I trained as an engineer at IIT Kanpur, India. After short stint in automobile design at Eicher research centre near Delhi, I decided to pursue a PhD in Gravitation and Cosmology. I joined in the first batch of graduate students at IUCAA, Pune, India which was set up just a year earlier.
After postdoctoral stints at CITA, Toronto, Canada and KSU, USA, I returned to a faculty postion at IUCAA in late 2000 and have been building & nurturing a cosmology subgroup on CMB at IUCAA.
What inspired you to study science?
I deeply enjoy the challenge of getting something done within very strong constraints and limited resources, Eg., designing low cost tractor would be more attractive than an high end car or a fighter jet.
In that sense, Cosmology epitomizes the challenge of intellectually grappling amd making sense of the enormous, ancient and complex cosmos within the limitation of being tied to tiny insignificant speck, our earth.
Practically, I was interested in Mathematics & Physics in my high school years. The flexible IIT curriculum allowed me to keep in touch with Physics and added a very useful engineering training. I found GR fascinating and ended up working on modern cosmology – one of the very exciting successes of GR.
Do you have a role model in science?
Dick Bond, CITA : an excellent , broad theorist with great understanding of observations and data.
A quote that inspires you?
“A collection of facts is no more science, than a pile of rocks is a house”
Cosmology: Cosmic Microwave background anisotropy & polarization
Gravitational wave detection (Indian initiative: http://www.gw-indigo.org)
Please see my webpage for detail: http://www.iucaa.ernet.in/~tarun
Favourite reference papers:
Basic cosmology: Ned Wright http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/cosmolog.htm
Online preprint arXiv