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The Hindu Business Line | Bengaluru | 15 August 2017 ||
Thomas Kailath’s research contributions span over six decades
The award recognises Kailath’s many contributions over six decades to information theory, communications, filtering theory, linear systems and control, signal processing, semiconductor manufacturing, probability and statistics, linear algebra, matrix and operator theory, which have directly or indirectly advanced modern communications technology. It also recognises his sustained mentoring and development of new generations of scientists. The Indian government conferred the Padma Bhushan on Prof Kailath in 2009.
Kailath earned a Bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications Engineering from the College of Engineering, Pune, in 1956. He then went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( MIT) in 1957. After his doctorate in electrical engineering in June 1961, the first Indian-born student to get one at MIT, he was invited by the late Prof. Solomon Golomb to join the pioneering Digital Communications Research Group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In January 1963, he accepted an associate professorship at Stanford, becoming a full professor in 1968. He served as Director of the Information Systems Laboratory from 1971 through 1980, building it into a world-leading centre for communications, control and signal processing research. Kailath was Associate Chair of the Electrical Engineering Department Chair from 1981 to 1987 and in 1988 was appointed the first holder of the Hitachi America Professorship in Engineering at Stanford. Although Kailath became Emeritus in June 2001, he has been recalled to active duty, and he continues his research and writing activities to this day. – Courtesy
The Times of India | Bharat Yagnik | TNN | Aug 6, 2017 |
- Nirbhay Thakkar’s accelerated education started from class VIII
- Nirbhay completed class VIII to X in six months and XI and XII in the next three months
- These accomplishments have been registered by a boy who was found ‘weak’ by teachers in the senior KG
AHMEDABAD: When children of his age furiously prepared for class X board exams, 15-year-old Nirbhay Thakkar completed his BE (Electrical) course. In October, Nirbhay became the youngest engineering graduate from the Gujarat Technological University (GTU). His accelerated education started from class VIII. After passing the class VII exam as a state board student from Jamnagar, where his father was posted in a private sector firm as an engineer, Nirbhay completed class VIII to X in six months and XI and XII in the next three months under the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) system run by Cambridge International Examinations. These accomplishments have been registered by a boy who was found ‘weak’ by teachers in the senior KG. “I was surprised by the remark when they suggested that and I took it upon myself to get the best out of my child,” said his Nirbhay’s father, Dhaval Thakkar. “While the conventional examinations focus merely on testing students’ memory, we devised a method with which Nirbhay truly became fearless about marks and focused instead on learning – not just by reading but also listening, visualizing, and finding applications of concepts. Thus, he could learn much in short time.” Nirbhay’s father, an engineer, and his mother, who is a doctor, represented his case as a special one to the GTU, Admission Committee for Professional Courses (ACPC) and All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). Nirbhay was thus admitted to SAL College of Engineering. Dr Rupesh Vasani, the principal of the college, said that a special schedule was prepared for the fast-track course in coordination with faculty members. “The course is credit-based and Nirbhay spends nine hours at the college,” he said. “According to the GTU norms, the paper was set and results were declared only for him.”
Students belonging to engineering colleges in the city and state are developing a satellite which can track ship movements and prevent collision of ships. The Student Satellite (STUDSAT-2) which is currently being developed by a consortium of colleges and to be launched by ISRO will carry an Automatic Identification System (AIS) for ship tracking payload. “One of the payloads which will be onboard the STUDSAT-2 is an AIS for ship-tracking. So far, AISes have been ground-based and for the first time, a nano satellite will be carrying an AIS for ship tracking,” said STUDSAT-2 project director Dr S Sandhya. AISes can track ships, avoid collision of ships and also help in the smooth movement of vessels in the deep seas. In 2011, ISRO had launched RESOURCESAT-2 which carried an AIS payload from COMDEV, Canada, which provides ship surveillance in VHF band.
Also onboard the STUDSAT-2 will be a HAM radio payload. “We will have another payload to help the HAM community connect with each other and help in communication during times of disasters and natural calamities,” Sandhya said. She added that the team of students who have been working on the development of the satellite have already completed the design flow. “The design stage has been completed the components have been selected and the first cut has been made. The mission is in progress very well and we are waiting for ISRO which is coming out with new guidelines for student satellites,” she added.
