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Massachusetts Institute of Technology astrophysics professor Nergis Mavalvala, center, celebrates with MIT professor Lorna Gibson, left, following an update by MIT scientists on gravitational waves, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, at MIT in Cambridge, Mass. —AP
Massachusetts Institute of Technology astrophysics professor Nergis Mavalvala, center, celebrates with MIT professor Lorna Gibson, left, following an update by MIT scientists on gravitational waves, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, at MIT in Cambridge, Mass. —AP
MIT Quantum Astrophysicist Nergis Mavalvala in an MIT lab. — 2010 MacArthur Foundation
MIT Quantum Astrophysicist Nergis Mavalvala in an MIT lab. — 2010 MacArthur Foundation
Massachusetts Institute of Technology astrophysics professor Nergis Mavalvala, center, addresses an audience of scientists and journalists as MIT physics professor Matthew Evans, left, and MIT research scientist Erik Katsavounidis, right, look on during a presentation on the discovery of gravitational waves, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, on the school's campus, in Cambridge, Mass. —AP
Massachusetts Institute of Technology astrophysics professor Nergis Mavalvala, center, addresses an audience of scientists and journalists as MIT physics professor Matthew Evans, left, and MIT research scientist Erik Katsavounidis, right, look on during a presentation on the discovery of gravitational waves, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, on the school's campus, in Cambridge, Mass. —AP

Karachi-born quantum astrophysicist Nergis Mavalvala, Associate Department Head of Physics at MIT is a member of the team of scientists that announced on Thursday the scientific milestone of detecting gravitational waves, ripples in space and time hypothesised by physicist Albert Einstein a century ago.

Professor Mavalvala, whose career spans 20 years, has published extensively in her field and has been working with MIT since 2002.

Mavalvala did her BA at Wellesley College in Physics and Astronomy in 1990 and a Ph.D in physics in 1997 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Before that, she was a postdoctoral associate and then a research scientist at California Institute of Technology (Caltech), working on the Laser Interferometric Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO).

Nergis Mavalvala, speaks,Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, about an experiment at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO. — AP Nergis Mavalvala, speaks,Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, about an experiment at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO. — AP

She has been involved with LIGO since her early years in graduate school at MIT and her primary research has been in instrument development for interferometric gravitational-wave detectors.

She also received the prestigious MacArthur Foundation Award in 2010.

The girl from Karachi

Born to a Parsi family in Karachi, Mavalvala received her early education from the Convent of Jesus and Mary school, an administration official from the educational institute confirmed to

She later moved to the United States as a teenager to attend Wellesley College in Massachusetts, where she is said to have a natural gift for being comfortable in her own skin, according to an article published on the website.

“Even when Nergis was a freshman, she struck me as fearless, with a refreshing can-do attitude,” says Robert Berg, a professor of physics at Wellesley.

"I used to borrow tools and parts from the bike-repair man across the street to fix my bike,” Mavalvala says.

In an earlier report, Mavalvala's colleague observed that while many professors would like to treat students as colleagues, most students don’t respond as equals. From the first day, Mavalvala acted and worked like an equal. She helped Berg, who at the time was new to the faculty, set up a laser and transform an empty room into a lab. Before she graduated in 1990, Berg and Mavalvala had co-authored a paper in Physical Review B: Condensed Matter.

MIT Quantum Astrophysicist Nergis Mavalvala in an MIT lab, September 20, 2010 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.— Courtesy MacArthur Foundation MIT Quantum Astrophysicist Nergis Mavalvala in an MIT lab, September 20, 2010 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.— Courtesy MacArthur Foundation

Her parents encouraged academic excellence. She was by temperament very hands-on. “I used to borrow tools and parts from the bike-repair man across the street to fix my bike,” she says. Her mother objected to the grease stains, “but my parents never said such skills were off-limits to me or my sister.”

So she grew up without stereotypical gender roles. Once in the United States, she did not feel bound by US social norms, she recalls.

Her practical skills stood her in good stead in 1991, when she was scouting for a research group to join after her first year as a graduate student at MIT. Her adviser was moving to Chicago and Mavalvala had decided not to follow him, so she needed a new adviser. She met Rainer Weiss, who worked down the hallway.

Nergis Mavalvala, center, celebrates with Rebecca Weiss, left, wife of MIT physics professor Rai Weiss, following an update by MIT scientists on gravitational waves, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, at MIT in Cambridge, Mass. — AP Nergis Mavalvala, center, celebrates with Rebecca Weiss, left, wife of MIT physics professor Rai Weiss, following an update by MIT scientists on gravitational waves, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, at MIT in Cambridge, Mass. — AP

“What do you know?” Weiss asked her. She began to list the classes she had taken at the institute—but the renowned experimentalist interrupted with, “What do you know how to do?” Mavalvala ticked off her practical skills and accomplishments: machining, electronic circuitry, building a laser. Weiss took her on right away.

Mavalvala says that although it may not be immediately apparent, she is a product of good mentoring.

From the chemistry teacher in Pakistan who let her play with reagents in the lab after school to the head of the physics department at MIT, who supported her work when she joined the faculty in 2002, she has encountered several encouraging people on her journey.

Nergis Mavalvala exlpains in a video from 2010 the importance of gravitational waves. — YoutTube video courtesy of MacArthur Foundation

Landmark discovery

Although the discovery of gravitational waves, that opens a new window for studying the cosmos, was made in September 2015, it took scientists months to confirm their data.

