Vandana Tilak Joins Akshaya Patra USA Board of Directors

Aug 18, 2016 0

Stoneham, MA – Vandana Tilak, Los Angeles Chapter Chair, Ayurveda practitioner and long-time supporter of Akshaya Patra has joined the Akshaya Patra USA Board of Directors. In this role, Tilak will continue her crucial work of spreading and growing awareness about Akshaya Patra in all 13 Chapters in the US and in India, building on the organization’s expansion plans via new kitchens and the number of children served.

Vandana Tilak

Vandana Tilak

Akshaya Patra operates the world’s largest school meal program, serving 1.5 million children daily in 10 states in India from 24 kitchen locations and is continually expanding to reach its objective to serve 5 million children.  Akshaya Patra recently celebrated its 2 billionth meal served since inception.

Commenting on her new role, Tilak stated, “It is an honor and a privilege to serve India’s children by joining the Board of Directors of Akshaya Patra USA.” Akshaya Patra USA’s Los Angeles Chapter, held a benefit dinner on August 6th to honor Manu and Rika Shah who donated over $1 million towards a new kitchen in Bhuj, India.

Emily Rosenbaum, CEO of Akshaya Patra USA welcomed Tilak, saying, “Vandana works for the children like no one else I have ever known. She wakes up every day thinking about the cause, the children and their hopes and dreams.”

Chairman of Akshaya Patra USA’s Board of Directors, Desh Deshpande added, “Akshaya Patra is very fortunate to have a caring, compassionate, and genuine leader like Vandana Tilak in our organization. Her dedication shows through in all of her hard work, all of her interactions, and everything she does to help move Akshaya Patra to the next level.”

Akshaya Patra’s hot, fresh school meals have been linked to increased school enrollment, and improved health and academic performance for the disadvantaged children attending India’s government schools.

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Infer Launches Industry’s First Predictive Account-Based Behavior Scoring

Aug 17, 2016 0

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.–Infer Inc., a provider of predictive technologies, launched an advanced account behavior scoring offering, which helps companies accelerate revenue generation by supercharging their account-based marketing (ABM) programs.

“Our newest predictive models empower sales and marketing teams with previously unattainable ABM metrics that show which accounts – and specifically which contacts at each account – are expressing the highest levels of marketing engagement,” said Vik Singh, co-founder and CEO of Infer. “We deliver this unprecedented transparency by using advanced machine learning to produce crystal-clear predictions that make it even easier for any business to identify whitespace gaps in its pipeline and find high-potential target accounts that deserve more attention sooner rather than later.”

Vik Singh

Vik Singh

This latest predictive innovation bolsters a company’s ABM strategies and tactics by helping to identify marketing-qualified accounts (MQAs), drive engagement with the right people at the right times, gather faster feedback on ABM programs, and measure pipeline acceleration. Infer’s Account-Based Behavior Scoring brings valuable account engagement insight right into a company’s CRM system, so that go-to-market teams can easily see which people are showing increased activity, and then pinpoint accounts that are predicted to buy a particular product within a set time period (i.e. the next three weeks). As a result, marketers can analyze the quality of their ABM campaigns in real-time and use this information to continuously test-and-invest various content, brand assets, channels and initiatives.

Founded in 2010, Infer delivers a predictive-first platform that helps companies win more customers. It leverages proven data science to rapidly model the untapped data sitting in enterprises, along with thousands of signals from the web. Customers include several large enterprises and numerous high growth companies like AdRoll, Atlassian, Cloudera, Concur, New Relic, Tableau, Xactly and Zendesk. Headquartered in Mountain View, California, Infer is funded by leading investors, including Redpoint Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Social+Capital Partnership, Sutter Hill Ventures and Nexus Venture Partners.

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Mercer and Accolade form alliance to help navigate the complexities of the healthcare system

Aug 13, 2016 0

SEATTLE–Mercer, a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, and Accolade, an on-demand healthcare concierge for employers, health plans and health systems, have launched Mercer Complete Care, powered by Accolade, a comprehensive, high-touch healthcare engagement and clinical management solution, according to a company statement.

