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International Centre for Theoretical Sciences

The International Centre for Theoretical Sciences (ICTS), a centre of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, is a research institute based in Bengaluru, India. Founded in 2007, ICTS has grown from a fledgling institution to a global centre of activity in various areas of science. Prof. Spenta R. Wadia was the founding director of the institute and served till 2015, after which he was succeeded by Rajesh Gopakumar as the Director.

International Centre for Theoretical Sciences (আই.সি.টি.এস)
TypeResearch Institution
FounderSpenta R. Wadia
DirectorRajesh Gopakumar



ICTS is a multi and interdisciplinary venture that brings together various subjects such as mathematics, physics, biology, computer science and earth sciences. It is envisaged as a place where researchers from around the world meet and interact for critical periods of time in a relaxed and collaborative atmosphere. ICTS hopes to attract the best researchers from around the world to organize and participate in programs that stimulate progress in science. It is also involved in high level education and training and in reaching out to the larger society by serving as a node for scientific information and values. The activities at ICTS fall under the following broad categories

  1. In-house research
  2. Programs
  3. Science outreach and public engagement


ICTS aims to have a high quality permanent faculty of modest size together with a large floating population of visitors, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students. The faculty members work in various areas of theoretical sciences. ICTS also has a wide group of Associated Faculty, who are deeply involved in various activities of the Centre. ICTS has a vigorous Ph.D. students’ program. The students are stationed in Bangalore and their course requirements for a degree from TIFR are partly fulfilled by arrangements with various institutions in Bangalore. A strong post-doctoral program has also been initiated. The scientific questions that drive the current ICTS faculty research are from the broad areas of Astrophysical Relativity, Data Assimilation and Dynamical Systems, Condensed matter and Statistical Physics, Physical Biology and String Theory and Interdisciplinary/Exploratory mathematics.


ICTS provides a platform along with resources for researchers working on diverse subjects to congregate during high-quality programs of varying durations. Cross-disciplinary immersions are encouraged at ICTS.

Long duration programs have a large educational component. They aim to provide an introduction to current problems in an emerging research area. There is a fair balance of international and national participation. The lecturers are carefully chosen and are often distinguished scientists. The participants are mainly graduate students, postdocs, and young faculty.

Short programs are focused discussion meetings on a recent exciting development in a given field. They are also often organized around a leading lecturer on a theme related to her/his work. These meetings usually include a research-oriented participation and are frequently organized in conjunction with one of the following three lecture series: Chandrasekhar (Physical Sciences), Ramanujan (Mathematics) and Turing (Biology, Computer Science and Engineering).

ICTS also organizes programs in collaboration with other international research institutes. Examples include the `ICTP-ICTS Biology Program’ and the `Asian Winter School in Strings, Particles and Cosmology’.

Anyone holding a faculty position at any research and educational institution can apply for organizing a program at the ICTS. However, until the ICTS campus comes up, its programs must be organized at other places in India. For this reason, at present, it is preferable to have at least one of the organizers from an existing institution in India. A typical proposal for organizing a program is expected to have two or more organizers.

A sample of ICTS programsEdit

  • Strongly correlated systems: From models to materials, Bangalore, January 2014.
  • NCBS-ICTS Monsoon School: Physics of Life, Bangalore, June 2013
  • Numerical Relativity-Monday, Bangalore, June–July 2013
  • US-India Advanced Studies Institute on Thermalization: From Glasses to Black Holes, Bangalore, June 2013
  • Unifying Concepts in Materials: JA Krumhansl School & Symposium, Bangalore, January–February 2012
  • Evolutionary Origins of Compartmentalized Cells, Bangalore, February 2012
  • Pan Asian Number Theory Workshop and Conference, Pune, July 2012
  • Random matrix theory and applications, Bangalore, January–February 2012
  • Scientific Discovery through Intensive Data Exploration, Bangalore, February 2011
  • International School and Conference on Cold atoms and Ions, Kolkata, January, 2010
  • Breaking Barriers from Physics to Biology, Bangalore, January, 2010
  • The 4th Asian Winter School on Strings, Particles and Cosmology, Mahabaleshwar, January 2010
  • Graphical Models, Statistical Inference and Algorithms, Mumbai, January, 2009
  • Monsoon Workshop on String Theory, Mumbai, June–August, 2008
  • Cosmology with the Cosmic Microwave Background, Pune, July–August, 2008
  • Quantum Information processing, Mumbai, December 2007-January 2008
  • Correlated Electrons and Frustrated Magnetism, Goa, November–December 2007


ICTS regularly organizes Public Lectures given by eminent visitors. Another aspect that contributes to ICTS outreach is the freely available proceedings of its activities in various formats on the ICTS website and on YouTube as well as on DVDs and CDs. ICTS is the India node for "Mathematics of Planet Earth", a global initiative for mathematics programs and outreach. As part of this program, ICTS, in collaboration with other scientific institutes in Bangalore, organized a hands-on math exhibition in Bangalore that saw over 32,000 visitors in a span of 10 days.


The new ICTS campus is located in north Bangalore and spread over 78,000 square metres. The campus has been designed to provide office space and on-site accommodation for more than 150 academic members, including 75 visitors. Formerly ICTS functioned out of the TIFR and Raman buildings in the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.


ICTS is guided, nurtured and managed by three committees – the International Advisory Board, the Management Board and the Program Committee.