In a society dominated by people who can independently carry out daily activities, the challenges faced by differently abled individuals are rarely acknowledged. With thoughtful design approaches, simple day-to-day activities could be made easier for such individuals. A great example of this is a novel hygiene product designed by Master students Shubham Pudke and Suyog Dhanawade under the guidance of Prof. Dibakar Sen at the Centre for Product Design and Manufacturing, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore to aid disabled women with just one functional hand. The newly designed sanitary napkin wearing aid not only meets the hygienic demands, but also enables its use without relying on a caregiver. “Activities of daily lives are primary activities for everyone for their dignity and independence from physical support of others. It enables other family members to explore sources of earnings when the primary bread earner becomes disabled due to any circumstances”, says Prof. Sen, elaborating on the motivation for the study.
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Most entrepreneurs with a pioneer product face a common set of challenges - knowing how their product would be received in the market, finding the best strategy to advertise it and identifying the initial set of “seed users” who would use the product and provide feedback on its improvements. In the age of social media where information diffuses at massive speeds, how should one identify the set of users who have the maximum influence in reaching out to a larger crowd? In a recent collaborative study, researchers at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and IBM India Research Labs have studied how information diffuses on social networks and have identified strategies to answer this question.
The campus of the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, was buzzing with an air of tender enthusiasm and aspiration, thanks to the visit of “Chetana” scholars. “Chetana” is a novel initiative to encourage and inspire talented young girls studying in government-run higher secondary schools across Karnataka, to take up a formal education in science. The Department of IT, BT and S&T, Government of Karnataka, has organized this program in collaboration with the Karnataka State Council for Science & Technology (KSCST) and IISc, Between 17th October and 27th October, 28 students selected in this program, visited IISc for 10 days and were provided with an opportunity to visit the research facilities and labs as well as interact with students and academicians of this prestigious institute.
In June 2015, Pratiksha Trust, Bangalore, founded by Infosys co-founder Senapathy “Kris” Gopalakrishnan and his wife Mrs Sudha Gopalakrishnan, set up three Distinguished Chair Professorships at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. The purpose of these Chair Professorships is to bring top-notch researchers in the areas of neuromorphic computing, computational neuroscience, machine learning, and data science to the IISc campus to help strengthen research, and international collaboration in these important emerging areas. The overall initiative is expected to foster intense research collaboration between world renowned researchers in these areas and the research community at several departments and centres of the Indian Institute of Science, including Computer Science and Automation, Centre for Neuroscience, Electrical Communication Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electronic Systems Engineering, Mathematics, Molecular Biophysics, and Computational and Data Science.
In what could be called a testimony to Bengaluru being the IT capital of India, the Indian Institute of Science’s Computer Science and Automation (CSA) department was ranked 71st in the recently released The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2016-2017, making it the top institute in India for Computer Science.
A recent collaborative study between the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, has employed machine-learning techniques to reveal newpredictors for the Indian Monsoon, making monsoon predictions more reliable. The team consisted of Ms. Moumita Saha and Prof. Pabitra Mitra from the Department of Computer Science, IIT–Kharagpur; and Prof. Ravi S. Nanjundiah from the Centre for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences as well as Divecha Centre for Climate Change, IISc. Using global climate data from 1948-2000 and machine learning algorithms, the team derived a set of reliable predictors for monsoon rainfall of the sub-continent.
As a testimony to Bengaluru’s distinction as the research and innovation hub of India, two Bengaluru based scientists – Dr. Amit Singh and Dr. Jaydeb Sarkar, have won the prestigious NASI Scopus Young Scientist Award – 2016, for their work in the areas of Biological Sciences and Mathematics respectively. Dr. Amit Singh is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology, Indian Institute of Science, while Dr. Jaydeb Sarkar is an Associate Professor at the Indian Statistical Institute, Bangalore.
On February 10, 2013, 30 million people descended to Allahabad to bathe at the Sangam (the confluence of Yamuna and Ganga) on the occasion of Mauni Amavasya, the most auspicious day of the Maha Kumbh Mela. Disaster struck the Allahabad railway station when about 200 thousand passengers overcrowded the station and rushed to a foot over bridge to change platforms causing a stampede. The bridge collapsed due to the sudden pressure, killing 36 people and injuring at least 39. Can such disasters be avoided? Yes, say Prof. R. Venkatesh Babu and his teammates, Lokesh Boominathan and Srinivas SS Kruthiventi from the Video Analytics Lab at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru. Using Neural Networks and Deep Learning models, they have developed a method to estimate the crowd density and the number of people in the crowd with just the image of the crowd.
In the month of May, over 6000 personnel from the National Disaster Relief Force were deployed for rescue operations in Garwhal and Kumaon districts in Uttarakhand. A rather uncommon, unappreciated disaster had struck that region – forest fires. A recent study by researchers at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore is a significant step towards understanding the cause of devastating forest fires.
To most of us, the Himalayas is a snow clad, dry and cold mountain range. But trained eyes see through this apparent homogeneity and interpret the observed variations to understand the local climate and its implications. As a testimony to this, scientists from the Snow & Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE), Him Parisar, Chandigarh and the Divecha Center for Climate Change, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, have recently published a study on the variations in the 'whiteness of snow' across the Himalayas and its relationship with the mean winter air temperature and glacial stability.