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Prof. I. G. SARMA MEMORIAL LECTURE SERIES



Past Lectures

Series: I. G. Sarma Memorial Lecture Series
Title: Toward Data-Driven Education

  • Speaker: Dr Rakesh Agrawal [FACM, FIEEE]
  • Date and Time: Wednesday, September 28, 2016, 4:00 PM
  • Venue: Faculty Hall, Indian Institute of Science

Abstract
A program of study can be viewed as a knowledge graph consisting of learning units and relationships between them. Such a knowledge graph provides the core data structure for organizing and navigating learning experiences. We address three issues in this talk. First, how can we synthesize the knowledge graph, given a set of concepts to be covered in the study program. Next, how can we use data mining to identify and correct deficiencies in a knowledge graph. Finally, how can we use data mining to form study groups with the goal of maximizing overall learning. We conclude by pointing out some open research problems.

Speaker Bio:
Rakesh Agrawal is the President and Founder of the Data Insights Laboratories. He is a member of the U.S. as well as the Indian National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of ACM, and a Fellow of IEEE. He has been both an IBM Fellow and a Microsoft Fellow. ACM SIGKDD awarded him its inaugural Innovations Award and ACM SIGMOD the Edgar F. Codd Award. He was named to the Scientific American's First list of top 50 Scientists. Rakesh has been granted 80+ patents and published 200+ papers, including the 1st and 2nd highest cited in databases and data mining. Four of his papers have received "test-of-time" awards. His research formed the nucleus of IBM Intelligent Miner that led the creation of data mining as a new software category. Besides Intelligent Miner, several other commercial products incorporate his work, including IBM DB2 and WebSphere and Microsoft Bing.

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Series: I. G. Sarma Memorial Lecture Series
Title: The Quest for Resilient Mechanism Design

  • Speaker: Prof. Silvio Micali
  • Date and Time: Tuesday, January 6, 2015, 4:00 PM
  • Venue: Faculty Hall, Indian Institute of Science

Abstract
Mechanism design aims at engineering games that, when played by selfish players, yield outcomes satisfying a desired property. Such engineered games, however, are typically vulnerable to computational complexity, privacy, and collusion. Developing a theory of mechanism design resilient to such "forces" will require a totally new framework: techniques, solution concepts, and benchmarks. We shall advocate this point using auctions as an example.

Speaker Bio:
Professor Silvio Micali received his Laurea in Mathematics from the University of Rome, and his PhD in Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley. Since 1983, he has been on the MIT faculty, in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, where he is Ford Professor of Engineering. Silvio's research interests are cryptography, zero knowledge, pseudo-random generation, secure protocols, and mechanism design. Silvio has received the Turing Award (in computer science), the Gödel Prize (in theoretical computer science), and the RSA prize (in cryptography). He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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Series: I. G. Sarma Memorial Lecture Series
Title: Reliable Meaningful Communication

  • Speaker:Prof. Madhu Sudan
  • Date and Time: Wednesday, January 22, 2014, 4:00 PM
  • Venue: Faculty Hall, Indian Institute of Science

Abstract
Around 1940, engineers working on communication systems encountered a new challenge: How can one preserve the integrity of digital data, where a minor errors in transmission can have catastrophic effects? The resulting theories of information (Shannon 1948) and error-correcting codes (Hamming 1950) created a ``marriage made in heaven'' between mathematics and its applications. On the one hand emerged a profound theory that could measure information and preserve it under a variety of adversarial injections of errors; and on the other hand the practical consequences propelled telephony, satellite communication, digital hardware and the internet. Today, as we allow computers and computational devices to interact freely with each other and control complex engineering systems, all with limited human intervention, we encounter a new challenge: How can we ensure that computers interpret the messages they receive from each other correctly so that they do not cause catastrophic actions due to misinterpretation? The resulting class of questions poses new challenges to mathematics: both in modelling, and in analysis. In this talk I will give a brief survey of the history of reliable communication, and outline the challenges of communicating meaningfully.

