In a bid to promote research in the area of Artificial Intelligence, BITS Pilani will set up a centre named Anuradha and Prashanth Palakurthi Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research (APPCAIR) at BITS Pilani, K K Birla Goa Campus. Announcing this during the Convocation2019, director, BITS Pilani, K K Birla Goa Campus, G Raghurama said “This lab is being set up with the help of a generous contribution by BITS alumni Anuradha and Prashanth Palakurthi who have made a commitment to contribute at least 1 million USD for this. We are grateful and look forward to similar support from our alumni in our future efforts to take this campus to greater heights.”
Chief guest at the event was principal scientific adviser to the Government of India, Padma Shri and former secretary, Department Of Biotechnology, Government of India, K Vijay Raghavan
Also present were vice chancellor, BITS Pilani, Souvik Bhattacharyya; registrar, BITS Pilani, Ernest Samuel Ratnakumar J along with members of the board of governors, members of the senate and faculty members. Drawing attention to the deterioration of our planet, professor Vijay Raghavan, in his convocation address, emphasised on the need to democratise knowledge and urged youngsters to become the agents of change.
A total of 678 students received their degrees in the programmes of BE, MSc and ME. Of these 14 students received their PhDs. Gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded to three students from the bachelor’s degree programmes, namely, Madhu Adav, Kathan Kashiparekh and Devritt. 139 students, who graduated through the Work Integrated Learning Programme (WILP) also received their degrees during the convocation ceremony.
Deputy vice chancellor and vice president, Queensland University, Australia, Arun Kumar Sharma, received the Distinguished Alumnus Awards 2019. The award was conferred upon 11 alumni from varied fields of expertise for their significant and outstanding contribution to the society.
The APPCAIR lab will start its operations from the Goa campus, but affiliates to the centre can be on any of the BITS campuses (Pilani, Goa, Hyderabad or Dubai). APPCAIR will be headed by senior professor in the Department of Computer Science at BITS Goa, Ashwin Srinivasan. Srinivasan has worked for nearly 30 years in the field of AI in places like the Turing Institute (Scotland), University of Oxford, and IBM Research and is one of the leading researchers in the field combining Machine Learning and Logic.