A team of more than 150 students is involved in the STUDSAT-2 project, which is likely to be launched by 2019. STUDSAT-2 is a successor of India’s first pico (miniature) satellite- STUDSAT, which was launched in 2010 by ISRO. It is being developed by students of seven colleges, namely: Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology, NMAM Institute of Technology, MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Siddaganga Institute of Technology, Sri Siddhartha Institute of Technology, RNS Institute of Technology and Nagarjuna College of Engineering and Technology. – Courtesy
The Economic Times | HARI PULAKKAT | Aug 01, 2017 |
VS Sangwan likes to answer his patient questions thoroughly, and so he didnt find anything unusual when he first met Ashutosh Richhariya . It was 2004. Richhariya, who was running a business in Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, had run into trouble with his eyes and hence his business. He had come to LV Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), Hyderabad, to get treated. Sangwan, one of the leading ophthalmologists in the country, was preparing to operate him when the questions began to flow. Richhariya first asked Sangwan about corneal dystrophy, the genetic disease he was suffering from, where unwanted material gets accumulated in the cornea. It often begins in childhood and progresses with age and Richhariya was losing his vision in one eye when he met Sangwan. His vision improved after the surgery but he developed astigmatism, a common occurrence after eye surgery. Richhariya asked why he had got astigmatism and why it could not be stopped. “I told him that there are many uncontrollable factors,” says Sangwan. Richhariya was not convinced they were truly uncontrollable. When he came for the first time to LVPEI, Richhariya had already founded an instrumentation company called Shubda ElectroMechanial Engineers in 1997.
*Why Adaptive Optics is Important*
By 2002, it had touched revenues of Rs 100 crore. Richhariya had to shut down the business when the eye problems started. His astigmatism after the surgery really troubled him, as his eye power was changing every two weeks. Then he got glaucoma and later cataract. Richhariya is an engineer and an MBA, and so could look at a problem from two vantage points. “I was really disappointed that there were so many uncontrollable factors,” says Richhariya. “So I wanted to use the tools of quality management to understand non-conformation.” He felt he could figure out the problems in the processes followed during surgery, and then find out ways of fixing them. Sangwan encouraged him. Richhariya decided to look at the eye more closely, especially from the vantage point of an engineer.Sangwan encouraged him. Richhariya decided to look at the eye more closely, especially from the vantage point of an engineer. Meanwhile, he had to earn a living. In 2012, he joined Mahakal Institute of Technology, a new engineering college in Ujjain, as a lecturer. While he taught there, Richhariya continued to research on the cornea. He had sought Sangwans help to use the library at the eye institute, and he spent long hours in there reading. Richhariya didnt have a PhD. The management of Mahakal Institute told him that he would not get far in academics without a PhD degree. He did masters in engineering and found a professor at Ujjain Engineering College , Sunil Punjabi of the department of mechanical engineering, to be his guide. Since Richhariya wanted to research corneal biomechanics, he sought the help of Sangwan, too, who also promised to be his guide. He asked Sangwan for permission to watch his surgeries. He took corneal samples and studied them. In a few years, Richhariya had mastered his domain, but he had to surmount some systemic problems.
*Bridging the big divide*
Engineers and doctors did not see eye to eye in India, and there was little collaboration between the two disciplines. So there were very few experts, not to speak of equipment, to help Richhariya in his research. He had found out mechanical stresses of the eye produced changes in refractive index and not just changes in shape as was believed by ophthalmologists. His theory was not easy to test without high-quality optical equipment. One world class Institute at Indore, the Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RR-CAT) had the necessary equipment. It was not far from his home town of Ujjain, and Sunil Punjabi used his connections to provide Richhariya access to do experiments there. As he worked on corneal biomechanics, Sangwan watched him closely and began to feel that he was a serious researcher. Ophthalmologists in India have their own battles with equipment. They were too expensive and poorly maintained due to lack of technical expertise. Expensive machines often stopped working in government medical institutions, as they run out of money to get equipment serviced. Top-ranking private hospitals maintain theirs at great expense. LV Prasad Eye Institute, for example, bought a phacoemulsification machine, used in all high-end eye hospitals for cataract surgery using ultrasound. It cost the Institute Rs 50 lakh but it is poorly maintained as there are no experts available. Service is often late. Its hand piece, which delivers the ultrasound waves, can last longer if maintained regularly in the hospital. When it breaks down, the manufacturer insists on replacement rather than repair, adding to the cost. “Engineers are as important in a hospital as doctors,” says Sangwan. He saw in Richhariya an engineer who could change things, at least in his institution.
