2017 Orientation Speakers

Orientation Speakers



Dr. Parmesh Ramanthan currently works at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as the Associate Dean for Graduate Education and a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. In the past Parmesh has also been a Chairperson for the same department, a visiting professor at IIT-Bombay, a visiting researcher at Microsoft in Washington, and a Consultant for multiple laboratories. Parmesh also leads research projects in applications for ultrafast networks, millimeter wave wireless networks, and smart electric grid technologies.


Dr. Jeffrey S. Russell, Ph.D., PE, F NSPE, Dist. M.ASCE, is the vice provost for lifelong learning and dean of the Division of Continuing Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Jeff first joined UW-Madison’s faculty in 1989. He chaired the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and a co-founded the Construction Engineering and Management program. Jeff earned his B.S. degree in civil engineering from the University of Cincinnati, along with M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Purdue University. He is a registered professional engineer in Wisconsin.

Geeta Chougule is the Program Coordinatorfor the Brown chapter of Sigma Xi Honor Society and its affiliates, Bryant University and Tougaloo College. She also provides administrative support to the HHMI and AAU grants. Geeta finds working with bright undergraduate science students exciting and uplifting. Geeta received her B.S in Electrical Engineering from the University of Colorado.

Dr. Sadhana Srivastava holds a doctorate degree in biosciences. She was trained at the Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata in technology management.  Her professional activities at ICMR as a senior scientist to encourage IP protection all ICMR-supported inventions and to establish a IP culture among ICMR scientists to identify and protecting new knowledge that could lead to IP generation for commercialization and new products and processes for promoting health care in India. She has catalogued and brought out the ICMR Technologies Commercialization for industrial partners and available at ICMR website She is closely working with the UK-based MIHR – Centre for the Management of IP in Health R&D and organized workshop on technology management for technology managers in health. Recently she has presented the couple of papers in Global Forum for Health Research held at Beijing, China on R&D initiatives and new patent regime in India.

Ken Shapiro “Dr. Shapiro is a professor emeritus of agricultural and applied economics, joined CALS in 1982 as associate dean and director of the Office of International Programs and until recently was chair of the agricultural and applied economics department. Throughout his tenure he worked tirelessly to ensure that international agricultural collaborations are an integral part of the college’s research, teaching and outreach activities. His efforts have bolstered the status of CALS and UW-Madison in the international arena. He is skilled at identifying ways to apply the unique strengths of a land grant university to tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. He developed opportunities for UW faculty and staff to address challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa through projects in The Gambia, Zambia, Uganda and elsewhere; in South America in Bolivia and Peru; and in Central America in Mexico, Guatemala and Costa Rica. In recent years he has provided leadership for the college’s engagement with China and India. Among his many accomplishments, he helped co-found the Khorana Program for Scientific Exchange, which partners with the Indian government, universities, non-government organizations and the private sector to bring top Indian science students to the UW-Madison and send UW students to India for research experiences. That program is now expanding to include other schools in the Big Ten and around the country.” Bio from

Piyush Lal is a member of leadership council for Sci-ROI. He has been very instrumental in many activities of Sci-ROI. Additionally, he has been actively involved in several other non-profit organizations in India and the USA as co-founder or volunteer. Professionally, he loves to explore ways to improve biofuel producing capability of microbes from agricultural waste, that made him track a career path from small city in Bihar-Jharkhand to the USA. He completed his undergrad in Biotech from L. N. M. University (Bihar, India), M.Sc. in Biomedical Sciences from Bundelkhand University (U.P, India), and PhD in Molecular Biology from University of Texas at Dallas (TX, USA) with several academic awards. Since March 2015, he has been actively involved in Biofuel-oriented research as a Research Associate in the laboratory of Prof. Patricia Kiley at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC), University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI. His research involves development of genetics tool box for Zymomonas mobilis; a bacteria that has a potential for converting carbohydrates in agriculture waste into biofuel and other value added products.


Daniel Howard is a graduate student Ph.D. candidate at the University of Notre Dame in the Department of Applied & Computational Mathematics & Statistics. In 2015, he graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.S. in Applied Mathematics, Engineering, & Physics. Daniel was a 2015 S.N. Bose Scholar who worked with Prof. Praveen Chandrashekar at the Tata Institute for Fundamental Research-Centre for Applicable Mathematics studying computational fluid dynamics. Currently, Daniel’s research work focuses on radial basis function generated finite difference methods and their utility in numerical modeling of climate and weather dynamics on High Performance Computing and GPU machinery. He hopes to apply this work to studies involving the Indian Monsoon system and monsoonal intraseasonal oscillations (MISO). This work is under advisers Prof. Diogo Bolster and Prof. David Richter with the Environmental Fluid Dynamics Group.

Prof. Aseem Z. Ansari is the founder of the Khorana and S. N. Bose Programs and the chairman of WInstep Forward, a non-profit that implements the two programs in close cooperation with IUSSTF, governmental (SERB, DBT, NSF) and academic partners in India and the US. He is also a professor chemical genomics and synthetic biology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Genome Center of Wisconsin. Dr. Ansari’s introduction to science began by reading scientific articles by Professor Khorana and working as an undergraduate in the laboratory of Professor Obaid Siddiqi at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR). Subsequently as a fellow at MIT/Harvard he met Dr. Khorana and working with Dean Kenneth Shapiro founded the Indo-US exchange program in Dr. Khorana’s honor in 2007 at UW-Madison. The S. N. Bose program was launched in 2013.

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