Bio and Contact


This image was taken by me at sunset in Dec. 2011, and includes the lighted Norfolk pine tree near the beautiful St. Ignatius Church on the USF campus. If you look closely between the towers, Venus shows up as a white dot in the purplish twilight.


(For my academic bio, please see the rest of this website and my CV)

Before coming to the US to attend Cornell as an undergrad, I grew up in India and Singapore. My native language is Tamil; I also speak (and spell British) English, some French and some mildly butchered Hindi. I began singing South Indian classical (or Carnatic) music when I was 9 years old. I sang in a jazz a cappella group and a western classical music choir at Cornell, and in folk/bluegrass bands later. I still love singing today, mostly rock, folk and blues (greatly aided by my Chicago years).

I love the outdoors, and enjoy hiking, swimming, yoga, camping and backpacking. I’ve been to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, surely one of the most beautiful and sacred places on earth. Some of the high points of my life on this planet have been on the US Rockies and on the Ladakhi plateau in the Indian Himalayas. The lowest (elevation-wise) was swimming in the Dead Sea: a fascinating revision of the usual swimming principles and visually very beautiful, but not the best olfactory experience.


At present, I can be reached at:

Department of Physics and Astronomy,
University of San Francisco,
2130 Fulton Street,
San Francisco, CA 94117

Email:  avenkatesan “at”
Phone: 415-422-6152
Fax: 415-422-2357

Email is the best way to contact me.