Richhariya, however, had his own plans. He applied for a Fulbright Fellowship to go the US to work in the best labs in his discipline. Interviewers for the scholarship were amazed at his knowledge of corneal biomechanics. “Within 30 minutes they told me I would get the fellowship,” says Richhariya. Sangwan, meanwhile, spoke to institute founder Gullapalli Rao to sponsor Richhariyas work in the US for an extra year. Rao had worked at the University of Rochester, which had one of the worlds leading optics labs. He readily agreed to send Richhariya there. Rao also agreed to hire Richhariya to start an engineering division at LVPEI when he returned. David Williams of the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester was then developing a remarkable new technique for imaging the eye in extraordinary detail. Called adaptive optics, it is now being used in state-of-the-art optical telescopes to compensate for distortions of the atmosphere. In telescopes using this technique, mirrors change their shapes a thousand times a second to counteract atmospheric distortions of celestial light. Williams developed similar techniques to compensate for the distortions caused by fluids in the eye. Richhariya worked in his lab to understand the technology. Specifically, he worked on an Adaptive Optics Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscope (AOSLO), which can image individual cells of the retina. “He learned not just to use the instrument,” says Williams, “but also trained to set up the instrument in India.” When he returned, Williams gave Richhariya the instrument parts, which he assembled himself at L V Prasad Institute. “It is difficult,” says Williams. “Not many in the world have this capability.”
The instrument is now assembled on a large table top. The university of Rochester owns the intellectual property, but Richhariya is free to modify as he likes. LVPEI has begun to use it for its research and to detect retinal diseases at an early stage. Richhariya is now associate director of the engineering group, which works on instrumentation used in the hospital. He has expanded LVPEI reach through academic partnerships with two IITs in India and the University of British Columbia in Canada. A partnership with IIT Hyderabad had begun informally even before Richhariya started the engineering division. D Balasubramaniam, former director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular biology in Hyderabad, had gone to IIT to give a talk in 2012. After retirement in 1998, Balasubramananian had become research director of LVPEI, where he had helped develop, among other things, pioneering techniques for using stem cells to produce corneal epithelia. This later became the largest successful human clinical trials of stem cells. “Balasubramanian threw some challenges to the engineers,” says Sumohana Channappayya, professor of electrical engineering at IIT Hyderabad. “He asked us, can we build an artificial eye? Or how can we help people who are visually impaired?” Some professors took the challenge and began working on eye-related engineering problems. Now, IIT Hyderabad works with LVPEI on long- t erm basis. The eye institute sponsors three MTech students for three years on research problems that have relevance in ophthalmology . After Richhariya joined formally, he also started a project with IIT Madras, on using lasers for eye surgery. Anil Prabhakar and Balaji Srinivasan at IIT Madras had developed a new generation of lasers called fibre lasers, which can withstand dust and reduce cost of equipment. These two institutions, along with the IIT Madras startup Unilumen Photonics, is working on a project to develop a pico-second fibre laser for ophthalmology, partly funded by the Department of Biotechnology. Unilumen will manufacture the product, when ready. LVPEI will also look at manufacturing other devices from its research. The adaptive optics device helps image the retina at cellular level and can catch degenerative diseases well before they become evident on other imaging equipment. One day, this could become a product that is manufactured in India. Meanwhile, LVPEI is developing a handheld device, along with the University of British Columbia, to catch eye infections early. Richhariya joined LVPEI in December 2012. he submitted his PhD thesis in 2013. It was so unusual that the Rajiv Gandhi Technical University, the Bhopal-based institution where he had registered for his PhD, took three years to find experts to examine the thesis. Richhariya got his PhD last month. – Courtesy
India West | India-West Staff Reporter | Jul 26, 2017 |
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics recently conferred the award of AIAA Fellow and Honorary Fellow for 2017. Among the new group of Fellows, which was announced earlier in the year, includes Indian American Naval Agarwal of The Boeing Company and Karl Bilimoria of the NASA Ames Research Center. “The work and leadership of AIAA Fellows and Honorary Fellows consistently ensures that today’s aerospace dreams become tomorrow’s realities,” said AIAA president Jim Maser in a statement upon the Fellows being announced. “They are individuals who have each shown a tireless dedication to shaping the future of aerospace. AIAA congratulates the members of the 2017 Class of Fellows and Honorary Fellows on their selection.” Fellows are named in recognition of their notable and valuable contributions to the arts, sciences or technology of aeronautics and astronautics.
