2015 Presenters

Geshe Lhakdor

Geshe Lhakdor is the director of the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives in Dharamsala, India. A distinguished Buddhist scholar, he was the English translator for His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, from 1989 to 2005. He has co-translated and co-produced several books by the Dalai Lama. From 1976 to 1986, Lhakdor studied specialized Buddhist philosophy in the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics, Dharamsala and received the Master of Prajnaparamita in 1982. He also received the Master of Madhyamika in 1989 and the Master of Philosophy from the University of Delhi. Since 2002, Geshe Lhakdor has been an Honorary Professor at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. In 2008, he was also conferred an Honorary Professorship by the University of Delhi, Department of Psychology.

Tim Maudlin

Tim Maudlin received a BA degree in Physics and Philosophy from Yale University and a Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Pittsburgh. He taught philosophy at Rutgers University for 25 years, and moved to New York University in 2011. He studies the nature of space and time, as well as quantum theory. He is particularly interested in how quantum theory differs from earlier physical theories. His most recent work develops a new mathematical way to describe space and time.

Barry Loewer

Barry Loewer received his BA from Amherst College in Philosophy and Mathematics and his PhD from Stanford University in Philosophy. I currently teach philosophy at Rutgers University. My main academic interests are in the metaphysics of physics, the philosophy of cosmology and the philosophy of mind. I am especially interested in understanding what laws are and in what grounds the direction of time and the relationship between these two questions. I am currently editing a collection of papers on issues in philosophy of cosmology. I have some acquaintance with Buddhist practice and is eager to understand more.

Chris Impey

Chris Impey is a University Distinguished Professor and Deputy Head of the Department of Astronomy at the University of Arizona. He has over 170 refereed publications on the topics of observational cosmology, galaxies, gravitational lensing, and quasars. He has taught two online classes with over 60,000 enrolled. He’s written 40 popular articles on cosmology and astrobiology, two introductory textbooks, and seven popular books: The Living Cosmos, How It Ends, Talking About Life, How It Began, Dreams of Other Worlds, Humble Before the Void, and Beyond. He has been teaching in the Science for Monks program since 2008.

Katalin Balog

Katalin Balog received her BA in economics at the Karl Marx University in Budapest. After some years of working as an economist, she moved to the United States to study philosophy. She got her PhD at Rutgers University, New Brunswick in 1998. She taught philosophy at Cornell University, and then Yale University between 1998 and 2010. In 2010 she moved to Rutgers University/Newark where she is still teaching. Her primary areas of research are the philosophy of mind and metaphysics. The problems that interest her most are the nature of the mind, consciousness and the self. Her recent work centers on the relationship between our subjective, internal understanding of the mind and the objective, scientific view of the world.


Thabkhe was born in central Tibet in 1979 and become a monk at the age of ten. In 1997 he came into exile, in India, and joined Sera Jey Monastery. In 2004 he started attending science classes organized by the Science Meets Dharma program and in 2007 joined workshops organized by the Science for Monks program. In 2010, Thabkhe was among the first batch of monastic science leaders to complete the Sager Science Leadership. In 2008 Thabkhe joined the Emory Tibet Science Initiative and was among the first batch of monks to study at Emory University. After returning from three years of study at Emory, in 2014, Thabkhe started teaching regular physics classes at his monastery.

Rajesh Kasturirangan

Rajesh Kasturirangan is a scholar, practitioner, teacher and technologist with over ten years of experience in creating scholarly networks, research programs, curricula and online technologies. He has technical and institutional expertise in combining Asian philosophical and contemplative traditions with scientific investigations of the human mind and human wellbeing and in creating digital and physical spaces for learning. He also has organizational expertise in managing distributed groups of activists and scholars in the context of creating networks for social and environmental justice.

Father Mathew Chandrankunnel

Father Mathew Chandrankunnel teaches at Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram (DVK), Philosophy of Science, Science and Religion and as well at Christ University, Bangalore. He has been a visiting professor at Cochin University of Science and Technology, University of Leuven, Belgium, University of Vladimir, Russia, and the Vietnamese Institute for Indian and South Asian Studies, Hanoi, Vietnam. Father Mathew received his doctorate from the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Leuven, Belgium for successfully defending the thesis “In Search of a Causal Quantum Mechanics”, comparing two interpretations in Quantum Mechanics. He did his postdoctoral research studies at Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, Harvard University, Cambridge, Boston while staying at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Boston.

Khangser Rinpoche

Khangser Rinpoche was born in 1975 and recognized as the 8th reincarnation of his lineage in 1980. Rinpche obtained his Geshe Lharampa degree in Buddhist Philosophy in 2002. Rinpoche has founded several foundations and organization dedicated to the cultural preservation of Buddhist practice, including the Himalayan Buddhist Heritage Foundation based in Kathamandu, Nepal (in 2007), the Foundation for the Preservation of the Nhien Dang (Atisha) Buddhist Heritage (in 2011), and the Dipankara Buddhist Organization in Taiwan (in 2012). Rinpoche presently serves as a spiritual teacher at Sera Jey Monastic University, where he teaches Buddhist philosophy to several hundred monks. Rinpoche also delivers public teachings on Tibetan Buddhism to diverse audiences from India, Nepal, Vietnam, China, Korea, Tibet and the West.