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Indian-American chosen as 'Scientist of the Year'

September 08, 2006 21:08 IST

Indian-American Abhijit Mahalanobis, who developed vital 'pattern recognition' components in missile defence system for the US Army, has been chosen as 'Scientist of the Year' by the prestigious Emerald Honors that recognises contributions by minority scientists.

Besides Mahalanobis, a fellow of Lockheed Martin, several Indian-American scientists would recieve the awards instituted by Science Spectrum magazine, to be given away on September 16 at Baltimore Convention Center in Maryland.

They include Ashok Kumar of the Army Corps of Engineers, Venkatesh Krishnan of Eli Lilly, Dharmendra Jani of Bausch and Lomb and Anil Duggal of GE Global Research Center.

Assam-born Mahalanobis, who works in Lockheed Martin's Missiles and Fire Control division, was roped in by the Defence Department to solve the problem of wrong targetting by computerised missile batteries.

He looked at the way things moved and developed algorithms to analyse major joints of people and animals, which eventually led to the development of patern recognition system.

His Automatic Target Recognition system has become the plinth of the land-based missile and fire control defence of the US Army and has set a standard for all future military computer recognition systems, Science Spectrum said in a writeup about the scientist.

He wrote the book Correlation Pattern Recognition, which serves as the primary text for the defence industry, earned three patents in the field, and was elevated to the rank of fellow at Lockheed Martin, the Society of Photo- Optical Instrumentation Engineers, and the Optical Society of America, it said.

Sridhar Krishnaswami in Washington
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