Agarwal is a technical fellow with Seattle, Wash.-based Boeing. He has several U.S. and foreign patents and has published more than 70 conference papers and journal articles. Agarwal earned his bachelor’s and master’s in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology. He is also a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Institute for the Advancement of Engineering. Among his other accolades include several NASA and industry awards such as “Outstanding Engineering Merit Award” from the Orange County Engineering Council in California in 1999 and the “Industry Engineer of the Year” from the Puget Sound Engineering Council in 2007. Bilimoria is an aerospace engineer in the Flight Trajectory Dynamics and Controls branch at NASA Ames Research Center, working in the areas of air traffic management, spacecraft handling qualities, and space traffic management. He recently led a team that conducted a series of high-fidelity flight simulations to build a knowledge base of pilot control systems and cockpit displays for the next generation of human-rated spacecraft. Bilimoria earned a doctorate in aerospace engineering from Virginia Tech in 1986. Prior to joining Ames in 1994, he was on the aerospace engineering faculty at Arizona State University as an assistant professor and research scientist, working in the area of flight dynamics and control, according to his NASA bio. He has served on the NESC Technical Discipline Team for Guidance, Navigation, and Control since its inception in 2004. Bilimoria was also a finalist in the 1996 NASA Astronaut Candidate selection. – Courtesy / http://www.aiaa.org/fellows2017/
New Delhi: A fourth year student of IIT-Delhi has been selected to participate in a 14-day “International Antarctic Expedition”, being hosted by the “2041 Foundation” from February 27 to March 12 2018, where participants will gain knowledge about prevailing issues of climate change, renewable energy, and sustainability. Abhishek, who is pursuing chemical engineering from IIT-D has drafted the vision for NITI Aayog and wants to work towards climate change. He has his own city-wide initiative to address the issue of waste management in his city. “Besides gaining knowledge about the prevailing issues, we will learn about how it affects our present and future worldwide, along with a better understanding of the continent’s fragile ecosystem, experience its unique wildlife and observe the magnificent landscape of Antarctica,” the IIT-D student said.
Abhishek has been working with a member of Parliament, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat from Jodhpur and has also worked alongside the core team to draft the vision statement of “Mission Antyodaya” where they worked to provide the Government, PMO, ministries and NITI Aayog. However, in order to make it to the expedition, the engineering student is seeking supporters through the crowd funding online platform, Ketto, Asia’s most-visited crowdfunding platform with the largest funding community. “I want to join the expedition because I support the vision of global sustainable development. I would want to stretch my horizon in terms of my vision, experience and limit of purity in my attitude while contributing to the environment in whatever I do,” Abhishek added. The organisation 2041 was founded by polar explorer, environmental leader, and public speaker Robert Swan, OBE. As the first person in history to walk to the North and South Poles, Mr. Swan has dedicated his life to the preservation of Antarctica by the promotion of recycling, renewable energy, and sustainability to combat the effects of climate change. – Courtesy
Contribute Now to Mr. Abhishek for the International Antarctic Expedition (Fund Raising)…Read More …https://www.ketto.org/fundraiser/AntarcticaExpedition
Hindustan Times, Bhopal | Shruti Tomar | Jul 19, 2017 |
Meet Ayush Semele, a resident of Prithvipur in Bundelkhand who makes a great argument in favour of those who believe that formal education isn’t the only road to success.
He does not have an engineering degree, and isn’t even qualified for admission into a regular technical college. And yet, at the age of 19, he is already an “engineer for the poor”. Meet Ayush Semele, a resident of Prithvipur in Bundelkhand who makes a great argument in favour of those who believe that formal education isn’t the only road to success. He indigenously develops all electronic items for daily use – from induction cookers to refrigerators and bladeless fans – and even tutors people on manufacturing them at low prices. Today, the teenager has a huge fan following on the social media, especially YouTube. The money earned through his social media presence is put into developing more electronic equipment, which is then given to the needy for free. However, Ayush’s life was not always a success story. Though he had a passion for making electronic gadgets even as a child, poor grades in school invited discouragement from his folks. In 2012, when he was just a lad of fourteen, constant criticism spurred him to slash his wrists in desperation. A year later, the boy ran away from home for nearly a week to escape the taunts directed at him.
