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With the growing emphasis on interdisciplinary education and research, it was no wonder that the lecture series on science and technology, Illuminati, at Anokha 2012 drew scores of interested participants.
Students had the opportunity to learn from professors teaching at international universities as well as those working in premier research labs in India.
Dr. Prahlad Vadakkeppat from the National University of Singapore spoke on Robotics and Computational Intelligence. As founder secretary of the Federation of International Robot Soccer Association, he worked with faculty at Amrita’s Bengaluru campus when the annual soccer tournament was hosted there.
Providing an introduction to robotics, he spoke about its applications. “Intelligent robots help with car assembly, moving materials inside factories and making artificial limbs. Now nano bots are used to administer medicine, which is being used for treatment of cancer.”
Dr. Prahlad spoke about ongoing research wherein robots behave just like humans. For example, they may shake hands with a person, and depending upon whether the person is male or female, they exert more or less pressure on the hand.
Highlighting more research applications, albeit in a different area, was Dr. Bhanu Pant of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in Trivandrum.
His topic of discussion was the evolution of the Indian Space Program from a material scientist’s perspective. Dr. Bhanu is Group Head, Materials Processing and Characterization at ISRO.
Dr. Sharath Ananthamurthy, Professor of Physics from Bangalore University delivered a talk about his team’s research on cell movement using low energy photos. These experiments find various applications in the medical field to study the heterogeneity of cells.
Dr. Achuthshankar S. Nair, Centre for Bioinformatics, University of Kerala, Trivandrum spoke about how mathematics could be applied in our daily lives, as most everything around could fit neatly into an equation.
Praneet Arora, web security expert at Facebook, California spoke about ethical hacking, search engine optimization, cyber surveillance and cloud computing. Praneet is a frequent blogger and hosts several international hacking competitions.
Abhilash Gopalakrishnan from ABB Global Industries, spoke about the working of various thermal power plants deployed in India. Considering that coal and petroleum resources are depleting at a fast pace, he highlighted the need to focus on optimization of use of natural resources.
Abhilash studied at Amrita. He graduated with a B.Tech. degree in Mechanical Engineering and as Technical Manager at ABB now, he is already the proud recipient of a patent. Abhilash has also recently authored a research paper on seamless software engineering.
“The lecture series was very helpful; the knowledge I gained will help me in my project work as well as in deciding my future career,” stated final-year student of B.Tech. (Electrical and Electronics Engineering), Shirshak Sengupta, who attended.
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