The researchers said they detected gravitational waves coming from two black holes - extraordinarily dense objects whose existence also was foreseen by Einstein - that orbited one another, spiraled inward and smashed together. They said the waves were the product of a collision between two black holes 30 times as massive as the Sun, located 1.3 billion light years from Earth.

Nergis Mavalvala, center, takes questions from members of the media as MIT physics professor Matthew Evans, left, and MIT research scientist Erik Katsavounidis, right, look on during a presentation on the discovery of gravitational waves, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, on the school's campus, in Cambridge, Mass.— AP Nergis Mavalvala, center, takes questions from members of the media as MIT physics professor Matthew Evans, left, and MIT research scientist Erik Katsavounidis, right, look on during a presentation on the discovery of gravitational waves, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, on the school's campus, in Cambridge, Mass.— AP

The scientific milestone, announced at a news conference in Washington, was achieved using a pair of giant laser detectors in the United States, located in Louisiana and Washington state, capping a long quest to confirm the existence of these waves.

The announcement was made in Washington by scientists from the California Institute of Technology, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the LIGO Scientific Collaboration.

“We are really witnessing the opening of a new tool for doing astronomy,” MIT astrophysicist Nergis Mavalvala said in an interview. “We have turned on a new sense. We have been able to see and now we will be able to hear as well.”

Comments (201) Closed

pure Ind Feb 13, 2016 11:50am

Congrats no wonder she is from the Parsi Community, In india as well they are one of the most literate, kind & well off communities.

Philosopher (from Japan) Feb 13, 2016 11:51am

Great work young lady. Pakistan prouds you.

usman Feb 13, 2016 11:55am

Wow great.

imran khan Feb 13, 2016 11:55am

pride of pakistan.we need more pakistani women shining on international stage.

A Pakistani Feb 13, 2016 12:02pm

Congratulations Nergis. When I visited CERN in Geneva I felt a certain pride in seeing my fellow countryman's name being mentioned as one of the foremost contributors to the idea of particle research. The world renowned Dr. Abdus Salam. And before the rant starts about his personal faith let me clarify that most Pakistanis hold him very dearly as a fellow countryman.

Nergis , you have now joined the ranks of those very few in the world who have made important contributions to the progress of human knowledge. You have a contribution in proving Einstein's theory as valid. Congratulations to you and to your entire team at MIT from Pakistan

stranger Feb 13, 2016 12:02pm

proud of you

asif Feb 13, 2016 12:04pm

I know many people here in the West doing wonders. Any chance you are going to come back and do something for this country of yours? "We owe this country" kind of a thing ? These so called leaders have made a mess of this beautiful land.

SAMUDRA KALITA Feb 13, 2016 12:08pm

Many many congratulations dear .....keep up ur good work!!!

Gnanesh Feb 13, 2016 12:13pm

Very proud of Pakistani and Indian scientists who are part of the team confirming the gravitational waves.

This proves once again that we from the subcontinent can also be front runners in top research. Only that we need to provide the right environment and infrastructure, along with priority for scientific research and advancement.

As long as a solid foundation in schooling and college education with critical thinking and questioning are held and taught as core skills, the mindset and attitude for excellence would propel the people to create and do lot of interesting stuff.

Hope we encourage girl children to study and compete in all fields. Bring back Malala to Pakistan. She'd inspire many more Nergis Mavalvalas to emerge.

Awais Ali Feb 13, 2016 12:17pm

Fabulous. Feeling proud. This lady is glittering star for Pakistan.

ZalmayKhan Feb 13, 2016 12:18pm

This is the outcome of the integration with the rest of the world in education and scientific culture. Make us proud.

RAM BABU DELHI Feb 13, 2016 12:19pm

parsis achievement all over the world in every field is remarkable.from TATAs,Godrej,Shapoorjis,Pallonjis,Wadias ,Homi Bhabha ,the list is endless.

Jim Tarasqui Feb 13, 2016 12:29pm

Great! When is the Nobel Prize?

Advani Feb 13, 2016 12:31pm

U r great . proud of you. need more like you in a place like Pak.

msadiq Feb 13, 2016 12:44pm

Nergis, you make us proud ! Good work amazing girl from Pakistan !

ali Feb 13, 2016 12:51pm

Good work you make us proud.

Who cares! Feb 13, 2016 12:54pm

Proud of your great work.

Farooq Feb 13, 2016 12:56pm

Bravo! You are source of pride and inspiration for whole nation!

Kashif Feb 13, 2016 12:57pm

Congratulations ma'am! When the first time I read the news about the historic discovery, I wished that some one from Pakistan was part of it. Lo and behold! Here you are!! Feeling so so proud of you. Stay blessed.

Umar Farooq Feb 13, 2016 12:59pm

Great Job dear.........

PAK Feb 13, 2016 01:01pm

Congratulations. proud of you

@sheikh Feb 13, 2016 01:01pm

Noble prize for her.

austin Feb 13, 2016 01:02pm

Superb work. Shows that with encouragement, any student can reach heights. Many congratulations :)

irshad Feb 13, 2016 01:14pm

which High School is she from, MMAMA PARSI or KGS, these are the institutions producing brilliant students.

Sharif Khan Feb 13, 2016 01:22pm

Pakistan govt should acknowledge by awarding civilian medal on 23rd March 2016.

The Observer Feb 13, 2016 01:23pm

@pure Ind no matter what community she belongs to. She is from Pakistan and we are proud of her.

UA Feb 13, 2016 01:33pm

Oh I feel so good about this as a Pakistani ! Nergis great job !!! All the best ...