“We build trusting relationships with members unlike any other healthcare organization, and the results are smarter healthcare decisions and better health outcomes,” said Rajeev Singh, Accolade’s CEO. “Mercer is a trusted advisor to top employers all over the country and our alliance is a strong endorsement of our proven solution. We share the vision that consumer engagement is driven by a combination of compassion, science and technology and we’re thrilled to work together to make Mercer Complete Care an industry-leading solution.”

Rajeev Singh (Photo:  Accolade)

Rajeev Singh (Photo: Accolade)

The need for employers to offer their employees a trusted person to support them through the healthcare system is underscored by the fact that 80 percent percent of consumers say they would value this type of service yet only a little more than half (56 percent) of large employer programs include even a basic advocacy solution, the statement said.

Mercer Complete Care unifies the clinical resources and expertise of both organizations, bringing together Accolade’s technology platform, support infrastructure and Accolade Health Assistants® with Mercer’s program design, implementation and clinical oversight. Consumers using Mercer Complete Care simply contact an Accolade Health Assistant via the phone, mobile application or online to address their questions and begin their relationship. The program is employer–sponsored, compatible with most insurance carrier(s) and will contain performance guarantees related to return on investment.

Accolade Health Assistants will serve as a single point of contact to help Mercer Complete Care members navigate the complexities of the healthcare system and access the providers and services available to them through their benefits. The Health Assistants work closely with a team of nurses, doctors, pharmacists, social workers and behavioral and other specialists who support members as they receive their care from their own providers. Accolade’s open technology platform integrates with other technology and healthcare point solutions to drive market-leading utilization and engagement levels across the entire healthcare ecosystem.

“We are very excited to combine healthcare engagement and clinical management into one comprehensive solution,” said Mercer’s Jim McNary, North America Region Business Leader for Health & Benefits. “We believe Mercer Complete Care is a truly unique advocacy and clinical management model for the complex and fast-moving health care environment that all of our clients, and their employees, find themselves in today.”

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Intercontinental Exchange Launches ICE Swap for Trading Credit Default Swaps

Aug 13, 2016 0

NEW YORK–Intercontinental Exchange, an operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services, announced the launch of ICE Swap, a platform for trading cleared single name credit default swaps (CDS) in a central limit order book, the company announced.

ICE Swap leverages Creditex’s electronic trading technology and consolidates orders from both buy- and sell-side market participants to create a pool of liquidity for single name CDS.

Krishan Singh

Krishan Singh

“ICE Swap is the only single name CDS platform offering cleared-only liquidity across the credit spectrum while extending established electronic trading protocols to the entire CDS market,” said Krishan Singh, President of ICE Swap Trade. “We’re pleased that a number of trades have already been executed by both the sell-side and buy-side in the first few days post launch. We worked closely with a range of participants to optimize our protocols to improve liquidity, transparency, and confidence in this important market.”

ICE Swap is the first platform to include several innovative features, including both anonymous and ‘name give up’ execution in the same order book, meaning that participants can choose to reveal their identity after the trade is consummated. It also has full pre- to post-trade connectivity, including pre-trade credit checks and direct-to-clearing workflow.

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Carrum Health Named Finalist in Harvard Business School-Harvard Medical School Health Acceleration Challenge

Aug 12, 2016 0

BOSTON– The Forum on Health Care Innovation, a collaboration between Harvard Business School (HBS) and Harvard Medical School (HMS), announced the four finalists in its Health Acceleration Challenge, which focuses on taking compelling, already-implemented health care solutions and helping them to grow and increase their impact through powerful networking and funding opportunities.

One of the finalists is Carrum Health, which is founded by Sachin Jain. Carrum Health directly connects self-insured employers to top-quality regional healthcare providers through the industry’s first comprehensive bundled payment solution. Jain founded Carrum Health in San Francisco in 2013. Prior to that, he served as a management consultant Booz & Company.

Sachin Jain

Sachin Jain

Addicaid, Carrum Health, Ochsner Health System, and Radial Analytics emerged as the 2016 finalists in the challenge. The finalists will share $150,000 in prize money now, with an additional $50,000 going to the eventual winner, who will be named a year from now, after the four finalists have pursued their dissemination plans. All of them will become the subject of an HBS case study.

