a Vedic fire altar:
He then computes various sums and subtractions within the diagram, finding numbers related to the distance between the Earth and the Sun, and the sidereal periods of various planets. According to Klaus Klostermaier, "Subhash Kak, with his 'decoding of the Rigveda' has opened up an entirely new approach to the study of Vedic cosmology from an empirical astronomical/mathematical viewpoint."
Kak's method depends on the structure of the Rigveda as redacted by Shakalya in the late Brahmana period as opposed to the intrinsic content in the oldest portions of the text. Specifically, Witzel (2001) believes that Kak's approach relates to the organizations of the Rigveda into mandalas ("books"), a process of redaction undertaken by the shakhas long after the composition of the individual hymns (the samhita prose period, dating to well within the Indian Iron Age), rendering the attempt to date the text in this flawed. Other scholars like Meera Nanda have said that Kak's "method is breathtakingly ad hoc and reads like numerology 101."
Kak prepared the section on archaeoastronomical sites in India for the thematic study on Heritage Sites of Astronomy and Archaeoastronomy in the context of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention prepared for UNESCO by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and the International Astronomical Union (IAU).
In Search of the Cradle of Civilization
Kak claimed to be the first to have used the term "quantum neural computing", taking a Quantum mind position not unlike that notably proposed by Roger Penrose in The Emperor's New Mind which was published in 1989. He sees the brain as a machine that reduces the infinite possibilities of a "quantum-like universal consciousness", which is a consequence of the "recursive nature of reality".
Kak's "philosophy of recursionism" is expounded in his books The Gods Within, The Architecture of Knowledge, and The Prajna Sutra. Kak contributes to the Project of History of Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture.
In The Architecture of Knowledge, Kak talks about quantum mechanics, neuroscience, computers, and consciousness. The book is one of the twenty planned monographs in the multi-volume series on the Project of History of Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture under the general editorship of Professor D. P. Chattopadhyaya.
The book seeks to find a consistent framework for knowledge in logic, purpose, and awareness, and sees science as representation and transformation of machines, of reality, and of life. Reality is seen in different layers, and
- "with the dual aspects of purposive and reflexive behaviour in each layer, we see parallels in the structures in quantum theory, neuroscience, and computers. The overarching unity is provided by human consciousness. As conscious subjects, we examine the universe through the agency of our minds. In our strivings to describe the outer world using formal knowledge, shadows of the architecture of the inner world are also unveiled."
- The Nature of Physical Reality, Peter Lang Pub Inc, 1986, ISBN 0-8204-0310-5 25th Anniversary Edition
- Patanjali and Cognitive Science (1987) Second edition, OSU
- India at Century's End, South Asia Books / Voice of India, (1994) ISBN 81-85990-14-X
- Georg Feuerstein, Subhash Kak, David Frawley, In Search of the Cradle of Civilization, Ill: Quest Books, (1995, 2001) ISBN 0-8356-0741-0.
- The Astronomical Code of the Rigveda; Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd (2000), ISBN 81-215-0986-6 Third edition, OSU
- Computing Science in Ancient India; Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd (2001)
- The Wishing Tree: The Presence and Promise of India, Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd (2001), ISBN 81-215-1032-5
- The Gods Within: Mind, Consciousness and the Vedic Tradition, Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd (2002) ISBN 81-215-1063-5
- The Asvamedha: The Rite and Its Logic, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, (2002) ISBN 81-208-1877-6
- "The Prajna Sutra: Aphorisms of Intuition", 2003; DK Printworld, 2007. ISBN 81-246-0410-X
- The Architecture of Knowledge: Quantum Mechanics, Neuroscience, Computers and Consciousness, Manohar Pubns, 2004, ISBN 81-87586-12-5
- "Recursionism and Reality: Representing and Understanding the World", 2005.
- Advances in Communications and Signal Processing, Springer-Verlag, 1989. (with W.A. Porter).
- Advances in Computing and Control, Springer-Verlag, 1989. (with W.A. Porter and J.L. Aravena).