Shahid Feb 13, 2016 01:41pm

A moment of pride,but the same time, we need to reflect as to why can't we retain and use the God gifted talent within Pakistan. Why is it that it always takes a foreign land to allow our talent to blossom. Time to start investing in human beings instead of metros, orange lines and Disney entertainment parks

jbashir Feb 13, 2016 01:42pm

Brilliant woman. Makes you feel proud

IndianGuy Feb 13, 2016 01:51pm

The paper on the discovery of gravitational waves has authors from more than 100 research institutes around the world which includes 10 Indian research institutes. A truly international effort (but obviously led by US). Congratulations to all.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist Feb 13, 2016 01:59pm

So proud of her.

Muzzamil Feb 13, 2016 02:11pm

Congratz Nergis, Pakistan needs more like you.

Muzzamil Feb 13, 2016 02:15pm

This shows that secularism is the key to success. All communities should be respected and loved. Religion should not be the basis to hate anyone. We need to change mindset in Pakistan.

Imran Feb 13, 2016 02:15pm

There is another Pakistani overlooked in this situation: Muzammil Arain, he is originally from Karachi. His name appears on the list of authors as well.

Nomi Feb 13, 2016 02:21pm

Nergis makes us proud..real proud. thank you.

salam Feb 13, 2016 02:22pm

Great stuff. Everyone must be proud of the achievements and take motivation.

Mrs. Phannay Khan Feb 13, 2016 02:27pm

Proud of you!

Muhammad Arshad Feb 13, 2016 02:29pm

Great News

Kalhan Feb 13, 2016 02:30pm

The proposed LIGO-India project aims to move the Advanced LIGO detector from Hanford to India.LIGO-India project is envisaged as an international collaboration between the LIGO Laboratory and three lead institutions in the IndIGO consortium: IPR, IUCAA and RRCAT.The LIGO lab would provide the complete design and all the key detector components.Indian scientists would provide the infrastructure for installing the detector at a suitable site and would be responsible for commissioning it.The observatory would be operated jointly by IndIGO and the LIGO-Lab and would form a single network along with the LIGO detectors in USA and Virgo in Italy.

Pakistani Feb 13, 2016 02:36pm

Congratulations Nergis!!! Your making us proud

Satt Feb 13, 2016 02:42pm

Ever smiling lady.

Kalhan Feb 13, 2016 02:43pm

Indian scientists played a crucial role, including in data analysis, in the path-breaking project for the detection of gravitational waves, or ripples in space-time, which Albert Einstein predicted a century ago. Several institutes, including Institute of Plasma Research (IPR) Gandhinagar, Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune, and Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RRCAT), Indore, were involved in the research.

The announcement of detection of gravitational waves was made simultaneously at IUCAA, Pune, and by scientists in Washington DC, USA.

yogi Feb 13, 2016 02:44pm

Congratulations mam. Hope your efforts will not be drained to wrong hands. Stay safe.

SohailAnwar Feb 13, 2016 02:46pm

Answer to Imran Khan in this discussion, we need more women and men to contribute and shine on international level. Let's lift our heroes and respect them instead of degrade them. Let's never get personal. Let's celebrate their achievements proudly. Name roads and colleges in their name.

Shaukat Ali Khan Feb 13, 2016 02:54pm

Excellent !!!

Irfan Mahmood Feb 13, 2016 03:00pm

What I do not understand is many of Pakistani fellows proudly sharing that a Pakistani-born lady was part of the team who discovered gravitational waves. How exactly it should make us proud?

B.Patel USA Feb 13, 2016 03:03pm

Very hearty congratulations from a father and a grand father of girls. Keep up the great work.

MrA2Z Feb 13, 2016 03:11pm

Good but I'm not happy at all. Whenever something like that happens we feel proud if a Pakistani is involved. Why don't we think the other way? Why all these talented people are out of Pakistan? Why we can't embed the culture of proper research in our country? Why our govt is not developing such prestigious institution?

Dasti Feb 13, 2016 03:26pm

This is the one news, more Important news should be how Gravitational Phenomina works. Dawn should share one comprehensive small authentic video on the phenomina about how it works. Such clips are readily available on the internet.

lafanga Feb 13, 2016 03:51pm

@Kalhan Congrats but this is not India vs Pakistan cricket match. Nergis is from Pakistan originally and we are celebrating her achievements here.

SGH Feb 13, 2016 03:54pm

Congratulations Nergis Mavalvala. A great achievement. God bless you. Thank you for giving us a moment of happiness and pride. All best wishes for your future scientific work.

Thank you USA for providing Nerigs M. with education , research training, active research infrastructure and atmosphere and research funds.

Syed Ali Feb 13, 2016 04:05pm

Nergis, please do know that you have made us, Pakistanis in general and Karachites in particular, immensely and mighty proud. May your success furthers humanity’s humble knowledge of our universe.

BK Feb 13, 2016 04:07pm

Great achievement and congratulations Ms. Nergis Mavalvala. Proud Parsis.

Javed Arshad Feb 13, 2016 04:08pm

Feeling proud of your achievement. There is something going on from CPEC to energy to infrastructural development and accountability that we Pakistanis are feeling ripples that something is being done to come out from the horrible nightmare of terrorism in the name of Islam. Congratulations again.

Kamal Pasha Feb 13, 2016 04:09pm

Nargis Mavalvala being a Parsi has to be genius. It is in their gene. Parsis are all well educate, philanthropist, have done too much for the residents of Karachi in the field of education, health etc. Jamshed Nusserwanji was the mayor of Karachi during British rule when Karachi was declare the 'Cleanest city in Asia'. He was Parsi and also from Karachi like Nargis. Dawn has published many articles about the Parsis of Karachi.

