Subhash Kak

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Subhash Kak
File:Subhash Kak at Inner Science Seminar, Stillwater 26 Sept 2015.JPG
Subhash Kak at the Inner Science Seminar at Conoco Phillips Hall in Stillwater, Oklahoma
Born (1947-03-26) March 26, 1947 (age 74)
Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India
Alma mater NIT Srinagar, IIT Delhi
Occupation Computer Scientist
Known for Cryptography, Instantaneously trained neural networks, Kak's three-stage protocol, Quantum information, History of science
Notable credit(s) Author of In Search of the Cradle of Civilization, The Architecture of Knowledge

Subhash Kak (सुभाष काक) (born March 26, 1947 in Srinagar) is an Indian American computer scientist. He is Regents Professor and a previous Head of Computer Science Department at Oklahoma State University–Stillwater who has made contributions to cryptography, artificial neural networks, and quantum information.

Kak is also notable for his Indological publications on the history of science, the philosophy of science, ancient astronomy, and the history of mathematics.[1] His brother is the computer scientist Avinash Kak.[2]


Subhash Kak completed his BE from Regional Engineering College, Srinagar (Presently National Institute of Technology, Srinagar) and Ph.D. from Indian Institute of Technology Delhi in 1970. He taught there. During 1975-1976, he was a visiting faculty at Imperial College, London, and a guest researcher at Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill. In 1977, he was a visiting researcher at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bombay.[3] In 1979 joined Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, where he was the Donald C. and Elaine T. Delaune Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. In 2007, he joined the Computer Science department at Oklahoma State University–Stillwater.[4]

His research is in the fields of cryptography, random sequences, artificial intelligence, quantum mechanics, and information theory. He proposed a test of algorithmic randomness[5] and a type of instantaneously trained neural networks (INNs) (which he and his students have called "CC4 network" and others have called "Kak neural networks"). He was the first to formulate the discrete and the number theoretic Hilbert transforms.[6][7] He claims to be amongst the first to apply information metrics to quantum systems.[8][9]

He was featured as one of the pioneers of quantum learning in the journal Neuroquantology edited by Cheryl Fricasso and Stanley Krippner.[10] He is featured as one of the interviewees in the area of mathematics and information in the long-standing PBS series Closer to Truth.[11]

Kak proposed a fast matrix multiplication algorithm for cross-wired meshes.[12] He proposed the use of repeating decimals and other random sequences for error correction coding and cryptography.[13][14] In cryptography, he has advanced new methods of secret sharing that are of importance in distributed systems such as wireless and sensor networks.[15][16]

Kak has argued that there are limits to the intelligence machines can have and it cannot equal biological intelligence.[17] He asserts that:

"...machines fall short on two counts as compared to brains. Firstly, unlike brains, machines do not self-organize in a recursive manner. Secondly, machines are based on classical logic, whereas Nature's intelligence may depend on quantum mechanics."
"[Further], if machines with consciousness are created, they would be living machines, that is, variations on life forms as we know them. Second, the material world is not causally closed, and consciousness influences its evolution. Matter and minds complement each other."[18]

He is also the author of several books of poems.[19][20][21]

Kak neural network[edit]

The Kak neural network, also called the CC4 network[22] is an instantaneously trained neural network that creates a new "hidden neuron" for each training sample, achieving immediate training for binary data. The training algorithm for binary data creates links to the new hidden node that simply reflects the binary values in the training vector. Hence, no computation is involved.[23]

Kak's three-stage protocol[edit]

Kak's three-stage protocol is a protocol for quantum cryptography suggested by Kak.[24] This method consists of random rotations of the polarization by both parties. In principle, this method can be used for continuous, unbreakable encryption of data if single photons are used.[25] The basic polarization rotation scheme has been implemented.[26]

Indological publications[edit]

Kak's writings concerning the astronomy of the Vedic period in his book The Astronomical Code of the Rigveda (1994) support the "Indigenous Aryans" theory, questioning mainstream views on the Indo-Aryan migration theory and the nature of early Indian science. His chronology and astronomical calculations have been opposed by several Indologists (such as Michael Witzel[27]) and Western historians (such as Kim Pfloker),.[28] Kak's interpretation has been included in recent overviews of astronomy in the Vedic period in India[29] and the West.[30]

The Astronomical Code of the Rigveda and Archaeoastronomy[edit]

The Astronomical Code of the Rigveda (New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan, 1994; revised and enlarged edition, New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal, 2000) claims regularities in the organization of the Rigveda, connecting the structure to certain numbers in the astronomy-based ritual of the five-layered vedi (Vedic fire altar).