Since its launch in 2014, the Health Acceleration Challenge has received over 600 applications and attracted more than 25,000 online visitors from 29 countries.

The 2016 Health Acceleration Challenge finalists are:

Addicaid: An addiction wellness platform for patients, payers, and providers.

Carrum Health: Rationalizing cost and quality in healthcare…bundle by bundle.

Ochsner Health System: A technology-enabled and precision-based model of care to conveniently and proactively manage the nation’s most prevalent chronic condition.

Radial Analytics: An evidence-driven decision support platform to help hospitals reduce post-acute costs for shared-risk patients while improving outcomes.

A team of 24 judges–a mix of clinicians, health care professionals, and academics–specializing in health care and innovation, reviewed the applications. Applications were rated based on the three Challenge criteria of impact, evidence, and dissemination, and given an overall score to create a short list of 21 innovations. These 21 innovations went through additional rounds of judging to identify 7 ‘shortlisted’ candidates and, ultimately, 4 strong finalists.

The funding for the Health Acceleration Challenge was provided by a generous gift from Howard E. Cox, Jr. (MBA 1969), a former general partner and now advisory partner in one of the country’s first and most successful venture capital firms, Greylock Partners, and a member of both the HBS Healthcare Initiative Advisory Board and the HMS Board of Fellows. During his long and distinguished career, Cox has been involved in the funding and development of many successful healthcare ventures.

“Health care delivery often suffers from extreme fragmentation and localization. This Challenge is a step in trying to change that,” said Cara Sterling, Director of the HBS Health Care Initiative. “It’s exciting to see innovations dealing with all different parts of the health care value chain. These ideas, and many others we received, have the potential to make a great impact on the U.S. health care system if scaled up in a dramatic way.”

The HBS-HMS Forum on Health Care Innovation is led by a steering committee composed of Sterling as well as MBA Class of 1961 Professor of Management Practice Richard G. Hamermesh and Albert J. Weatherhead III Professor of Business Administration Robert S. Huckman, all from Harvard Business School, and from Harvard Medical School, Dr. Barbara J. McNeil, Ridley Watts Professor and founding head of the Department of Health Care Policy, and Joseph P. Newhouse, John D. MacArthur Professor of Health Policy and Management.

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Microsoft most innovative place to work

Aug 12, 2016 0

San Francisco– Microsoft’s employees are more innovative than Apple’s, and Facebook’s staff are less creative than most tech workers, says a study led by Indian-origin entrepreneur.

The findings showed that Facebook lags behind the others in cultivating a culture of creativity. Microsoft employees are more innovative than those at Apple.

“The study data tell us that in terms of adventurousness, Microsoft employees tend to be neck-and-neck with Apple’s, and much more adventurous than Google, Facebook, or IBM employees,” Samar Birwadker, Founder and CEO of Good&CO, was quoted as saying to on Friday.

Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella

As a result of being among the first social media platforms on the Internet, Facebook may be considered among the most innovative companies in the world. However, its early successes have resulted in a more conservative effort to sustain them.

“They have (Facebook) always had that reputation [of being innovative], and I think that now becomes a subconscious thing, that Facebook is innovative, but the current place they are in as a business doesn’t require them to personally be innovative,” Birwadker said.

“They (Facebook) invented social networks, and there’s always been this layer of innovation,” Birwadker explained adding, “but with more pressure on revenue, and especially on mobile and advertisements, I think we are seeing a lot less risk taking and adventurousness by their employees.”

On the other hand, Microsoft is often perceived as less innovative, because the more established tech giant has lagged behind the growth of its competitors.

Microsoft has always made a lot of money doing things the right, traditional, organised way, the study said.

“But with the success of social platforms and companies like Google Microsoft realised that they need to focus on consumer first, whereas they have always been B2B,” Birwadker stated, pointing out that with the arrival of Microsoft’s latest CEO, Satya Nadella in 2014, this wave of innovative energy started.

Samar Birwadker

Samar Birwadker

Although the giants of the technology industry have a lock on employer branding by their quirky hiring practices, free food, and other perks that make work “fun”, the analysis of the personalities of their staffs presents a different picture.