AdHawk Feb 13, 2016 04:10pm

Good on you, girl.

Aku Feb 13, 2016 04:13pm

Happy and proud to hear about this. But the title of karachiite is interesting. it sounds more of a coincidence than anything for her to be born in Pakistan. Most of her education is outside Pakistan. I am not sure if she even will consider herself a Pakistani let alone karachiite. Hope that her success can inspire some of our physicists to breakthrough and succeed.

Muhammad Saleem Munshi Feb 13, 2016 04:28pm

What fine brains and individuals we have been endowed with but sadly very little here in Pakistan to show for it. How beautifully they nurtured and flowered abroad where institutions are independent and free from interference. Our beautiful nation with endowed souls destroyed by bigotry and establishment, choosing to flout the rule of law by circumventing the rules and pure bullying. No wonder only a trickle of Parsis now remain here while 99% went to greener and sane pastures abroad.Out of that trickle the good ones running Mama and the BVS Parsi High School still producing some gems of a human being.

Jawaid kamal Feb 13, 2016 04:30pm

Good first we loath our minorities then we celebrate if they achieve something this big.Do we know how many parsis have left karachi due to inhospitable environments. Karachi belonged to them before it belonge to us. I remember madam Medora from D J science college.what a hard working and kind teacher ,God bless her.

crisp Feb 13, 2016 04:34pm

Pakistanis, the best. congrats Nergis

hassan Feb 13, 2016 04:43pm

@asif Probably you don't know what we do to those who return. She would be better of remaining where she is.

Lotus Feb 13, 2016 04:43pm

Wonder if this post is read by either Nergis Mavalvala or Muzzamil Arain or their family.No doubt we as a nation are very happy about their achievements and hope the younger generation gets Inspiration from them to achieve similar targets.My request is that Dawn publishes at least a brief write up on their lives in Pakistan,what school they attended, names of school principals or teachers,what neighbourhood they lived,where are their family now and then,etc.Also,personally how do they feel after reaching this recognition.Maybe,their inspiration came from the great scientist Dr Abdus Salam,whom we as a nation will remain always indebted for his scientific acumen and humbleness.

shahnaz Feb 13, 2016 04:44pm

@pure Ind Sometimes it is good to rise above communities but you indian have obsession with that.

Shahid Niaz Feb 13, 2016 04:50pm

You made us proud. Congrats.

Real Pakistani Feb 13, 2016 04:51pm

From Karachi. Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Feels good to be a Karachite. Wish her all the luck and will pray for her success. Ameen.

Nasiroski Feb 13, 2016 04:54pm

Nice, first there is Malala and then Dr Mavalvala, now this is something to brag about

Nadeem Feb 13, 2016 05:03pm

Proud of her!

ROHIT PANDEY Feb 13, 2016 05:10pm

Nice story,.Brought a big smile on my face.

Malang Feb 13, 2016 05:14pm

@asif like Just the fact that she put Pakistan and her women on the global map is more than anyone in Pakistan has done so far.

Indian Feb 13, 2016 05:16pm

Well done,

Sense Feb 13, 2016 05:17pm

After a dud Salam and Malala I am ready for for Pakistan's 3rd Nobel laureate ,hopefully she gets the respect she richly deserves

Sajjad Khan Feb 13, 2016 05:18pm

Now we are very proud of her indeeed

M. Siddique Feb 13, 2016 05:18pm

Bravo. We all love you.

Zak Feb 13, 2016 05:25pm

Really proud of Dr Nergis and her achievements. I am sure the convent of Jesus St.Mary's in Karachi must be very proud, her old school, which has produced many shining gems in the past.

Zak Feb 13, 2016 05:26pm

@RAM BABU DELHI not to do with which community she comes from, she is a product of Pakistan and the Pakistani excellent educational standards.

Abdulla Hussain Feb 13, 2016 05:33pm

Well achievement Narjis, the nation is proud of you.

Zak Feb 13, 2016 05:36pm

@Malang Abdul Salam, Malala, Gen Raheel Sharif, Imran Khan and tons more.

Syed Hussain Akbari Feb 13, 2016 05:56pm

May God bless Nergis Mavalvala !

Tony Feb 13, 2016 06:06pm

Parsis in Karachi and other places in Pakistan are descended from Parsis in Gujrat and Bombay who moved to Karachi and other places... not that long ago.

Prasad Feb 13, 2016 06:09pm


$aifuddin Takhtawala Feb 13, 2016 06:18pm

Wow, all hats up for Nergis. We are proud of you.

Zafars Feb 13, 2016 06:18pm

Hope she wins the Nobel Prize.

Zak Feb 13, 2016 06:32pm

@Tony too bad, they are Pakistani now and forever. Parsis originated from Iran. She has shown Pakistanis are brilliant and their education is world best.

Muhammad Feb 13, 2016 06:32pm


shafque ur rehman Feb 13, 2016 06:41pm

real daughter of pakistan, we salute him

Rajan Gupta Feb 13, 2016 06:48pm

Congratulations Nergis Mavalvala. I want civil society in Pakistan should due recognition to her ,so that this would certainly give to lot of hope to other Pakistani girls. Rajan Gupta India

Hamid Feb 13, 2016 06:51pm

Congratulation to the daughter of the soil. Pakistan seems to produce gems which we are not able to keep.

Wish her all the best. Hope she is still connected to the country.

Life Feb 13, 2016 06:51pm

She was educated and progressed in her career in USA. Stop celebrating her success as Pakistani because this will make you think that Pakistan is doing enough in science and technology and the government will stop working towards upgrading infrastructure.