- Consciousness and the universe : quantum physics, evolution, brain & mind, Cosmology Science Publishers, 2011. (with Roger Penrose and Stuart Hameroff) ISBN 9780982955208, ISBN 0982955200
- The Conductor of the Dead, Writers Workshop (1973) ASIN: B0007AGFHA
- The London Bridge, Writers Workshop, Kolkata, 1977.
- The secrets of Ishbar: Poems on Kashmir and other landscapes, Vitasta (1996) ISBN 81-86588-02-7
- "Ek Taal, Ek Darpan" (Hindi), Raka, Allahabad, 1999.
- "The Chinar Garden", 2002.
- "Mitti ka Anuraag" (Hindi), 2007.
- Usha Akella's feature: http://www.thehindu.com/features/magazine/the-renaissance-man/article5478590.ece
- Departmental directory, OSU
- Terry Ritter, Randomness tests
- S. Kak, "On quantum numbers and uncertainty," Nuovo Cimento, 34B, 530-534, 1976.
- S. Kak, Encryption and error-correction coding using D sequences. IEEE Transactions on Computers, C-34: 803-809, 1985. Watermarking using decimal sequencesDecimal sequence based random number generator
- Sokal, Alan (2006). "Pseudoscience and Postmodernism: Antagonists or Fellow-Travelers?". In Garrett G. Fagan (ed.). Archaeological fantasies: how pseudoarchaeology misrepresents the past and misleads the public. Routledge. p. 317. ISBN 978-0-415-30593-8.
- S. Kak, Active agents, intelligence and quantum computing. Information Sciences, vol. 128, 1-17, 2000.
- S. Kak, Artificial and biological intelligence. ACM Ubiquity, Volume 6, Issue 42, 2005.
- A. Shortt et al, Optical implementation of the Kak neural network. Information Sciences, vol. 171, 2005, pp. 273-287 
- S. Kak, New algorithms for training feedforward neural networks. Pattern Recognition Letters 15, 1994, pp. 295-298; S. Kak, On generalization by neural networks. Information Sciences 111, 1998, pp. 293-302.   
- S. Kak, “A Three-Stage Quantum Cryptography Protocol,” Foundations of Physics Letters 19 (2006), 293-296. Trusted certificates in quantum cryptography Implementing the three stage protocol Classical authentication aided three stage protocol
- Multi-Photon Approach in Quantum Cryptography Implemented
- Witzel, Michael (2001), "Autochthonous Aryans? The Evidence from Old Indian and Iranian Texts", Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies 7 (3), 70-71, retrieved 13 Feb 2013
- Kim Plofker, Review of Kak (1994), Centaurus 38 (1996), 362-364
- In Govind Chandra Pande, "The Dawn of Indian Civilization". CSC, New Delhi, 2000.
- In S. Wolpert (ed.), "Encyclopedia of India." Scribner's, 2005.
- Klaus Klostermaier, A Survey of Hinduism, Second Edition. State University of New York Press, 1995, pp. 129.
- Nanda, Meera (2003). Prophets facing backward: postmodern critiques of science and Hindu nationalism in India. Rutgers University Press. p. 112. ISBN 978-0-8135-3358-2.
- Kak, Subhash (2010), "India", in Ruggles, Clive; Cotte, Michel, Heritage Sites of Astronomy and Archaeoastronomy in the context of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention: A Thematic Study, Paris: ICOMOS / IAU, pp. 99–107, ISBN 978-2-918086-07-9
- Edwin Bryant, The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture: The Indo-Aryan Migration Debate. Oxford University Press, 2001.
- The Asvamedha: The Rite and Its Logic, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, (2002) ISBN 81-208-1877-6.
- In Advances in Imaging and Electron Physics, vol. 94, pp. 259-313, 1995
- Karl H. Pribram and Robert King (eds.), Learning and Self-Organization, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1996, 185-219.
- The Architecture of Knowledge(2004, ISBN 81-87586-12-5) (page 299)
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- Subhash Kak at Kavita Kosh (Hindi)
- OSU homepage
- Publications on Physics and Computer Science in the ArXiv.org e-print archive