Vijay Balasubramanian is a theoretical physicist at the University of Pennsylvania, where he holds a chair as the Cathy and Marc Lasry Professor. After completing his Ph.D. in physics at Princeton, Balasubramanian became a Junior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows and for part of that time was also a Fellow-at-Large of the Santa Fe Institute. He spent the 2012/13 year at the École Normale Superieure in Paris, where he was the recipient of fellowship from the Fondation Pierre Gilles de Gennes. He has been a visiting professor at the CUNY Graduate Center, Rockefeller University and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Free University of Brussels), and a research associate at the International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste. He has received the Ira H. Abrams Memorial Award for Distinguishing Teaching, which is the highest teaching award given by the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Arts and Sciences.
Balasubramanian’s research in particle physics and string theory has related to the origin of the thermodynamics of gravitating systems, the apparent loss of quantum information in the presence of black holes and the structure of space-time. Using methods from statistical inference and information theory, he also investigates problems in the physics of living systems.