Syed Zafar Kazmi U.S.A Feb 13, 2016 06:56pm

@lafanga @Kalhan Congrats but this is not India vs Pakistan Congratulations brilliant lady. May you prosper and shine ever and many like you shine the name of Pakistan.

Worth_Commenting Feb 13, 2016 07:01pm

@Irfan Mahmood You need not be so stressed out brother! The rest of us Pakistanis are tremendously proud of a lady who was born and brought up in Pakistan until the age of 18, hold dual Pakistani and US citizenship, and credits her chemistry teacher (back home in Karachi) in mentoring her mental evolution towards science.

Kalhan Feb 13, 2016 07:06pm

@lafanga ...Dear I am celebrating along with you by sharing our bit of contribution.

Abbas Naqvi Feb 13, 2016 07:13pm

Yes, Pakistan is proud of its daughter who has crossed yet another boundary of knowledge. It shows the heights the human caliber can scale given the proper ground to grow. Basically, it is within the reach of human being to open new frontiers of knowledge and unfold the realities of life and Universe. The discovery of gravitational waves is a step forward in quenching the perpetual human thirst for learning more about himself and his Creator.

jj Feb 13, 2016 07:15pm

@Jawaid kamal Karachi was a Gujarati City before birth of Pakistan.

Bushra Saleem Feb 13, 2016 07:16pm

I knew about this big achievement only yesterday through Radio waves.congeatulations to ur proud of you.great work young lady.

SuvBratChowdery Feb 13, 2016 07:20pm

Oh she is a farsi......thats why.....farsis (whether they are from present day Iran or from India or Pakistan) are a different breed. They value education a lot

Proud Feb 13, 2016 07:29pm


S.A.M. Feb 13, 2016 07:41pm

@Gnanesh I totally agree with you that the most important role is played by good schooling. we are blessed with excellent missionary and non missionary schools in Karachi. the standard is same if not better than any excellent school in the developed world.

S.A.M. Feb 13, 2016 07:42pm

You've made it girl. so proud of you.

LS Feb 13, 2016 07:52pm

She made the instrument that translated the sound captured via LIDO - A gravitational Sound converter after shifting frequency.

razi Feb 13, 2016 08:23pm

Well done Nargis and team!! Keep unraveling the mysteries of nature. There is so much more to be discovered. Just find it irresistible to quote the great scientist Albert Einstein, our mentor here “The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it Intuition or what you will, the solution comes to you and you don't know how or why.” Someone up there reveals the treasures as you move on, like in treasure hunt. With all the best wishes!!

Omar Feb 13, 2016 08:32pm


Freda Shah Feb 13, 2016 08:46pm

Nergis is a gift not only to Pakistan, but to the whole world. An outstanding individual indeed !

moazzam khan Feb 13, 2016 09:11pm

Congrat Dr.Nargis,for your great work and invention. Keep it up.

Abdul Feb 13, 2016 09:20pm

Congrats to skilled lady for her hardwork to explore hidden nature.

Musleh Uddin Ahmad Feb 13, 2016 09:45pm

Nergis Mavalvala and many other Pakistani like her needs recognition here. Why they have to leave the country to accomplish in field of their excellence? For twenty years she has been unknown in her own country. What a shame.

Ali Gul Feb 13, 2016 09:49pm

Thanks for making your parents and Country proud of you. Alhamdoillah

Musleh Uddin Ahmad Feb 13, 2016 09:50pm

@asif ---- Let her stay where she can accomplish and fulfill herself. One should always be loyal to one-self - to achieve the goal.

Iftikhar Ahmad Feb 13, 2016 09:52pm

The remarkable achivement of Nargis and her team of researchers, from Caltech, MIT and LIGO, is one of the greatest achievements in the history of physics and cosmology.

kaleem Feb 13, 2016 09:58pm

Two Karachi base women ! but of different fate:one is Mavalvala and other is Dr Aafia Siddiqui from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,USA.I pray for both of them.

Yawar Feb 13, 2016 10:12pm

Great achievement. We need more schools like the Convent in Pakistan.

Bupi Feb 13, 2016 10:40pm

Parsi are true Nationalist in Subcontinent . Their forefathers migrated from Persia now Iran . They are living in subcontinent since centuries without any conflict. They have adopted Indigenous culture of subcontinent.

Gnanesh Feb 13, 2016 10:42pm


Great to hear about the schools in Karachi. Values based education which develops children to question blind myths and imbibe rational thinking is the crying need of the day. And education is the only weapon against bigotry and dogma.

In both our countries this should be pursued with vengeance and bring all girls too under this fold.

umer Feb 13, 2016 11:07pm

nice karachi

Azhar jamil Feb 13, 2016 11:14pm

We, Pakistais are proud of Nergis Mavalvala. Congratulations! And one thing is interesting in her name which is a resemblance to Malala within a slight difference of V for a victory.

2 cent's worth Feb 13, 2016 11:20pm

Tear's are rolling down my eye's. Marvelous just Marvelous. I hope the corrupt ruler's of Pakistan will have the decency enough to bestow the land's highest honorary award to you.

saz Feb 13, 2016 11:34pm

Her graduation and post graduation is from good institutes. Good mentoring and her personal effort and devotion helped her to grow. We need to enhance critical thinking in children and at University level in Pakistan and it will be only possible when teaching methodology will enhance analytical abilities and will no longer be just exam focused. Currently most of the students are just focusing over exams and it's results rather learning and evaluating their learned knowledge at higher centers of brain where processing occurs.