Kak's archaeoastronomical claims have the effect of significantly extending the Vedic period, postulating the arrival of Indo-Aryan speakers to the 7th millennium BC. This claim is in contradiction with mainstream Indology and historical linguistics[27] and science historians[28]

Kak arranges the number of hymns in each book of the Rigveda as follows, and compares the arrangement to the vedi:

<poem>RV 10:191 RV 9:114 RV 7 :104 RV 8: 92 RV 5 : 87 RV 6: 75 RV 3 : 62 RV 4: 58 RV 2 : 43 RV 1:191</poem>

He then computes various sums and subtractions within the diagram, finding numbers related to the distance between the Earth and the Sun, and the sidereal periods of various planets. According to Klaus Klostermaier, "Subhash Kak, with his 'decoding of the Rigveda' has opened up an entirely new approach to the study of Vedic cosmology from an empirical astronomical/mathematical viewpoint."[31]

Kak's method depends on the structure of the Rigveda as redacted by Shakalya in the late Brahmana period as opposed to the intrinsic content in the oldest portions of the text. Specifically, Witzel (2001) believes that Kak's approach relates to the organizations of the Rigveda into mandalas ("books"), a process of redaction undertaken by the shakhas long after the composition of the individual hymns (the samhita prose period, dating to well within the Indian Iron Age), rendering the attempt to date the text in this flawed.[27] Other scholars like Meera Nanda have said that Kak's "method is breathtakingly ad hoc and reads like numerology 101."[32]

Kak prepared the section on archaeoastronomical sites in India for the thematic study on Heritage Sites of Astronomy and Archaeoastronomy in the context of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention prepared for UNESCO by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and the International Astronomical Union (IAU).[33]

On the other hand, this work was hailed by other Indologists such as Klaus Klostermaier who called it an "epoch-making discovery."[34] Kak's interpretation has been highlighted in the recent overviews of astronomy in the Vedic period in India[35] and the West.[36][37]

In Search of the Cradle of Civilization[edit]

Kak co-authored In Search of the Cradle of Civilization (1995) participating in the controversy in the politics of India around the "indigenous Aryans" theory.[38]


Kak's book The Asvamedha: The Rite and Its Logic (2002) provides an interpretation of the Vedic aśvamedhá (horse sacrifice) rite.[39]


Kak claimed to be the first to have used the term "quantum neural computing",[40] taking a Quantum mind position. He sees the brain as a machine that reduces the infinite possibilities of a "quantum-like universal consciousness", which is a consequence of the "recursive nature of reality".[41]

Kak's "philosophy of recursionism" is expounded in his books The Gods Within, The Architecture of Knowledge, and The Prajna Sutra. Kak contributes to the Project of History of Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture.[citation needed]

In The Architecture of Knowledge, Kak talks about quantum mechanics, neuroscience, computers, and consciousness. The book is one of the twenty planned monographs in the multi-volume series on the Project of History of Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture under the general editorship of Professor D. P. Chattopadhyaya.

The book provides philosophical connections to contemporary science that reach back not only to the Greek but also to the Indian tradition.

The book seeks to find a consistent framework for knowledge in logic, purpose, and awareness, and sees science as representation and transformation of machines, of reality, and of life. Reality is seen in different layers, and

"with the dual aspects of purposive and reflexive behaviour in each layer, we see parallels in the structures in quantum theory, neuroscience, and computers. The overarching unity is provided by human consciousness. As conscious subjects, we examine the universe through the agency of our minds. In our strivings to describe the outer world using formal knowledge, shadows of the architecture of the inner world are also unveiled."[42]



History and science[edit]

Religion and consciousness[edit]

  • The Nature of Physical Reality, Peter Lang Pub Inc, 1986, ISBN 0-8204-0310-5; Third Edition, Mount Meru Publishing, Mississauga, Ontario, 2016, ISBN 978-1-988207-08-7
  • Mind and Self (2016), Mount Meru Publishing, Mississauga, Ontario, ISBN 978-1-988207-06-3
  • The Gods Within: Mind, Consciousness and the Vedic Tradition, Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd (2002) ISBN 81-215-1063-5
  • The Architecture of Knowledge: Quantum Mechanics, Neuroscience, Computers and Consciousness, Motilal Banarsidass, 2004, ISBN 81-87586-12-5
  • "Recursionism and Reality: Representing and Understanding the World", 2005.
  • Consciousness and the universe : quantum physics, evolution, brain & mind, Cosmology Science Publishers, 2011. (with Roger Penrose and Stuart Hameroff) ISBN 9780982955208, ISBN 0982955200
  • Quantum Physics of Consciousness, edited by S Kak
  • How Consciousness Became the Universe: Quantum Physics, Cosmology, Relativity, Evolution, Neuroscience, Parallel Universes (edited by D. Chopra)
  • Quantum Physics of Time:: Cosmology, Brain, Mind, and Time Travel ed by Deepak Chopra
  • Matter and Mind: The Vaiśeṣika Sūtra of Kaṇāda


  • The Circle of Memory: An Autobiography


  • The Prajna Sutra: Aphorisms of Intuition, DK Printworld, 2007. ISBN 81-246-0410-X
  • The Secrets of Ishbar
  • The Conductor of the Dead, Writers Workshop (1973) ASIN: B0007AGFHA
  • The London Bridge, Writers Workshop, Kolkata, 1977.
  • The secrets of Ishbar: Poems on Kashmir and other landscapes, Vitasta (1996) ISBN 81-86588-02-7
  • "Ek Taal, Ek Darpan" (Hindi), Raka, Allahabad, 1999.
  • "The Chinar Garden", 2002.
  • "Mitti ka Anuraag" (Hindi), 2007.[10]


