Alumnus Wins MIT Technovator Award
Clark School alumnus Dr. Balaji Sampath, a former student of Professor K. J. Ray Liu (ECE/ISR) in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and the Institute for Systems Research, was awarded the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Indus Technovator Award for his work with the Association for India's Development (AID), a non-profit, volunteer organization committed to promoting sustainable, equitable and just development in India, particularly at the country’s grassroots.
As a graduate student at the Clark School, Sampath was instrumental in expanding AID's chapter base to many cities across the U.S. Upon completing his Ph.D. in 1997, he returned to India as an AID Fellow. Based in Chennai, Dr. Sampath works with the Tamil Nadu Science Forum, particularly in the areas of community health, education initiatives and women's savings groups.
"After graduating from Maryland, Balaji had some good opportunities in the U.S., but he went back to India without regret," said Professor Liu. "He believed someone had to do something to help those unfortunate people. I am very glad that he has been recognized for his work."
Among its many accomplishments, Dr. Sampath’s AID-team has created a mathematical model for malnutrition studies from data gathered as part of the Arrogya Iyyakam project. In each block of about 30 villages, the health needs of about 30,000 families are addressed. This project was recently judged one of the ten best projects in the world by UNICEF.
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January 20, 2006