April 2016

Inside this issue:






Anisha Lunawat (MT2014006), Sanyam Jain (MT2014104) have won the first runners up prize at the Philips Hue Hackathon
(April 2)
Sunil Abraham, the Executive Director of Centre for Internet & Society
(April 7)
Prof. G. N. Srinivasa Prasanna and Sunil K. Vuppala (PH2009902) at INFORMS Conference
(April 10-12)
MITRA Meeting
(April 16)

Nupur Garg (MT2014081), Shivam Kumar (IMT2013042) have won the second place at the WTM Hack 2016
(April 16-17)

Fifth Center for Data Sciences (CDS) workshop
(April 18)

Parth Savjani (MT2014107), Anubhav Bhardwaj (IMT2012006), Lijo Johny (IMT2012023), and Abhijay (IMT2012049) have won the first place at Hackerramp 2016 Hackathon

COPAS project
(April 21)

Technical workshop on Trends on Networking Communication
(April 22)

excITe programme
(April 25-27)

excITe programme
(April 25-27)

Talk by Mr. Linus Kendall, a Ph.D. researcher at Sheffield-Hallam University.
(April 26)
1st Senate Meeting of the IIIT Dharwad
(April 29)

Lukshya Madan (IMT2012024) and Sudeshna Nag (IMT2014055) have won the third place at Cisco’s first-ever “Great Digital India Challenge”

From the Director's Desk:

Every year, the months of March, April and May see a flurry of activities at IIITB, owing to the end of the semester evaluations and admissions cycles for all programs -- April 2016 was no exception. April 2016 also saw the 9th edition of excITe programme where 52 students from selected high schools spent a week interacting with IIITB faculty. We conducted the Alumni meet and welcomed the new council members of MITRA Team. The weather in Bengaluru has become noteworthy owing to the soaring temperatures -- April 25, 2016 saw the highest recorded temperature of 39.2 degrees Celsius, breaking a 85-year record. The summer vacations will be a welcome break to all students!Happy reading!

  • Profs. Madhav Rao and Muralidhara V. N. have been awarded the "Young Faculty Research Fellowship" under Visvesvaraya Ph.D. Scheme for Electronics & IT for the year 2015-16. The young faculty research fellowship is granted for a period of up to 5 years.

  • Prof. Preeti Mudliar has been awarded a four-month Public Scholar fellowship by The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy, Chennai to study BharatNet, a Government of India initiative to support rural broadband connectivity in the country. This policy initiative by the Indian government is the largest rural connectivity project of its kind in the world. The fellowship will run from May 2016 to August 2016. 

  • The team “Spark" (Anisha Lunawat (MT2014006), Sanyam Jain (MT2014104)) has won the first runners up prize at the Philips Hue Hackathon, conducted by Philips Lightning India on April 2. The team won Philips Hue Go, a portable mobile operable Lamp costing INR 9,000 each.
    About the event:  It was the first-ever hackathon for the Hue Lighting platform organized by Philips. Having pioneered the connected lighting category in India with the launch of Philips Hue – the dynamic app-enabled LED home lighting system, the hackathon engaged with the app development community with over 200 participants, to come up with new use cases and scenarios around HUE lighting. In the day-long event, Philips provided the coders and developers with HUE SDK, around which software programs were developed on the code fest day. The HUE SDK used globally, is developed in India at Philips Innovation Campus in Bangalore.
    What Team Spark Built: The team leveraged the power of IFTTT & HUE SDK to build a messaging bot by which a user could control the lights (state & color) by sending a WhatsApp message. Additionally, the bot could  understand emotions in the conversation & responded by changing the color of the lights. If user messaged "I Miss Home", the lights turned violet and for "I love IIITB!" the color changed to bright orange. 

