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Dr. Meera Chandrasekhar is a professor of physics and astronomy and Curator’s Teaching Professor of physics at the University of Missouri. Chandrasekhar earned her bachelor of science degree in physics and mathematics from M.G.M. College, Mysore University in India, in 1968, master’s degrees in physics from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras, India, in 1970 and Brown University in 1973, and a Ph.D. in physics from Brown University in 1976. After a postdoctoral fellowship at Max-Planck-Institute in Germany, she joined the University of Missouri faculty in 1978.
Chandrasekhar’s teaching and research has been recognized with many honors, including the 2006 President’s Award for Outstanding Teaching from the University of Missouri, 2004 Curator’s Distinguished Teaching Professorship from the University of Missouri, 1999 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring from the National Science Foundation, 1998 Missouri Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1997 William T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence from the University of Missouri and 1990 Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity in the Physical and Mathematical Sciences. She was honored in 2002 with the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Indian Institute of Technology. She received an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship in 1985 and was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 1992.
Chandrasekhar’s research interests are in the area of optical spectroscopy of semiconductors, superconductors and conjugated polymers, with an emphasis on studies of high pressure. She has a strong interest in the education of young students and has developed hands-on physics programs for students in grades 5-12 and summer institutes for K-12 teachers, activities for which she has received several awards.