Oswego professor to build partnership with University of Delhi

SUNY Oswego physics professor Shashi Kanbur plans to travel to India this spring to open a new collaboration in Delhi for course development in astrophysics and research in realms including the evolution of stars.

Kanbur recently received a travel award of up to $4,000 from the Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum and the American Physical Society to make the trip to the University of Delhi.

One of Kanbur’s objectives is to develop and teach a two-week course on statistical methods to graduate and undergraduate students at Delhi, with emphasis on stellar evolution, the Extra-Galactic Distance Scale and cosmology. Kanbur and his students have spent years using data and observations to study the size and age of the universe.

With the assistance of professor Harinder Singh of Delhi, Kanbur also plans to construct software for the automated classification of variable stars, to develop a joint online course between SUNY Oswego and the University of Delhi, and to draft a grant proposal to the National Science Foundation to assist in taking American students to India for summer research.

A long-term goal is to establish Delhi as a research partnership in SUNY Oswego’s Global Laboratory program, Kanbur said. The Global Laboratory offers students hands-on, immersive problem-solving opportunities in international laboratories in promising fields of study such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

There are two Global Laboratory sites in India, at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore and the University of Calcutta, as well as in Brazil, Congo, Costa Rica, Republic of Korea, Taiwan and more. For more information on Oswego’s Global Laboratory program, visit oswego.edu/globallaboratory.

Kanbur said that time-domain astrophysics “is in the midst of a dramatic increase in the quality, volume and cadence” of variable-star data. In proposing the new collaboration, he wrote, “This increase in data quantity and quality has produced a significant interest in statistical methods of extracting stellar parameters from observed light curves.”

His trip is tentatively scheduled for April.

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(Posted: Jan 30, 2013)

Tags: shashi kanbur, science, physics, india, global laboratory, global laboratories, astronomy