  • The team Refugees (Parth Savjani (MT2014107), Anubhav Bhardwaj (IMT2012006), Lijo Johny (IMT2012023), Abhijay (IMT2012049))  has won the first place with prize money of INR 1 Lakh at Hackerramp 2016 Hackathon conducted by Myntra.
    About the event: Over 500 participants embarked upon a mission to develop intuitive methods and intelligent codes to build innovative mobile commerce solutions within 24 hours. Leading platform for fashion brands and pioneer in e-commerce, Myntra, invited the finest tech minds in the city and challenged them to create game-changing mobile technologies, themed around Computer Vision, Big Data, and Artificial Intelligence. The event witnessed over 500 internal & external participants from companies including Walmart Labs, Intuit, Hike and Practo. The event was judged by Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Myntra, Mr. Shamik Sharma, Mr. Amod Malviya (Ex-CTO of Flipkart) among other VCs and investors. 
    What Team Refugees built: The team made an artificially intelligent bot that recommends clothes using user's selfie and twitter handle. The machine learning algorithm understands a user's personality and improves predictions as the user clicks on the recommended products.

  • The team "Vikings" (Akshay Jindal (IMT2012002), Ananth Murthy (IMT2012004), Prerit Jain (IMT2012033) and Sanat R (IMT2012039)) has won the second place at the Steer Quest Hackathon, conducted by ABAI held during April 16-17. The team won a cash prize of INR 30,000/-.

  • Team PalmosCare (Lukshya Madan (IMT2012024) and Sudeshna Nag (IMT2014055)) has won the third place at Cisco’s first-ever “Great Digital India Challenge” and was awarded a cash prize of INR 75,000/-.
    About the event: It was an event, focused on IoT based ideation challenge for India, where over forty of India’s top universities participated, thus targeting heavy participation from the students. Eight teams were chosen as semi-finalists. The teams worked with Cisco Systems, Inc.’s Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and faculty members at participating colleges to build working prototypes of their ideas.
    What Team PalmosCare built: The team's project has been titled, “Improving the response time in the case of a reported medical emergency using the taxi aggregator model”. The team aimed to improve the response time in the case of a reported emergency by using the taxi aggregator model and tie-up with local clinics, hospitals, ambulance service providers and Insurance companies. The team achieved this goal by optimal utilization of resources and proposed a centralized control system for Emergency Response Systems. The centralized system has been designed to have features to:  (a) keep track of the location of all ambulances which are available and the emergency resources available at every hospital; (b) identify the nearest ambulance and provide the driver the quickest route to the patient based on GPS and real-time traffic data (which can be obtained from Google Maps); (c) identify the optimal hospital for a particular emergency case based on location, traffic conditions, emergency room status and hospital category; and provide a route to this hospital; and (d) send a notification to the hospital with details of the patient, including estimated time of arrival of the ambulance and equipment needed. The data gathered by this system can be used to generate average statistics about response time and accident prone areas, which can help policy makers while allocating new resources.

  • The Team Innovators (Nupur Garg (MT2014081), Shivam Kumar (IMT2013042)) has won the second place at the Women Techmakers Hackathon, held during April 16-17, at Flipkart office, Cessna Park. Each member of the team won an Amazon Kindle. About the event: WTM Hack 2016 (Women Techmakers) is a 24-hour women hackathon powered by GDG Bangalore, as part of the International Women's Day. It hosted some of the top professionals and student developers from across the nation, gathered to build the next generation of innovative software and hardware products. To make this an inclusive event, they invited male participants as well to participate, with a limitation of one per team. What Team Innovators built: Money from Government supported projects impacts citizens and businesses directly through the contracts that are awarded for public goods or services - such as for laying roads or building schools. Surprisingly, not many people know about these contracts on which taxpayers are investing in, even when these contracts imply large amounts of public money dedicated for their neighborhood. Citizen awareness of such contracts and accountability of the contractors can deter corruption and improve quality of delivery. The idea is to develop application for citizens to inform them of logistics of a contract dedicated to in their neighborhood -- which include checking if a contract awarded out of Government funded project is for their neighborhood, deliveries of such contracts, and the bidder who won the contract. It will enable citizens to share their feedback, pictures, and other files to help track progress and provide crowd awareness. Also, the team provided dashboard to the admin so that he/she can visualize feedbacks based on sentiment analysis, tender status, ward details etc.
  • Profs. Jyotsna Bapat (PI) and Debabrata Das (CoPI), have been awarded a grant of INR 1.68 crores for project titled, "Cooperating Objects for Privacy Aware Smart public buildings (COPAS)", from Cognizant Technology and DeitY. The first kick-off meeting of the project was held on April 19.