See also[edit]


  1. Usha Akella's feature:
  2. Kak, Ram Nath. Autumn Leaves. Vitasta, 1995.
  4. [1]
  5. Terry Ritter, Randomness tests
  6. Kak, S. The discrete Hilbert transform. Proc. IEEE, vol. 58, pp. 585-586, April 1970.
  7. Kak, S.The number theoretic Hilbert transform. Circuits, Systems and Signal Processing, vol. 33, pp. 2539-2548, 2014.
  8. Kak, S. "On quantum numbers and uncertainty," Nuovo Cimento, 34B, 530-534, 1976.
  9. Kak, S. On information associated with an object. Proceedings Indian National Science Academy, vol. 50, pp. 386-396, 1984.
  10. [2]
  12. Kak, S. A two-layered mesh array for matrix multiplication. Parallel Computing, vol. 6, pp. 383-385, 1988.
  13. Kak, S. Encryption and error-correction coding using D sequences. IEEE Transactions on Computers, C-34: 803-809, 1985. Watermarking using decimal sequences
  14. Kak, S. Goldbach partitions and sequences. Resonance, vol. 19, pp. 1028-1037, November 2014.
  15. Parakh, A. and S. Kak, Online data storage using implicit security. Information Sciences, vol. 179, pp. 3323-3331, 2009.
  16. Parakh, A. and S. Kak, Space efficient secret sharing for implicit data security. Information Sciences, vol. 181, pp. 335-341, 2011.
  17. Kak, S. Active agents, intelligence and quantum computing. Information Sciences, vol. 128, 1-17, 2000.
  18. Kak, S. Artificial and biological intelligence. ACM Ubiquity, Volume 6, Issue 42, 2005.[3]
  19. Elliott, M.
  21. Akella, U.
  22. Shortt, A. et al, Optical implementation of the Kak neural network. Information Sciences, vol. 171, 2005, pp. 273-287 [4]
  23. Kak, S. New algorithms for training feedforward neural networks. Pattern Recognition Letters 15, 1994, pp. 295-298; Kak, S. On generalization by neural networks. Information Sciences 111, 1998, pp. 293-302. [5] [6] [7]
  24. Kak, S. “A Three-Stage Quantum Cryptography Protocol,” Foundations of Physics Letters 19 (2006), 293-296. Trusted certificates in quantum cryptography
  25. Chen, Y. et al, Embedded security framework for integrated classical and quantum cryptography in optical burst switching networks. Security and Communication Networks, vol. 2, pp. 546-554, 2009.
  26. Multi-Photon Approach in Quantum Cryptography Implemented
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 Witzel, Michael (2001), "Autochthonous Aryans? The Evidence from Old Indian and Iranian Texts" (PDF), Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies, 7 (3), 70-71, retrieved 13 Feb 2013<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. 28.0 28.1 [8]Kim Plofker, Review of Kak (1994), Centaurus 38 (1996), 362-364
  29. In Govind Chandra Pande, "The Dawn of Indian Civilization". CSC, New Delhi, 2000.
  30. In S. Wolpert (ed.), "Encyclopedia of India." Scribner's, 2005.
  31. Klaus Klostermaier, A Survey of Hinduism, Second Edition. State University of New York Press, 1995, pp. 129.
  32. Nanda, Meera (2003). Prophets facing backward: postmodern critiques of science and Hindu nationalism in India. Rutgers University Press. p. 112. ISBN 978-0-8135-3358-2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  33. Kak, Subhash (2010), "India", in Ruggles, Clive; Cotte, Michel (eds.), Heritage Sites of Astronomy and Archaeoastronomy in the context of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention: A Thematic Study, Paris: ICOMOS / IAU, pp. 99–107, ISBN 978-2-918086-07-9<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  34. Klostermaier's remarks on the frontspiece of "The Astronomical Code of the Rgveda," Munshiram Manoharlal, 2000.
  35. In Govind Chandra Pande, "The Dawn of Indian Civilization". CSC, New Delhi, 2000.
  36. e.g. S. Kak, "Birth and early development of Indian astronomy." In Astronomy Across Cultures: The History of Non-Western Astronomy, Helaine Selin (ed), Kluwer, 2000, pp. 303-340.[9]
  37. In S. Wolpert (ed.), "Encyclopedia of India." Scribner's, 2005.
  38. Edwin Bryant, The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture: The Indo-Aryan Migration Debate. Oxford University Press, 2001.
  39. The Asvamedha: The Rite and Its Logic, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, (2002) ISBN 81-208-1877-6.
  40. In Advances in Imaging and Electron Physics, vol. 94, pp. 259-313, 1995
  41. Karl H. Pribram and Robert King (eds.), Learning and Self-Organization, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1996, 185-219.
  42. The Architecture of Knowledge(2004, ISBN 81-87586-12-5) (page 299)


External links[edit]

wikiquote:Subhash Kak



Selected Articles and Essays[edit]