Indian-American computer scientist Subhash Khot, known for his ‘Unique Games Conjecture,' has been selected for a prestigious $500,000 national science award.

Dr. Khot, a theoretical computer scientist, works in an area called ‘Computational Complexity,' which seeks to understand the power and limits of efficient computation. He will receive the prestigious Alan T. Waterman Award of the National Science Foundation (NSF) for 2010 for his outstanding research.

Dr. Khot is an associate professor at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. He will be presented the award on May 4 at a dinner ceremony to be held in Washington at the U.S. Department of State.

The Alan T. Waterman Award is given annually to an outstanding researcher under the age of 36 in any field of science and engineering supported by the NSF.

The honour includes a grant of $500,000 over three years for scientific research or advanced study in the recipient's field of science.

“Subhash Khot is a gifted and ambitious young scientist,” said NSF Director Arden L. Bement, Jr. “He courageously tackles some of the most challenging computational problems, all the while advancing computer security, with vast consequences for the broader security of our personal identities, commercial interests, societal institutions, even for national security as a whole.”

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