  • Alumni, Dipanjan Sarkar (MT2012043) and Raghav Bali (MT2012108) have authored a book titled "R Machine Learning by Example" on machine learning in data science, published by PACKT publishing.  
    This book takes readers on a data-driven journey that starts with the very basics of the powerful yet simple language, R and machine learning and gradually builds upon the concepts to work on projects that tackle real-world problems.
    Link: https://www.packtpub.com/big-data-and-business-intelligence/r-machine-learning-example



  • 50th Meeting of the Senate was held on April 6.
  • MITRA, Alumni committee meeting was held on April 16. Some of the issues discussed in the meeting included elections to the Alumni Council election and nominations, and a designated date for Alumni Day.

  • Two interaction and information sessions were held for potential students of the PGDDA program on April 16 and 30. The session on Apr 16 included a panel discussion with Mr. Ankit Jain of Roadrunnr, Ms. Kalpana Subbaramappa and Prof. S. Sadagopan. Panelists on April 30 included Mr. Sameer Dhanrajani of Cognizant, Mr. Vinit Vishal of Arvind Lifestyle Brands and Prof. Sadagopan. The theme for the two sessions was "Why Data Analytics is THE most sought after job of the 21st Century".

  • The fifth Center for Data Sciences (CDS) workshop was held on April 18. The highlight of the event was an Invited talk by Prof. Chiranjib Bhattacharyya from IISc on "Topic Models". The event saw enthusiastic participation from the different labs affiliated to the center.

  • Meeting of the COPAS project was held on April 21. Profs. Jyotsna Bapat, and Debabrata Das from IIITB and few faculty members from the University of Twente, the Netherlands, participated in the meeting.

  • Networking and Communication Lab (NCL)
    http://www.iiitb.ac.in/ncl/workshop.html hosted a technical workshop on
     "Trends on Networking Communication" on April 22. The event saw several eminent speakers - three from industry, three researchers from NCL and one from Fourth Paradigm Research Lab, Government of India. It was attended by 35 researchers from industry as well as academia. Prof. Jyotsna Bapat was the organizing chair of the workshop.

  • excITe programme for high school children was held during April 25 -27. 32 students from Kumaran's Academy in Bangalore, 10 from Ashok Leyland School in Hosur and 10 from Navodaya School, Mysore attended the 3-day programme. Many of our faculty participated by giving lectures and demos on high-interest topics such as “Turing Machines and the Mathematics of Computation” by Prof. Meenakshi D'Souza, "What is Engineering" by Prof. Chetan Parikh, “Physics at Small Scale” by Prof. B. Ashok, “ICTs and Development” by Prof. Amit Prakash, “Why Programming is so Hard” by Prof. Sujit Chakrabarti, “Cryptography” by Prof. Ashish Choudhury, "Context Aware Homes" by Prof. Jyotsna Bapat, "Machine Vision" by Prof. Dinesh Babu Jayagopi, “Visualizing the 3D World” by Prof. TK Srikanth and “How to control robots, aircraft...: Lessons from taking a Bath” by Prof. Sachit Rao. The students also visited the facilities of Tessolve in Electronics City. Overall, the programme was a success with positive feedback and increased awareness among the students.

    For Photos: https://goo.gl/photos/N71Qocohgg6hsVXP6

  • As Mentor Director of IIIT Dharwad and as Chair, Prof. S. Sadagopan conducted its 1st Senate Meeting at IIITB on April 29.

  • Board meeting of IIITB Innovation center was held on April 29.

  • Publication including Presentations

  • Balaji Parthasarathy (with Yuko Aoyama of Clark University) presented a paper titled "The Hybrid Domain and ICTs: New Institutional and Technological means to Innovation in Emerging Markets" at the 112th Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers held in San Francisco during March 29-April 2. 
  • Jaya Sreevalsan Nair presented her joint work with Beena Kumari (MS2013003) at the Dagstuhl Seminar on "Multidisciplinary Approaches to Multivalued Data: Modeling, Visualization, Analysis" during April 4-8, at Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz Center for Informatics, Germany. Her talk was titled "Substitutability of Symmetric Second-order Tensor Fields: An Application in Urban LiDAR 3D Point Cloud". The talk broadly discussed expression of local geometric descriptors for point clouds as positive semidefinite second-order tensors, substituting one such tensor field with another for structural classification, and the limitations of the proposed substitution operation. Dagstuhl seminars are themed seminar series where active researchers in computer science participate upon invitation, present their current work, and discuss open problems in their domain.
    For details on the seminar: 

