University selects faculty member as distinguished professor
MANHATTAN — A cosmologist is being honored as one of two of the newest Kansas State University distinguished professors.
Bharat Ratra, professor of physics, is receiving the distinction.
University distinguished professor is a lifetime title and the highest honor the university bestows on its faculty members. The distinguished professors are appointed following a university-wide nomination and evaluation process conducted by the provost.
"I wish to congratulate both of our newest university distinguished professors as Kansas State University recognizes their contributions to teaching, research and service," said April Mason, university provost and senior vice president. "Their leadership in their professions and communities sets an example as we continue our vision to become a Top 50 public research university by 2025."
Ratra will receive a personalized plaque and medallion at the university's fall 2016 commencement ceremonies.
Ratra works in the areas of cosmology and astroparticle physics. He conducts research on the structure and evolution of the universe. Two of his current principal interests are developing models for the large-scale matter and radiation distributions in the universe and testing these models by comparing predictions to observational data.
In 1988, Ratra and Jim Peebles proposed the first dynamical dark energy model. Dark energy is the leading candidate for the mechanism that is responsible for causing cosmological expansion to accelerate. The discovery that cosmological expansion is accelerating is one of the most significant scientific discoveries of the last quarter of a century.
Since coming to the university in 1996, Ratra has received more than $8 million in individual and collaborative grants, largely from the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation. Ratra was a National Science Foundation CAREER award winner in 1999 and received the 2012-2013 Commerce Bank Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award at Kansas State University. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Ratra's research has appeared in more than 90 scholarly publications, which have been cited more than 11,000 times in scientific literature.
He was a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University, the California Institute of Technology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Ratra earned his doctorate in physics from Stanford University in 1986 and his master's degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi in 1982.