Prof. Kavita Ramanan
B.Tech., 1992, Chemical Engineering

Prof. Kavita Ramanan is a Professor of Applied Mathematics at the Brown University. She obtained her B.Tech. degree in Chemical Engineering from IIT Bombay in 1992 and M.Sc. in Applied Mathematics from Brown University in 1993.

Prof. Ramanan obtained her PhD in Applied Mathematics from Brown University in 1998 and was subsequently a post-doctoral fellow at the Technion in Haifa, Israel. She then worked as a member of technical staff at the Mathematical Sciences Center at Bell Laboratories before returning to academia as Associate Professor at the Mathematical Sciences Department of Carnegie Mellon University. She moved to Brown University as Professor of Applied Mathematics, where she has served as the Director of Graduate Studies and Associate Chair. She was made the Roland Dwight George Richardson University Professor of Applied Mathematics in 2018.

Prof. Ramanan’s research interest lies in the field of probability theory, stochastic processes and their applications. She has pioneered new mathematical techniques for the study of networks of randomly evolving interacting processes and the development of tractable approximations that provides insight into a range of random phenomena arising in wireless communications, chemical reaction networks, the spread of diseases, neuronal networks and phase transitions in statistical physics. She has also made fundamental contributions to the theory of large deviations, which allows one to estimate probabilities of rare events, and its applications to high-dimensional data analysis and asymptotic convex geometry.

Prof. Ramanan is passionate about outreach, and founded the Math CoOp, a group that develops open-access math presentations for students at all levels, ranging from elementary school to undergraduates. She is also on the American Mathematical Society’s Student Mathematics Library Editorial Committee as a corresponding editor for the mathematics magazine ‘Bhavana’. She is the faculty founder of the Student Chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics at Brown University, which seeks to encourage and provide support to underrepresented students interested in the mathematical sciences.

She has four patents to her name and currently serves as the Deputy Director of the Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics (ICERM) in Providence, Rhode Island. She also serves on the scientific advisory boards of ICERM and the OxfordImperial Centre for Doctoral training, and is an elected member of the Executive council of the Association for Women in Mathematics.

Prof. Ramanan is elected Fellow of Institute of Mathematical Statistics (2013); American Mathematical Society (2018); Institute for Operations Research and the Management Science (2018); and American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (2019). She has been awarded a Simons Fellowship – 2018; the IMS Medallion Lecture – 2015; the Erlang Prize from the Applied Probability Society of INFORMS for “Outstanding contributions to applied 17 probability” in 2006. She has also won the Stella Dafermos award in 1996 and was granted the Simon Ostrach Fellowship (1995-96).

Special Memories

"Down IITB Nostalgia Lane - Playing basketball on bright floodlit courts at night. chasing lizards out of rooms of friends in a fright, running around the lake with hyenas howling, aware there may also be a leopard prowling, traveling to Delhi for an Inter-IIT meet, sitting atop the train instead of in my seat, riding the lows of a loss, the highs of a win, attending X'mas mass in church with coach Edwin, being inspired by UVS' teaching style, not getting much from "Glassblowing" in the meanwhile! How ahead of its times, not fully appreciating, was Prof. H. S. Shankar's work on vermicomposting. Nor Mukhopadhyay's largesse did I recognize in instituting for women in Chem Engg. a prize, though enjoying her class, as well as that of Prof. Khakhar, Suresh, Desai, Kelkar and the kind Juvekar. Last, but not least, building strong bonds with friends, chatting into the wee hours discussing world trends, laughing and creating memories I still relish, their continuedfriendships I still deeply cherish"