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Being a computer engineer not enough any more; have to know about multiple engineering streams: IIT-M Director – The Hindu

IIT-Madras Director Professor V. Kamakoti
“There are about 25-27 verticals (such as agriculture, health care, fin tech and space technologies) identified by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, for development, close monitoring and deployment. Industry 4.0 depends on how efficiently we are going to integrate technology into these target areas,” said V. Kamakoti, Director of Indian Institute of Technology, (IIT), Madras, when he was giving a lecture at The Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai, last week. 
Speaking of the years he had spent as a post-doctoral researcher at IMSc, he recalled a grant of about 16 lakhs in the late 1990s to build a parallel network, a 16-node cluster of computers, for the Institute which was then almost the fastest supercomputer in the country. “Today, that can be matched by a couple of mobile processors,” he said. This set the tone for his talk on “Education and Research in Emerging and Disruptive Technologies.”
“Industry started with steam power, moved to electricity, then computer and automation, now were are at the stage where cyberphysical systems are used,” said Prof. Kamakoti. “Many orthogonal demands come (from security, health, society angles), and slowly the notion of a department is moving away – and the institute becomes important. If someone says he (or she) is a computer engineer it does not mean anything – he (she) has to know multiple things about multiple engineering streams.”
Prof. Kamakoti’s lecture was part of a five-lecture series at IMSc. As part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, the Ministry of Culture, Government of India had allotted the week 22-28 August this year as an “Iconic Week” for the Department of Atomic Energy to showcase the achievements of the department. Following this, IMSc .k.a. Matscience, which is an autonomous institute funded by the department, conducted a week-long series of activities including the five lectures for a general audience, school visits and a day-long, in-house programme for higher secondary school children.
The five lectures were about the contributions of Homi Jehangir Bhabha by Prof. G. Amarendra from Nuclear Fuel Complex, Hyderabad; Emerging and Disruptive Technologies by Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director of IIT Madras; Alladi Ramakrishnan, the founder of IMSc, by Prof. R. Parthasarathy, retired from IMSc; Evolution of Modern Science in India, by Prof. Sreerup Raychaudhuri from Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai; and Glimpses of India’s Mathematical Heritage by Prof. S.G. Dani from UM-DAE Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences, Mumbai.
A lecture for visiting school students on continued fractions was delivered by mathematician Amritanshu Prasad. “Mathematicians play with the world,” said Prof. Prasad, clarifying that he meant the world of mathematics. “We are curious about what happens in the world, and then, we also have to write proofs” he said. Starting from the innocuous looking fraction 34/25, he built up his lecture, drawing interest from the student. Sadhana and Stuti, students from Bala Vidya Mandir, Adyar,Chennai, said that they found the mathematics lecture on continued fractions “super interesting”. 
Akash and Vishnu, also from the same school added that the lectures were so interesting that they lost track of time. “Some topics went over head but I took notes and plan to go over them later,” said Akash. 
IMSc Director Prof. V Ravindran opined that the experience had been unique and that there would be more frequent events of this sort in future. 

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Printable version | Sep 4, 2022 1:55:05 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/education/being-a-computer-engineer-not-enough-any-more-have-to-know-about-multiple-engineering-streams-iit-m-director/article65846805.ece