Companies like IBM, Facebook and Google aren’t necessarily providing the working atmosphere that is reflected in their recruiting materials, the study showed.

“You can’t have 10 people in a boardroom deciding what the culture of the company is. It is defined by the people who already work there,” Birwadker noted, revealing that employees who discover that their company culture is different than advertised are more likely to leave.

In the study, published by Good&Co, the team analysed the psychometric data gained from anonymous personality quizzes completed by 4,364 tech employees of what they believe are perceived as the five most innovative companies in Silicon Valley: Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and IBM.

In total, the two-year-long study also analysed 10 million responses from 2,50,000 users. Questions ranged from thoughts and feelings about networking to how they handle problems at work.

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Prosecutors demand prison for 83-year-old dad of Indian-American Congressman

Aug 11, 2016 0

New York– Federal prosecutors are demanding a prison sentence for 83-year-old father of the embattled Indian American Congressman, Amerish Ami Bera, in an election funding fraud case, even though other officials have recommended only probation when the court decides the penalty next Thursday.

Assistant US Attorney Philip Ferrari wrote to the Sacramento federal court in California that because of “the serious nature” of his offence,” Babulal Bera did not deserve leniency, the Sacremento Bee newspaper reported.

Ami Bera-sizedBabulal Bera admitted in May before Judge Troy L. Nunley that he was guilty of election funding fraud.

The admission – or guilty plea – avoided a lengthy trial while his son, Ami Bera, the only Indian American in US Congress, faces a tough battle to retain his seat in the House of Representatives.

Ferrari wrote that the probation officer had said that sentencing guidelines called for a prison term of between three years, 10 months and four years, nine months but recommended that he serve no time in prison and pay a fine of only $30,200. The maximum sentence for the two offences that Babulal Bera admitted to would be five years for each of them.

Both the recommendations of the probation officer were challenged by Ferrrari, who said the prosecution would agree to a prison term less than the recommended guidelines but would not spare him incarceration, the newspaper said.

When Babulal Bera pleaded guilty in May, prosecutors had said that they would request only two-and-a-half years or less in prison.

The Califnornia Democrat Congressman is running against the influential local Republican Sheriff Scott Jones. In the 2014 election he narrowly defeated his then Republican rival, Doug Ose, by just 1,455 votes, a margin of less than one percent.

Babulal Bera has admitted that that he funnelled $268,726 in illegal contributions to his son’s election campaigns in 2009 and 2011. To circumvent the legal contribution limits, he had 90 people send in the money in smaller amounts in their names and then reimbursed them for what they gave.

The other participants in the fraud have not been charged or identified by the prosecutors.

Prosecutors have cleared Ami Bera of any involvement in the fraud, which he said was carried out by his father without his knowledge. The Congressaman told the Sacramento Bee, “I wish we knew what he was doing. I wish somebody had told me, because we would have put a stop to it.”

Ami Bera’s election adversary, Jones told newspaper that he found it difficult to require an 83-year-old man go to prison but doubted he acted alone.

Jones is himself facing allegations of making unwanted sexual advances towards a subordinate, the Sacramento Bee reported. The allegation surfaced in a case filed by four women employees against his department asserting that they had faced retaliation, the newspaper said.

Jones has denied the accusations. (IANS)

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Intel pays $400 million to acquire start-up run by Indian-American entrepreneur

Aug 10, 2016 0

San Francisco– Announcing a big foray into the world of artificial intelligence (AI), the chip giant Intel has acquired San Diego, California-based deep learning start-up Nervana Systems run by an Indian-origin entrepreneur.

Coming ahead of the Intel Developer Forum next week, the acquisition gives Intel a definitive head start towards advanced data analytics, computer vision, natural language processing and machine learning.

Although the financial details were not disclosed, according to a Re/Code report, the software giant is paying more than $400 million to buy Nervana led by former Qualcomm researcher Naveen Rao.

“We will apply Nervana’s software expertise to further optimise the Intel Math Kernel Library and its integration into industry standard frameworks,” Diane Bryant, Executive Vice President of Data Center Group at Intel, said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Nervana’s Engine and silicon expertise will advance Intel’s AI portfolio and enhance the deep learning performance and TCO of our Intel Xeon and Intel Xeon Phi processors,” she explained.

