Shrinivas Kulkarni is the George Ellery Hale Professor of Astronomy at the California Institute of Technology. He served as Executive Officer for Astronomy (1997-2000) and Director of Caltech Optical Observatories for the period 2006-2018. He was recognized by Cornell University with an AD White Professor-at-Large appointment. Kulkarni received an honorary doctorate from the Radboud University of Nijmegen. He is the Chair of the Physical Sciences panel of the Infosys Science Foundation.
Career and awards
Kulkarni obtained his undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and his PhD from UC Berkeley. He served a brief period as a postdoc at UC Berkeley and Caltech before joining the faculty rank at Caltech in 1987. His awards include the Alan T. Waterman Prize of the NSF, a fellowship from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, a Presidential Young Investigator award from the NSF, the Helen B. Warner award of the American Astronomical Society, the Janksy Prize of Associated Universities, Inc and the Dan David Prize.
Kulkarni is a fellow or member of the following learned societies: the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the Royal Society of London, the US National Academy of Sciences, Indian Academy of Sciences and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).
Professor Kulkarni's primary interests are the study of compact objects (neutron stars and gamma-ray bursts) and cosmic explosions, including fast radio bursts and gravitational wave mergers. He is recognized for his discovery of many astronomical objects including brown dwarfs and millisecond pulsars, and laid the foundations of electromagnetic follow up of gravitational wave mergers. He is keenly interested in developing or refining astronomical methodologies. He has published over 500 papers, which have amassed over 45 000 citations, with almost seventy Nature papers to his name. His research interests are very aligned and strongly overlapping with members of the API and GRAPPA institutes at the University of Amsterdam, as well as the Physics department of the VU University. Prof. Kulkarni intends to collaborate with both junior and senior members and groups of the departments.