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Chaudhuri Award Honors Mani L BhaumikPosted on Feb 25 2013

By Zack Rogow

CIIS will present the 2013 Haridas and Bina Chaudhuri Award for Distinguished Service to Mani L. Bhaumik at a ceremony on the evening of May 4, 2013, at the Crowne Plaza Cabana Hotel in Palo Alto, California. Bhaumik is receiving the award for his extraordinary achievements in science, and for his efforts to promote education in the United States and in India. Bhaumik is both a noted physicist, and a bestselling author of books on the connection between science and spirituality.

"We're so pleased to honor Mani Bhaumik, a man of authentic vision and insight in both the study of science and spirituality," says CIIS President Joseph L. Subbiondo.

Bhaumik is best known among physicists for his inventions on the excimer laser, the key piece of technology in LASIK eye surgery. The surgery has already improved the vision of more than thirty million people. In the early 1970s, Bhaumik developed the first efficient laser that could perform a "cold cut"-a surgical incision that does not burn or create serious scar tissue, paving the road for the subsequent development of laser eye surgery.

Among his many philanthropic activities, he created the Bhaumik Educational Foundation, with offices in Calcutta. The foundation provides full scholarships to economically disadvantaged, brilliant students who seek to devote themselves to science and technology.

Bhaumik's life has been an amazing example of the American dream. He grew up in a house with a dirt floor in rural West Bengal, India. His family suffered the consequences of the terrible cyclone, tidal wave, and famine that gripped the region in 1943, when three million people perished of starvation, including Bhaumik's beloved grandmother. He arrived in the United States on a graduate scholarship, with only three dollars in his pocket. His brilliance and hard work allowed him to develop the excimer laser and to become affluent. For years he lived in the fast lane in Los Angeles, caught up in the world of movie stars and the wealthy. He was featured in an episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. An epiphany led to his becoming an author of books on the connection between spirituality and science.

For information on how to attend the Haridas and Bina Chaudhuri Award dinner on May 4, 2013, please contact CIIS Director of Development Dorotea Reyna, dreyna@ciis.edu or (415) 575-6135.

Zack Rogow

Zack Rogow is senior editor at CIIS. His writings include a recent book of poems, "My Mother and the Ceiling Dancers," from Kattywompus Press.

 

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