Speaker Bio:
Madhu Sudan got his Bachelors degree from IIT Delhi in 1987 and his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 1992. From 1992-1997 he was a Research Staff Member at IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center. In 1997 he joined the faculty at MIT, where among other roles he served as an Associate Director of MIT's CSAIL from 2007-2009. In 2009, Madhu Sudan joined Microsoft Research at their New England Research Center as a Principal Researcher. He continues to be a Professor at MIT. Madhu Sudan's research lies in the fields of computational complexity theory, algorithms and reliable communcation. He is is credited with some of the most remarkable results in computer science in the recent times. He is best known for his works on probabilistic checking of proofs, and on the design of list-decoding algorithms for error-correcting codes. His current research interests include semantic communication and property testing. The awards secured by Madhu Sudan include the ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award (1993), Godel Prize (2001), Nevanlinna Prize (2002), and Distinguished Alumnus Award of UC-Berkeley.

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Series: I. G. Sarma Memorial Lecture Series
Title: From Wiener and Shannon to Fast Algorithms for Cell Phones

  • Speaker: Prof. Thomas Kailath
  • Date and Time: Thursday, August 23, 2012, 4:00 PM
  • Venue: Faculty Hall, Indian Institute of Science

Abstract
Two remarkable contributions by Norbert Wiener and Claude Shannon just over 60 years ago sparked a major shift in the mathematics-based systems side of electrical engineering, with many new disciplines such as information and communication theory, control and estimation, and statistical signal processing. For many years the results and insights flowing from these contributions were regarded as too complicated for practical implementation. But the invention of the transistor in the same period began to enable the realization of many long held dreams. I shall first attempt to briefly convey the fundamental insights of Wiener and Shannon. Among the multitude of applications since then, I shall focus on just two. One describes how control and signal processing ideas helped in turn to improve the design and manufacture of integrated circuits. The second touches upon the evolution of fast algorithms that, among many other applications, helps to improve the performance of cell phones.

Speaker Bio:
Thomas Kailath (B.E.,Pune,1956; Sc.D.,MIT,1961) has been at Stanford University since 1963, where he is now Hitachi America Professor of Engineering, Emeritus. His research has ranged over several fields of engineering and mathematics, including information theory, communications, linear systems, estimation and control, statistical signal processing, VLSI design; semiconductor manufacturing, probability and statistics, matrix and operator theory. He has also co-founded several high-technology companies. In these varied efforts he has been aided by a stellar array of over a hundred doctoral and postdoctoral scholars. He has received numerous awards and honours from countries and institutions around the world. We mention only the highest award of the IEEE, its Medal of Honor for exceptional contributions to the development of powerful algorithms for communications, control, computing and signal processing; election to the US National Academies of Engineering and of Sciences; and Foreign Membership of the Royal Society of London. He is the recipient of India's third highest civilian honour, the Padma Bhushan; of the Spanish BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Information and Communication Technologies; Guggenheim, Churchill and Humboldt Fellowships; and several honorary degrees, most recently from the Technion in Israel.

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Series: I. G. Sarma Memorial Lecture Series
Title: Vectors, Probability, and Algorithms

  • Speaker: Prof. Ravindran Kannan
  • Date and Time: Friday, July 22, 2011, 4:00 PM
  • Venue: Faculty Hall, Indian Institute of Science

Abstract

  • Is a document just a 25000 dimensional vector?
  • Are dot products, orthogonality, eigenvectors and values of any practical use in the 25000 dimensional space?
  • Can you summarize the collection of all new articles of the last year by a small random sample collected on the fly?
  • How many random samples do you need to do linear regression in 20000 dimensional space?
  • The talk will discuss (from first principles) recent research from Theoretical Computer Science and Mathematics bearing on these questions.

    Speaker Bio:
    Ravindran Kannan is currently a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research India, where he leads the algorithms research group. He is also an adjunct faculty member of CSA, IISc. Earlier, he was the William K. Lanman Jr. Professor of Computer Science and Professor of Applied Mathematics at Yale University. He has also taught at MIT and CMU. Ravi Kannan did his B.Tech at IIT, Bombay and PhD at Cornell University. His research interests include Algorithms, Theoretical Computer Science, and Mathematics.

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