Jnanadeva Maharana obtained his BSc (Hons) in Physics (1966) from Ravenshaw College, Cuttack and MSc (1968) and PhD (1973) from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur. He was post-doctoral Fellow at the University of Tokyo (1973-74); Research Associate at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (1978-80); and Scientific Associate, CERN, Geneva (1985-86; 1977-98). He has held visiting positions in many foreign institutes, such as Visiting Faculty, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena (1992); Einstein Institute, Germany (1998), the Yukawa Institute of Theoretical Physics, Kyoto (1999) and so on.
Academic and Research Achievements: Maharana's research interests lie in theoretical high energy physics, quantum field theory, string theory and quantum gravity. He made important contributions contribution in BRST path integral quantization of strings in presence of background fields. In this work, Ward identities were also derived for gravition, antisymmetric tensor and gauge boson scattering, reflecting local symmetries of the target space endowed with symmetric metric and torsion. By adopting the formalism of Krichever and Novikov, he constructed NSR string theory on an arbitrary Reimann surface when string is moving in curved space-time; and to construct topological field theories, he twisted the superconformal theories. Maharana examined the topology changing process for four-dimensional Euclidean gravity, studied the consequences of this change for axionic wormholes in path integral formalism and derived the analogue of Birkshoff's theorem for wormholes. Also he examined the simplectic structure of nonlinear ?-models defined over Grassmannian manifolds, and applied Dirac quantization prescription to such theories. He explicity derived the affine algebra of the noncompact, O (d,d), T-duality group associated with the dimensionally reduced action and examined Feynman's conjecture on multiparticle processes in relation to one dimensional statistical mechanics. He has published over 115 research papers and guided several PhD and MSc Theses.
Others Contributions: Maharana has served as Member of Editorial Board of several journals such as Communications in Algebra, Asian Journal of Mathematics and Journal of Ramanujan Mathematical Society. He was coordinator of the Indo-French Collaboration Programme on Geometry. He was Member, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton (1995) and Jawaharlal Nehru Fellow (1995-97).
Awards and Honours: Maharana is a Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore and the National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad. He was awarded Chancellors' distinguished Professorship at the University of California (1990-91).