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IIT-Guwahati, India Sets Up Data Science and AI School

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-G) has announced it will launch a school for undergraduate and postgraduate courses in data science and artificial intelligence (AI). The programme will be established under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that IIT-Guwahati signed with the Mehta Family Foundation (MFF), USA.

The Mehta Family School of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence at the Institute will usher in new opportunities for students, and the first batch of B. Tech students will be admitted through Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) in the 2021-2022 academic year. The curriculum has been developed to provide students with a strong theoretical foundation as well as highlight different interdisciplinary application areas.

According to a news report, the MoU was signed virtually by Professor TG Sitharam, the Director of IIT-Guwahati, and Rahul Mehta, the MFF Chief Executive Officer. The Director was hopeful that the school would attract the best tech talent in the country. Also, under the MoU, MFF will provide support to develop the school’s infrastructure and programmes at the Guwahati campus. The school will offer programmes for visiting students and faculty between the school and institutions in the United States. It will host conferences and establish chairs as well.

Highlighting the collaboration between IIT-Guwahati and MFF, Mehta noted, “The explosion of data across all fields of knowledge continues unabated. Just like computer science changed the world, data science and artificial intelligence are poised to do the same. These fields will shape the methods used in education and research across the spectrum of human knowledge.”

“Global interdisciplinary collaborations as envisioned in this new school will lift our understanding of society and nature. Bringing together global talents such as Professor Shankar Subramaniam, Professor Rajesh Gupta (both Univ. of California, San Diego), and Professor Ananth Grama (Purdue Univ.) can accelerate the expansion in these fields. IIT-Guwahati has the vision of the new talent India needs. Together we will build the framework for the future,” Mehta added.

Apart from providing time and expertise for academic and research activities in the new school, professors from top universities in the United States will also act as strategic advisors. A government official noted that the school will be the foundation for IIT-Guwahati to set up data collection sites in the eastern region of the country for healthcare, climate, transportation, and security. It could convert huge amounts of data into effective knowledge and understanding to serve society.

Professor R Bhattacharjee, the Head of Mehta Family School of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, explained that the school will be an abode of academic excellence imparting state-of-the-art teaching, supported by research and technology development in frontier areas of data science and artificial intelligence. One of the objectives of the school is also to take up targeted multi-year interdisciplinary research projects and solve problems to benefit society at large, a deep-rooted vision of IIT-Guwahati, he added.

Recently, IIT-Guwahati’s Robotics Club collaborated with Practically, India’s first experiential learning app, to launch an exclusive, free, and one-of-a-kind Robotics Certificate Course. The five-week course will commence this month.

The Robotics course aims to train students in building a smart bulb that can be controlled using Google voice assistant. Students will learn about the amplification of various software and equipment, which will help them understand emerging technologies in automation. During the course, students will get hands-on knowledge in Robotics and receive a participation certificate from IIT-Guwahati.

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