Tanuka Chattopadhyay




The University of Calcutta is saddened by the untimely demise of Prof. Tanuka Chattopadhyay, Professor, Department of Applied Mathematics and former Dean, Faculty of Science and present Director, Center for Research in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology on 16 October, 2023.

Professor Chattopadhyay was born on 26th January, 1963 in North Calcutta, West Bengal, India.

From an early age she was very interested in Mathematics and joined Presidency College, Calcutta, with Mathematics Honours in the year 1980. Subsequently, for post graduate studies, she joined the Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Calcutta. During this period she got attracted to the subject Astrophysics and joined the Ph.D. program under the supervision of Professor Baidyanath Basu. Her research career always had a upward trend and as a result of her hard work and enthusiasm, she has published more than 50 publications in reputed national and international journals. After joining the University of Calcutta she became a highly respected Professor and contributed extensively to research and teaching.

Her areas of interest were Astrophysics, General and Special Theory of Relativity. Later she developed an interest in Astrostatistics and Data Science. Her book entitled “Statistical Methods for Astronomical Data analysis“ written jointly with Professor Asis Kumar Chattopadhyay has been awarded outstanding publication award in Astrostatistics by the International Astrostatistics Association.

Professor Chattopadhyay was a Visiting Associate of IUCAA, Pune since 2002 till death. She was also a fellow of West Bengal Academy of Science and members of many scientific organizations like International Astronomical Union (IAU), Astronomical Society of India, International Astrostatistics Association etc.

Under her leadership, University of Calcutta purchased a 14 inch Telescope in 2011 under the DST PURSE program. It was a special attraction for sky watching and related research work for all the students of the University. She was also interested in starting an outreach program for school children in Kolkata.

Outside of academics, Professor Chattopadhyay was a gifted author and has published two Bengali novels : “Bibashan” and more recently “Gandhari Santoti“ in 2021. She was also in the process of completing her first English novel, which her family hopes to publish posthumously. She drew inspiration from her life and journey to write literature. She was also very artistically predisposed in her day to day life and had an appreciation for dance and music, both of which she learned formally in some capacity during her life. She also had a zest for travel and culture. She was also a wonderful mother and wife, a beloved friend to many and a dear teacher to several students over her many years in academia.

She will be deeply missed by many but will continue to live on through her impactful contributions and the people she has influenced during her lifetime.

Past affiliation(s) within the IAU

  • Past Organizing Committee Member of Commission B3 Astroinformatics and Astrostatistics (2021-2024)
  • Past Member of Division B Facilities, Technologies and Data Science (2018-2023)
  • Past Member of Division G Stars and Stellar Physics (2018-2023)
  • Past Member of Division H Interstellar Matter and Local Universe (2018-2023)
  • Past Member of Division J Galaxies and Cosmology (2018-2023)
  • Past Member of Commission B1 Computational Astrophysics (2018-2023)
  • Past Member of Commission B3 Astroinformatics and Astrostatistics (2018-2023)
  • Past Member of Commission G1 Binary and Multiple Star Systems (2018-2023)
  • Past Member of Executive Committee WG Women in Astronomy (2018-2023)

Areas of interest

1 - General: 1.6 - Astronomy Education, 1.9 - Astronomy outreach, 1.10 - Astronomy for Development
2 - Physical data and processes: 2.10 - Chaos, 2.16 - Hydrodynamics, 2.18 - Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), 2.24 - Opacity, 2.31 - Shock waves
3 - Astronomical instrumentation, methods and techniques: 3.5 - Methods, 3.9 - Techniques, 3.10 - Telescopes: optical, 3.11 - Telescopes: radio
4 - Astronomical data bases: 4.1 - Astronomical databases: miscellaneous, 4.3 - Catalogs, 4.5 - Virtual observatory tools
5 - Astrometry and celestial mechanics: 5.2 - Celestial mechanics, 5.7 - Proper motions
6 - The Sun: 6.2 - Sun: activity, 6.7 - Sun: evolution, 6.18 - Sun: magnetic fields
7 - Planetary systems: 7.1 - Earth
8 - Stars: 8.2 - Stars: atmospheres, 8.4 - Stars: binaries, 8.6 - Stars: brown dwarfs, 8.16 - Stars: horizontal-branch, 8.22 - Stars: luminosity function, mass function
9 - Interstellar medium (ISM), nebulae: 9.7 - ISM: evolution
10 - The Galaxy: 10.3 - Galaxy: center, 10.5 - Galaxy: evolution, 10.9 - Galaxy: globular clusters: general, 10.18 - Galaxy: structure
11 - Galaxies: 11.4 - Galaxies: bulges, 11.7 - Galaxies: dwarf, 11.9 - Galaxies: evolution, 11.10 - Galaxies: formation, 11.14 - Galaxies: high-redshift
12 - Cosmology: 12.6 - Cosmology: dark matter, 12.7 - Cosmology: dark energy

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