Intel processors power nearly 97 per cent of servers deployed to support machine learning workloads today.

“Nervana’s IP and expertise in accelerating deep learning algorithms will expand Intel’s capabilities in the field of AI,” Bryant added.

The Intel Xeon processor E5 family is the most widely deployed processor for deep learning inference and the recently launched Intel Xeon Phi processor delivers the scalable performance needed for deep learning training.

“While less than 10 per cent of servers worldwide were deployed in support of machine learning last year, the capabilities and insights it enables makes machine learning the fastest growing form of AI,” the Intel executive said.

Intel’s Diane Bryant with Nervana’s co-founders Naveen Rao, Arjun Bansal, Amir Khosrowshaki and Intel vice president Jason Waxman. (Photo: Intel)

Intel’s Diane Bryant with Nervana’s co-founders Naveen Rao, Arjun Bansal, Amir Khosrowshaki and Intel vice president Jason Waxman. (Photo: Intel)

“We will continue to invest in leading edge technologies that complement and enhance Intel’s AI portfolio,” she added.

Nervana recently raised $25 million in venture funding and also has a contract to work with In-Q-tel, the US intelligence community’s venture arm.

According to Rao, the deal did not reflect any hurdles in getting more capital to stay independent.

“Raising money was not the problem. That was going to be relatively easy but by selling to Intel we have access to technology we’d never dream about,” Rao was quoted as saying.

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Prescient Bags a New Contract With Trammell Crow for a Multi-Family Housing Project

Aug 10, 2016 0

ARVADA, Colo –Prescient, a Colorado-based software design, structural system manufacturing and installation company, announced its second Denver partnership with Trammell Crow Residential  for the Alexan 20th Street Station, a 12-story multi-family residential structure which will house 354 apartments in Denver.

The structure is located at 20th Street Station on 1.14 acres at 2014 California St. in Denver.

Satyen Patel

Satyen Patel

“The Prescient system is ideal for multi-family projects up to 16 stories,”  said Satyen Patel, chairman and CEO of Prescient.  “Apartment buildings, especially in urban infill settings, are ideal for the Prescient system. We are more cost-efficient than either concrete or wood, and our ability to trim months out of typical construction schedules means minimized neighborhood disruption and a faster path to revenue for developers.”

Prescient has completed a number of multi-family apartment projects throughout the country, including Colorado, Illinois, North Carolina and Nebraska, with another 15 planned through 2018. Prescient structures consist of steel posts, trusses and panels that are custom-manufactured using Prescient’s design software then shipped for on-site assembly. The system is a viable option for multi-family housing projects because it minimizes disruption in the areas surrounding the construction zone and reduces the need for rework, helping owners meet timelines and budgets.

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With $11 Million Gift From Indian-American Physicist Mani Bhaumik, UCLA Sets Fundraising Record With $664 Million

Aug 10, 2016 0

LOS ANGELES—With a gift of $11 million from Indian-American physicist Mani Bhaumik, University of California at Los Angeles, known as UCLA, shattered its fundraising record, receiving a total of $664 million in gifts and pledges in the fiscal year that ended June 30.

In India, Bhaumik’s rags-to-riches story has inspired generations of young people. He established the Mani Bhaumik Educational Foundation to support high-achieving Indian students and donated land for the proposed Bhaumik International Center for Advanced Research at the Indian Institute of Technology.

Mani Bhaumik (Photo: Alyssa Bierce)

Mani Bhaumik (Photo: Alyssa Bierce)

“Renowned physicist Mani Bhaumik, who was born into extreme poverty in a remote village in India, came to UCLA in 1959 “with $3 in my pocket” to continue his education on a Sloan Foundation postdoctoral fellowship,” UCLA said in a statement. “ His $11 million gift to the UCLA Division of Physical Sciences — the largest gift ever made to the division — will establish the Mani L. Bhaumik Institute for Theoretical Physics.”

