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09 Sep 2016

Two IITM alumni donate $1mn for setting up 'Visiting Chairs'

Paying back to alma mater

Two alumni of Indian Institute of Technology-Madras based in the Silicon Valley donated $1 million to their alma mater to create a corpus and fund Visiting Chairs in Computer Science.

Anand Rajaraman and Venky Harinarayan announced the contribution in Delhi at 42nd International Conference on Very Large Databases.

The fund would also be used to lead research on data-driven approaches and solve important issues.

In context

Paying back to alma mater

Impact of data and algorithms

At the conference, Rajaraman and Harinarayan said, "Data-driven approaches are transforming the world we live in. The impact of data and algorithms is being felt in every field of human endeavor — industry, sciences, humanities, and government."

Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman Visiting Chair Program


Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman Visiting Chair Program

The initiative was named 'Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman Visiting Chair Program'.

Those chosen for the program will demonstrate thought leadership in their chosen fields, have significant impact at IITM on research thrusts, and extensively collaborate with faculty engaged in aligned research areas.

The Chair Professor will participate in several activities like teaching/co-teaching of UG/Graduate courses, co-advising students, and assist in post-doctoral fellows' recruitment.

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Enabling IITM to contribute to CSE research work

Harinarayan stated, "It gives us great pleasure to enable IIT Madras to contribute to the research work in this field (Computer Science), and join the ranks of the select few institutions that are inventing the future."

Advisory Committee

Advisory Committee to ensure Visitor Chairs' high quality

To ensure the Visiting Chairs' high quality, an advisory committee comprising Rajaraman, Stanford Professor Jeff Ullman, and UC-Berkeley Professor Randy Kartz has been constituted.

The committee would help IITM's CSE Department in screening and select the Chair.

Professor Katz said the program would spark a great connection between the global Computer Science research community and one of India's leading CSE education and research centers.

Idea behind the initiative

The primary idea behind the move is to enhance research and teaching efforts in the CSE area to attract outstanding students, research scholars, post-doctoral fellows, and young faculty to the department at IITM.

Program would expose students to latest thinking

Program's Effect

Program would expose students to latest thinking

IIT-Madras Director Professor Bhaskar Ramamurthi said the program would have an amplifying effect on the institute's CSE UG, PG and research courses.

He stated the constant flow of prominent people in the emerging fields of Computer Science would expose the students to latest thinking.

He also added students, research scholars, and faculty can collaborate with guest faculty and encourage an active two-way flow.

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