Interestingly, it was during this period that Ayush came to meet poverty-ridden people who couldn’t afford even the most basic of electronic comforts. Some of the children he chanced upon hadn’t even seen a toy. “I always wanted to become a scientist, but our education system only teaches us theoretical subjects,” says Ayush. “Whenever I sought practical lessons, I was thrown out of my class. I was criticised for asking questions. No one even tried to understand me.” However, after the initial setbacks, the home-bred inventor decided to pursue his dreams. He started off by making small toys and electronic items with discarded items, and they were both durable and cheap. At last, appreciation began trickling in. Ayush’s parents still had academic aspirations for him. However, after a year of being coached at a reputed institute in Bhopal, he dropped out. The boy just couldn’t concentrate on theory. That was when Ayush’s elder brother, who is pursuing an engineering course in Bhopal, stepped in. Sourabh motivated him to come up with innovative electrical and electronic products, and upload his ideas on YouTube. “Ayush is a truly talented boy, and has always amazed me with his knowledge of electronics. His ‘career’ really took off once he launched Sdik Rof – his YouTube channel for kids – in September 2015.” Ayush’s luck took a turn for the better as more and more people started visiting his page to check his products. YouTube began paying him too. Though his first cheque was for a mere Rs 9,000 in April 2016, it boosted the teenager’s confidence to no end. Soon, the payments became bigger. The fattest cheque he has received till now is for Rs 72,000 in October 2016. Today, Ayush boasts of over 1.40 lakh subscribers, and his videos on making hair dryers and water heaters have scored as many as 25 lakh hits. He has developed around 72 different electrical products and posted 128 videos on his channel in the past two years. “I use commonplace items to make things. As all my products run on solar light, poor people aren’t burdened by soaring electricity costs,” says Ayush.
In the light of his newfound glory, people don’t look at Ayush in the same way anymore. His parents, Harishankar and Chhaya, now regard him with pride. Vijay Baghel, a resident of Prithvipur, says Ayush is the hero of his locality. “He does things that others can’t even imagine. Ayush is generous too. He gifted a scooter to the son of one of my relatives just because he couldn’t afford one.” While Sagar police constable Rajesh Rathod gushes over a hoverboard Ayush made for his child, Pappu Dubey – a barber from Bhopal – can’t have enough of a hair dryer created by the young inventor. “I have asked him to create a trimmer for me,” says Dubey. And then there are the ones inspired by Ayush’s videos to dabble in some inventing themselves. “I am an ardent follower of his YouTube channel,” says Raj Dikshit. “At present, I am trying to make a bladeless fan.” Ayush has also found an admirer in Satish Pal Singh Rajput, professor of mechanical engineering at the Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology in Bhopal. “Ayush is using the appropriate technology to make his products. Any student who has mastered basic science can do it, but most lack his vision,” he says. – Courtesy / Click here to visit YouTube channel Sdik Rof – creativity by Ayush Semele
Economic Times | Sreeradha Basu| ET Bureau| Jul 14, 2017 |
MUMBAI: Professor Subra Suresh, a distinguished alumnus of IIT Madras, has been chosen as the fourth President of Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. He will begin his presidency on January 1, 2018, when the current president, Prof. Andersson retires. In its QS World University Rankings this year, the Quacquarelli Symonds group placed NTU 11th in the world and the best in Asia. Prof. Suresh received his Bachelor of Technology degree from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras and he was facilitated with The Distinguished Alumnus Award by the Institute in 1997. He served as the ninth president of Carnegie Mellon University from July 1, 2013 until June 30, 2017. An eight-member search committee chaired by Koh Boon Hwee, Chairman of the NTU Board of Trustees, unanimously selected Prof Suresh for the top role at NTU.
An eminent scientist, engineer and entrepreneur, Prof. Suresh was chosen in 2010 by then U.S. President Barack Obama to lead the US National Science Foundation (NSF). He is also an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He has a Master’s degree from Iowa State University, and has a Doctor of Science degree from MIT. Following postdoctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, he joined the faculty of engineering at Brown University in 1983, and was promoted to the position of Professor in 1989. He joined MIT in 1993 as the R.P. Simmons Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and served as head of MIT’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering from 2000-2006. Prof. Suresh was honoured with the Padma Shri Award in 2011 by then President of India, Pratibha Patil. – He served as the ninth president of Carnegie Mellon University from July 1, 2013 until June 30, 2017. Courtesy