Tariq, Lahore Feb 13, 2016 11:48pm

Nergis, dear you have made the Pakistani nation proud! Thank you!

Jatt Feb 14, 2016 12:06am

Well done and Pakistan is proud of you

Gustaakh Feb 14, 2016 12:34am

You have made Pakistan proud ! Thank you.

Jamali Feb 14, 2016 01:01am

Honestly Pakistan cannot take credit for her achievement as US has been behind her upbringing and research environment.

Jai Feb 14, 2016 01:31am

Many Indian's scientist worked on this project as well. Lego in collaboration with indian government already working on plans to built observatory in India. Proud of scientist who think logically and scientifically instead of religious myopia.

Jai Feb 14, 2016 01:33am

@Jim Tarasqui 1000's of scientist from across the world worked on that project. Give a prize to an associate professor not worth it. Might be project head of this team.

Jai Feb 14, 2016 01:35am

@shahnaz Read the article and tell yourself and writer to rise above the community. Read the article and understand it first then comment.

M. Baluch Feb 14, 2016 01:38am

@Tony Parsis are originally Zoroastrians who migrated to the subcontinent from Persia when oppressed. A lot were settled in Quetta, and if you check your Geography, Quetta is the first major city when you cross over from Zahedan - you would not need to come through Gujerat first! There are Parsis with family name of Quettawala. Zoroastrians who have settled in the subcontinent, married locally, at times lost touch with their mother tongue (Persian) came to be called Parsis. A great community, friendly, non-confrontational, philanthropic, culturally blessed - an irreparable loss to the culture of Karachi, Queta and Lahore with their mass migration away from Pakistan.

Aman Feb 14, 2016 01:39am

Good work Nergis we are proud of you. Please help motivate all Pakistanis to be like you in education and technology learning so that we can get rid of the menace of terrorism and put the nation on the right track.

Aisha Feb 14, 2016 01:41am

@asif Would love to live and work in Pakistan, but it is not safe and all the civil departments and government institutions are corrupt. We can't adapt to that lifestyle out of choice, it is as if going back in time. Also there is limited movement for women, one has to be chaperoned which is strange. My life in the west is very comfortable Alhamdullila, I would find it difficult to move to a country where basic utilities are still an issue. Some Pakistani's enjoy the lifestyle in the native land and their reason is usually because you get good house help! for me that is not a good enough reason, I can do my own cleaning that is not an issue for me, but running water and electricity are.

Aisha Feb 14, 2016 01:44am

@pure Ind, Yes Dear!! she is Pakistani , get over it.

YA Feb 14, 2016 01:50am

@Irfan Mahmood it's should make is proud and happy that our tribal mentality has failed at indoctranating certain mind. Considering this there may still be hope

Parsi-World Feb 14, 2016 01:56am

@Gnanesh I think Malala did not exist when Nergis was born, and still the talent saw the light.

Reader Feb 14, 2016 02:04am

@Life Her base schooling was from Pakistan. You cannot erect giant buildings without solid base. Don't let yourself be a self-delusional.

Pakistani-Sindhi Feb 14, 2016 02:12am

Proud of this sister! Sindh has given birth to gems of the country!

Pakistani-Sindhi Feb 14, 2016 02:27am

@Tony Please do not spread misinformation if your only aim is to credit India (somehow). Parsis (Zoroastrians) came from Iran to Sindh, and from here some of them went to live in Gujarat and Bombay.

Rohail Feb 14, 2016 02:36am

Nergis made every Pakistani proud. Another Pakistani will get Nobel prize! Well done.

romm Feb 14, 2016 03:23am

@IndianGuy Indian is the Centre of Universe...

Zavare Feb 14, 2016 04:06am

Didn't understand a word of what she meant...But, maha impressed !!

Sami Feb 14, 2016 04:23am

Nergis, you go girl !!!

SMQ Zaman Feb 14, 2016 04:55am

Thanks to Dawn for raising public awareness (in Pakistan and worldwide) and publishing Prof. Nergis Mavalvala's educational and scientific achievements and as a LIGO in the discovery of 'gravitational waves'.

According to the famous theoretical-physicist, Michio Kaku (interviewed on BBC News on 11th Feb. 2016), said, "....there were more than 1,000 scientists engaged in this phenomenal scientific discovery at LIGO, and that the Interferometer-Project, and which project cost over $1bn, and took over 40 years to build, develop, fine-tuned, and observed by 'sound and gravitational waves'...".


SMQ Zaman Feb 14, 2016 04:56am

contd. from above....

But, do note that 'gravitational waves' was predicted 100 years ago by the 'Theory of General Relativity' in a research paper published and addressed, in 1915, by the 'Father of All-Professors and Physicists' - Albert Einstein.

Posted by: ZAC Consulting 'working in practice and international development for a better, inclusive, and peaceful world' United Kingdom

Yawar Feb 14, 2016 05:44am

@Life Nargis' foundation was established in Karachi at the Convent of J&M, a very high caliber girls school. I am sure each and every teacher and student of the Convent is beaming with pride.

Nadeem Zaidi Feb 14, 2016 06:25am

Proud moment. Go further girl......

Nadeem Zaidi Feb 14, 2016 06:26am

Heck of a job. Proud moment. Go further

Ajaya K Dutt Feb 14, 2016 06:38am

Congratulations. Another Pakistani and a Parsi we all are proud of.

GA Feb 14, 2016 06:46am

So happy to learn about her Pakistani connection!

