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Dr. Richard L. Thompson (Feb. 4, 1947–Sept. 18, 2008), also known by his Vaishnava name Sadaputa dasa, was a mathematician, scientist, philosopher, researcher of ancient cosmology, author, and devoted practitioner of bhakti-yoga. In 1974, Thompson received his Ph.D. from Cornell University, where he specialized in probability theory and statistical mechanics. During this time he found inspiration in the philosophy of Bhagavad-gita, and became an initiated disciple of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder-acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), popularly known as the Hare Krishna movement.
In his professional career, Thompson pursued research in quantum theory and mathematical biology, as well as NASA-funded research in satellite remote sensing. He produced over two-dozen peer reviewed scientific papers and a co-authored textbook on computer modeling of biological systems.
Thompson was also a founding charter member of the academic scientific branch of ISKCON, the Bhaktivedanta Institute, where he published over fourteen technical papers on the study of the relationship between science and Vedanta. He also contributed over forty essays for a popular audience in Back to Godhead, “the magazine of the Hare Krishna movement.” Thompson extensively investigated ancient Indian astronomy, cosmology, and spirituality, and developed multimedia expositions on these topics. He wrote eight books on subjects ranging from consciousness to archeology and ancient astronomy.