The $664 million total broke the previous record high of $644 million set in 2014-15. UCLA raised $557 million in 2013–14 and $507 million in 2012–13. Including a private phase that began in July 2012, the Centennial Campaign has now raised more than $2.7 billion — 65 percent of its goal of $4.2 billion. The $4.2 billion campaign is scheduled to conclude in 2019 during UCLA’s 100th anniversary year.

The $11 million gift from Bhaumik, which was first announced by the university in June this year, will establish a center devoted to advancing knowledge of the basic laws of nature. The Mani L. Bhaumik Institute for Theoretical Physics is intended to become a world-leading center for theoretical physics research and intellectual inquiry.

Faculty, postdoctoral researchers and graduate students at the Bhaumik Institute will address unanswered questions in all areas of theoretical physics.

Theoretical physicists attempt to determine the action of the laws of nature by constructing mathematical models of physical systems and solving the equations that underlie those models, sometimes aided by computers. This is in contrast to another primary branch of physics, experimental physics, in which scientists use tools and instruments to perform measurements and uncover the behavior of natural systems. At the deepest level, theoretical physicists formulate the laws that govern the world in which we live.

“I thank Mani Bhaumik for his philanthropic leadership and for believing in UCLA,” said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said in a statement in June.  “He shares our goal of ensuring that UCLA remains vibrant, relevant, strong and among the best in the world.”

The Bhaumik Institute will host visiting scholars, organize seminars and conferences for the academic community, and begin a public outreach program to teach the community about scientific advances made by UCLA physicists.

Bhaumik rose from poverty to become an eminent scientist who played a key role in developing the laser technology that paved the way for Lasik eye surgery. He was born in a remote village in West Bengal, India, and as a child slept on rags in the thatched-roof mud hut he shared with his parents and six siblings.

“My family didn’t always know where our next meal would come from,” he said. “I didn’t own a pair of shoes until I was 16 and walked four miles to school and back in my bare feet.”

Life was made even more precarious by the struggle for Indian independence going on around him: Bhaumik’s father, a freedom fighter, was often away and spent time in prison for his revolutionary activities. But Mani Bhaumik’s dreams of a brighter future gave him the determination to obtain a good education, and his prodigious curiosity led him to become a scientist.

Studying under renowned physicist Satyendra Bose, he earned a master’s degree at the University of Calcutta. In 1958, Bhaumik became the first student to earn a doctorate, also in physics, from the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur.

Bhaumik came to UCLA in 1959 — “with $3 in my pocket,” he said — on a Sloan Foundation postdoctoral fellowship. The people of his village raised the money for his airfare.

“I thought I’d died and gone to heaven,” he said of his arrival on campus. “Everyone was treated equally, not like back at home where the poor were treated like dirt.”

In 1961, Bhaumik joined Xerox Electro-Optical Systems as a laser scientist. He later served as director of the laser technology laboratory at Northrop’s corporate research laboratory. In 1973, he announced the conclusive demonstration of the world’s first efficient excimer laser, a form of ultraviolet laser now commonly used for high-precision machining and for cutting biological tissue cleanly without damaging surrounding tissue.

Bhaumik is a fellow of the American Physical Society and of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and, in 2011, the Indian government awarded him the prestigious Padma Shri for distinguished service in science and engineering.

As a member of the UCLA Physical Sciences board of visitors, Bhaumik has witnessed declining funding for scientific research from state and federal government, particularly in the field of theoretical physics.

“It’s very difficult to raise funds for this area, because people don’t understand what theoretical physicists do,” Bhaumik said. “But physics holds the answers to the most fundamental questions of our very existence. Imagine what could be solved right here at UCLA.”

With previous donations to UCLA, he established the Mani L. Bhaumik Presidential Chair in Theoretical Physics and supported the work of a research group led by physics professor Zvi Bern.

He also has found creative ways to spark the public’s intellectual curiosity. He is the author of two books, “Code Name God” and “The Cosmic Detective,” and the creator of an award-winning animated TV series, “Cosmic Quantum Ray.”

“We are tremendously grateful to Mani for his vision and generosity,”  said Joseph Rudnick, dean of the physical sciences division. “It is through extraordinary gifts like this that the next big leaps will be made in science.”

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