Taimoor khan Feb 14, 2016 07:12am

Keep the flag high and proud. Now come back to Pakistan and contribute towards its development :).

Muhammad Aijaz Umer Feb 14, 2016 07:40am

Well done. Pakistani people have potential to excel.

Mumbai Feb 14, 2016 07:50am

Awesome achievement!! Lot of talent here in Pakistan and India should get the opportunity like this. We need to collaborate in Advanced physiscs R&D facilities.

Syed(Australia) Feb 14, 2016 08:06am

We are proud of you. Pakistan needs women like you. Keep up the good work.

rahim chundrigar Feb 14, 2016 08:20am

feel so proud of being a Pakistani, i urge upon PAKISTAN government to grant her PRIDE OF PAKISTAN award.

Mehdi Feb 14, 2016 08:27am

just ponder that if these people are allowed to work in pakistan and provided a comfortable enviroment then these people can help pakiatan progress in every field.

zafar Feb 14, 2016 08:37am

Congratulation Nergis. This discovery should be a strong candidate for a Nobel prize next year.

Pakistani Feb 14, 2016 08:38am

This is just the beginning, in the next 15 to 20 years the Pakistani diaspora will blossom and take Pakistan to those "Jahaan(s)" Allama Iqbal spoke of. It will be just a little while longer though - you make us proud Nargis Baaji.

nino Feb 14, 2016 08:49am


Ather Feb 14, 2016 09:19am

It is people like Mavalvala which make me feel so proud as a Pakistani. Infinite congratulations to Mavalvala for doing us proud! You are the one who deserves Pakistan's highest accolades.

Najam Feb 14, 2016 09:46am

So happy. Narjis you make us proud.

Blore Guy Feb 14, 2016 09:47am

@lafanga we also celebrated her success and kalyan shared information ...why it wasn't digested by you...proud for all subcontinent scientist

Max Malavansky Feb 14, 2016 10:02am

Amazing accomplishment Dr. Mavalvala, I'm proud of your work and hope it serves as an inspiration for your country women and men. A Nobel Prize should be forthcoming! I await the scientific discoveries this breakthrough will bring! Your country should be proud of you!

Fahad Nadeem Feb 14, 2016 10:08am

A role model for youth aspiring for achieving distinction in career especially girls. Hope there are many more such stories to follow.

Shaikh Muhammed Ali Feb 14, 2016 10:24am

Wow. This is amazing. Hats off Dr. Mavalwala :)

Shaikh Muhammed Ali Feb 14, 2016 10:25am

@irshad: She is from the convent of Jesus &U Mary in Clifton, Karachi

Fazal Karim Feb 14, 2016 10:29am

Weldon Nergis we are proud of you, also congratulations to your parents and school in Karachi.

Wiqas Feb 14, 2016 10:39am

Great job... Congratulations to Miss Nergis and her team. Thanks to Dawn for sharing this news.

Arshad Javed Sandal Feb 14, 2016 10:48am

Hi Nargis congratulations. We Pakistani are proud of you, especially those who understand Physics and Math.

Dr. Farooq Khan Feb 14, 2016 11:35am

Parsi are the real lovers of our country. God bless them. I dont care whether if someone is Hindoo, Christian, Qadyanee, Shia, Sunni etc. As long as he/she is Pkistani and love the country, he/she is my brother/sister.

IamPakistan Feb 14, 2016 11:36am

Great work... We need to stop this brain drain from pakistan. Lets not be pessimistic we can always do wonders. Thumbs up...

Harris Feb 14, 2016 11:52am

It doesn't matter what religious beliefs she has, Nergis is a living proof, that our country can provide the necessary base to anybody who can go on to be a strong contributor to human civilisation...

Mariam Goodur Feb 14, 2016 11:55am

The Pakistani Lady needs our congratulations for her laudable exploits. A good continuation to her.

Ayesha Feb 14, 2016 01:07pm

I salute the Pakistan’s smallest Parsi community whose member, Ms. Mavalvala has made us feel very proud. Parsis have made enormous contribution for our country, right from 1947. Thank You

Jagan sriram Feb 14, 2016 01:16pm

Congratulations nergis and Pakistan.Pakistan can do a has produced many extra ordinary people who went on to contribute in their field .unfortunately not in their homeland rather in the west.not only nergis,Abdul salam who won noble prize for physics, in 90s atiq raza who was a silicon valley entrepreneur list goes on.Pakistan has to develop self confidence spend less money on defense,more money on health care, has to fix the law and order situation create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.if Pakistan does these things it can produce many nergises.come on Pakistan you can do.

Krishna Feb 14, 2016 01:29pm

@lafanga : very sane, yes you are right

Saif Feb 14, 2016 01:44pm

Ms. Mavalvala, you are Pride of Pakistan and as Pakistanis we are all proud to own you. Hope and pray you achieve more success and bring more laurels to our beautiful Pakistan.

Ali Feb 14, 2016 01:46pm

Well done Nergis. Now this is a news article that is worth of print.

asfand Feb 14, 2016 02:01pm

Very Proud of you, we expect you to come back to Pakistan and devote your talents to up bring the students of our counrty. Once again well done

Saad Feb 14, 2016 02:49pm

Couldn't be more proud of her. Well done. You have us all proud

Dv Feb 14, 2016 03:01pm

This is who we are intellectually. It is time to wake up for Pakistan, take this path.

Aleem Kadar Feb 14, 2016 03:10pm

Well done Nergis; you make us proud. Now it's our turn to recognize your achievements; we should name a street especially one in Saddar in her name.

B R Chawla Feb 14, 2016 03:47pm

Let us learn a lessen. Give equal opportunitird to thr girl child

Taimoor khan Feb 14, 2016 04:42pm

This should put rest to debate that Pakistani women don't have their rights. From BB rising to become PM of Pakistan TWICE, to the lady airforce pilot who recently laid down her life for her country (RIP), now to Nergis. Pakistani women don't need the certificate of "women rights" from within, specially from outside. From Karachi to khyber, it's in their gene to achive whatever they want.

samar naseer Feb 14, 2016 04:50pm

i am proud of my country woman. she achieved a huge goal and enter her name in the universal history of great science, once again all my regard for her forever, it love her deeply, i pray may god give her greatest achievements for the betterment of humanity

Hassan Feb 14, 2016 07:17pm

@Taimoor khan : People like Nergis and Benazir do not represent the ordinary Pakistani women. We need more some focus on women education and equal opportunities.....

mirza Feb 14, 2016 07:20pm

She deserves a civil award from the Government.

AG Feb 14, 2016 09:10pm


Taimoor khan Feb 14, 2016 09:35pm

@Hassan what more equal opportunities you need when you as nation through the power of vote have elected a woman to lead you twice? So called champions of women rights in America have yet to achive this feat, they never had a woman president in their two century old history.

Mirza Feb 14, 2016 09:40pm

Alas , we don't honor our Pakistani heroes specially if they are different.

Abid Hafeez Feb 14, 2016 10:38pm

Pride of Pakistan. Great achievement.

Kris Feb 14, 2016 10:56pm

@@sheikh hmm...I suppose you mean Nobel prize, not Noble prize

Mansoor Mozaffar Feb 15, 2016 01:45am

@RAM BABU DELHI And my prestigious NED Engineering College of Karachi. It was the first Engineering College of the subcontinent of which Takht Ram was the first graduate in 1922. When the college was established some Gora name was given to it. In Pakistan it was changed to the name of the founder Nadirshaw Edulji Dinshaw (NED). When Engineering University was founded in Karachi at a different location it was called Karachi University of Engineering. Students agitated against the new name. Finally authorities accepted the protest and named it NED Engineering University of Karachi. Mansoor Mozaffar, USA.

hnmirza Feb 15, 2016 01:46am

@M. Baluch I agree Baluch Sb...Karachi is much the poorer without its Parsis and Goans. Their virtues were education, acceptance of others and philanthropy amongst others.

It Starts with you Feb 15, 2016 04:17am

@asif Good deeds starts with ourselves, start small, start now, but make your contribution first before asking or waiting on others. Did you do anything good for your country or human kind in last one month? It can be as small as keeping your colony / playground clean.

Alan Feb 15, 2016 05:01am

We have complete freedom to decide weather to shine on the science and technology front or to better perform than Bollywood dancers. Complete Freedom!

Ajaya K Dutt Feb 15, 2016 06:26am

@irshad - "which High School is she from, MMAMA PARSI or KGS, these are the institutions producing brilliant students." - It does not matter what school. She is a lady scientist from Pakistan, that is most important.

Wish to see more of you.

Congratulations to whole of Pakistan.

anon Feb 15, 2016 10:07am

@irshad She is from Convent of Jesus and Mary

anon Feb 15, 2016 10:19am

@Azhar jamil Seriously !!! Is that all you can come up with?

Raja Parekh Feb 15, 2016 01:23pm

Congratulations Pakistan! You are producing gem of people in every field.

Naseem Altaf Feb 15, 2016 02:33pm

Parsi community has been such a valuable citizenry of Karachi for the past few centuries. They have contributed so much to the society and the city. It saddening that after the formation of Pakistan ,conditions for minorities here became inhospitable and we became poorer in quality. Anyway it is a pleasure that a former Pakistani achieved so much . I remember Prof Abdul Salam also who was forced out by our prejudices and lack of inclusiveness.

Iqbal Hadi Zaidi Feb 15, 2016 05:20pm

Inshallallah she will be Noble Prize winner. I wonder and ponder why Pakistan has still not announced any award for her? Does she need some push and pull to be decorated with Nishan e Pakistan or Hilal e Pakistan? Who opposes me? Iqbal Hadi Zaidi / Kuwait /

Hassan Feb 15, 2016 05:35pm

@Taimoor khan : Benazir was elected Prime minister because she was from the Bhutto dynasty otherwise no common woman ( or man for that purpose) can even dream of becoming a Prime minister....

Iqbal Hadi Zaidi Feb 15, 2016 05:38pm

After going through most of the comments I am pained to pen that how and why did her faith came into discussion. She is Pakistani and not Parsi to be honest. US will never ever will ask about her faith and if I am not mistaken it is even offensive to talk about ethnicity of a person. It reminds me some were very critical of Dr Abdul Salam because he was Qadyani ignoring the fact that he was Pakistani rather 1st Pakistani to be honored with Noble Prize. Am I wrong, which I am not? Iqbal Hadi Zaidi / Kuwait /

Mustafa Feb 15, 2016 08:14pm

Our pride. Well done Nergis!

weq Feb 15, 2016 11:57pm

@A Pakistani Write to her an email direct, what is the pupose of writing to her in comments here as if she is reading this all the time, this shows why you were out of CERN, maybe forever.

Nasir Kaifi Feb 16, 2016 01:20am

Proud of her being from Karachi regardless of her even remembering it.

Nasrullah Khan -USA Feb 16, 2016 04:13am

"Observation of Gravitational Waves from a Binary Black Hole Merger" Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 061102 – Published 11 February 2016