  • The article titled "Regulating the sharing economy" authored by Profs. V. Sridhar and Srikanth has appeared in Financial Express on April 13.
    The same can be accessed at: http://www.financialexpress.com/…/regulating-the-sh…/235741/

  • The article titled "IT sector employment: Time to think afresh" by Prof. Amit Prakash has appeared in The Times of India on April 15. The same can be accessed at: http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com//Article.aspx?eid=31806&articlexml=IT-sector-employment-Its-time-to-think-afresh-15042016501007&Mode=1

  • Dr. Aastha Madaan, Dr. Tiropanis Thanassis, Prof. Srinath Srinivasa and Dr. Wendy Hall. 2016. “Observlets: Empowering Analytical Observations on Web Observatory”, In Proceedings of the 25th International Conference Companion on World Wide Web (WWW '16 Companion). International World Wide Web Conferences Steering Committee, Republic and Canton of Geneva, Switzerland, 775-780.

  • The paper titled “E-arth: Encouraging Smart Citizens to Disrupt the Cycle of E-waste” by Ankita Victor, Tarun Dutt , Iain Kettles, and Lisanne Binhammer, proposed and prototyped a Web platform + smart bin solution. The paper has been presented at MediaLAB Amsterdam.

  • Sunil K. Vuppala (PH2009902) presented two of his papers titled “Optimization under uncertainty for Demand Response in Smart Grid” and “Stability Analysis of Energy optimization in smart grid”, both co-authored by Prof. G N Srinivasa Prasanna at INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics and Operations Research, Orlando, Florida, USA, during April 10-12. He also presented a poster titled "Stability Analysis of Energy optimization in smart grid", at the same conference. 
    http://meetings2.informs.org/wordpress/analytics2016/optimization/ http://meetings2.informs.org/wordpress/analytics2016/poster-presentations/

    IIITB in Media

  • RURAL AREAS - Microsoft takes step to expand internet reach
  • Infosys co-founder S Gopalakrishnan launches app chronicling Indian IT journey

  • Goodbye to high-pressure jobs

  • TV Whitespace pilot project launched by Government of India

  • Faculty & Staff

  • Balaji Parthasarathy was invited to deliver the opening keynote address titled "Towards Financial Inclusion for Underprivileged Women" at the 5th Women's Empowerment Conference of Chamber Trade Sweden held in Stockholm during April 6-9.

    Guest Talks

  • April 6: "High Performance Parallel Programming on Modern Processors" by Dr. Vivek Kumar, a research scientist at Rice University.

  • April 7: "Privacy Laws and Regulation" by Mr. Sunil Abraham, the Executive Director of Centre for Internet & Society (CIS).

  • April 13: "High-Level Synthesis with Cross-Layer Interactions for Effective Design and Verification of Accelerators" by Dr. Swathi Gurumani Tanjore, Principal Research Engineer with the Advanced Digital Sciences Center (ADSC), Singapore, and Senior Research Affiliate with Coordinated Sciences Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

  • April 20: "A Geometric Approach to Graph Isomorphism" by Dr. Pawan Kumar Aurora, post-doctoral research in the Department of mathematics and computer science at the Freie Universität Berlin.
  • April 26:  "Knowledge management at the periphery: Initial reflections" by Mr. Linus Kendall, a Ph.D. researcher at Sheffield-Hallam University.

  • Campus Visitors
  • April 19-20: Professor Haripriya Rangan, Director, Research and Academic Programs at the Australia India Institute, and Principal Fellow with the University of Melbourne's School of Geography, visited IIITB for discussions with relevant members of the faculty to initiate the process of having Australian students enroll for the M. Sc. (Digital Society) programme.

  • April 20: Mr. Sachin, Hackerearth 

  • May 17: Announcement of admissions offers made for Master of Science by Research & Doctor of Philosophy programmes for Term I (2016-17).

  • May 23: Last date for receiving M.Sc. Digital Society online applications.

  • May 28: Last date for receiving iMTech online applications.

  • May 29-30: M.Sc. Digital Society entrance exam and Interviews.