Shashikumar Madhusudan Chitre obtained his Bachelor's degree in Mathematics from Elphinstone College, Mumbai in 1956 and was awarded the Duke of Edinburgh Fellowship of the University of Bombay. Later, he went to Peterhouse, Cambridge as a Cambridge Society of Bombay scholar to study the Mathematical Tripos. He obtained the Bachelor's degree (1959) of the University of Cambridge and was elected a scholar of Peterhouse (1960) when he moved to Churchill College on a Gulbenkian Research studentship and earned his PhD from the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Cambridge (1963). He served as a Lecturer in Applied Mathematics at the University of Leeds (1963-66) and later was a Research Fellow at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena before joining the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai (1967) from where he retired in 2001. He is currently a Distinguished faulty at the Centre of Excellence for Basic Sciences, an INSA Honorary Scientist at the University of Mumbai, Honorary Executive Director of the Homi Bhabha Fellowships Council and a Member of the Board of Trustees of the JN Tata Endowment.
Academic and Research Achievements: Chitre has taught a number of lecture-courses both at TIFR and at the University of Mumbai. Chitre's research interests are mainly in the area of Solar Physics, Physics and Astrophysics of condensed objects and gravitational lensing. He has worked on problems concerning the structure and stability of sunspots and studied the underlying mechanism responsible for driving the solar cycle, equation of state of dense cold matter inside neutron stars and accretion of matter onto black holes. His recent contributions relate to the problem of missing solar neutrinos and helioseismology as a tool to study internal layers of the sun, including its differential rotation; the use of gravitational lensing as a probe of the large-scale magnetic fields in galaxies and galaxy clusters. He has recently initiated a programme to investigate the decay of cosmic magnetic fields with special reference to those associated with neutron stars and with partially ionized layers in the sun's atmosphere. He has guided a number of graduate students for PhD.
Other Contributions: Chitre was a UGC National Lecturer (1975-76) and has held Visiting positions at Universities of Cambridge, Princeton, Sussex, Amsterdam, Columbia and Virginia. He was a Perren Visiting Fellow and the Leverhulme Visiting Professor at Queen Mary College, University of London (2001-02) and also a Visiting Astronomer at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge (2003-08). He was a Raja Ramanna Fellow at the University of Mumbai (2001-03).
Awards and Honours: Chitre was conferred on Professor AC Banerjee Memorial Award Lecture of the National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad (1992), the Perren Lecture at the Queen Mary College, London (1995), INSA Vainu Bappu Memorial Medal (1995), MP Birla Award (1999) and the DAE-Raja Ramanna Lecture in Physics (2007). He was a Max-Plank Fellow at the Max-Plank Instiut Fur Extraterrestrishe Physk, Garching, Germany and has held Senior Research Associateships of the National Academy of Sciences, USA at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies and at Goddard Space Flight Centre, NASA. He is a Fellow the Royal Astronomical Society, Member of the International Astronomical Union and Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore; National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad; and The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS).