TCS Excellence in Computer Science (TECS) Week 2012
January 9-12 2012, TRDDC, Pune

Speaker details and lecture notes Group photo

The Tenth TCS Excellence in Computer Science Week (TECS Week 201 9-12 January. It was organized by and Design Centre (TRDDC)) with support from (IARCS).

TECS Week is an annual event featuring a series of lectures on a topic related to computer science and engineering. It aims at providing high-quality computer science education to students, faculty and practitioners from developing countries. The topic for this year’s TECS Week was 'Cyber-Physical Systems'. Cyber-physical systems integrate traditional information and computation with physical entities and processes such as buildings and cars. Although cyber-physical systems have always existed, such as machine assembly robots in automobile industry, what is emerging is a world in which cyber-physical systems are moving beyond niche areas and laboratoratories, and becoming complex, pervasive, personalized, and dependable.

Three internationally-renowned experts delivered a series of lectures on different classes of cyber-physical systems, emerging approaches, and challenges. Dr. Guruduth Banavar (VP and CTO, IBM Global Public Sector) discussed the engineering and scientific issues in making cities smarter, and shared the lessons learnt from real world deployments. Prof. Vijay Kumar (UPS Foundation Professor and Deputy Dean, University of Pennsylvania) summarized the landscape of robotics research and implementation, and presented the latest results from his research group. He touched upon a variety of topics including design of micro-aerial robot, biological robots, and networks of robots. Prof. Prashant Shenoy, (Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Massachusetts, Amherst) gave an overview of smart grids, and discussed the role ICT can play in optimizing energy consumption at home. He presented recent results from his group and larger community on green buildings in general, and using ICT to shape demand to match price, availability, and need using a variety of techniques. This year’s talks stood out in terms of quality and richness of presentations. The audience was engaged throughout making the sessions lively.

The main speakers were complemented by a set of guest speakers who added to the breadth and depth of the conversations. Mr. Viral Raval (Suzlon) discussed the role of IT in wind energy. Prof. Anand Sivasubramaniam (TCS Chennai Labs and University of Pennsylvania) shared some lesser known facts about the relationship between energy, and discussed how ICT can help improve the quality and reliability of water. Prof. Bheemarjuna Reddy (IIT Hyderabad) summarized the ambitious cyber-physical systems program at IIT Hyderabad, and shared some recent results. Mr. Prateep Misra (TCS Innovation Labs, Kolkata) discussed design and implementation of the sensor platform, RIPSAC, being developed in his group. Dr. Natarajan Shankar (SRI and TECS Week International Advisory Board) discussed principled approaches to cyber-physical systems that build upon formal methods in software engineering.

The compelling program was evident from the beginning. Inspite of the delay in announcement of the program, the quality and number of applicants to the program and the fraction of post-acceptance confirmations was high. During the event, attendance in the sessions was uniformly high as well.

The program had roughly 90 participants, 25 of whom were from TCS. About 30 participants had a PhD degree or pursuing PhD and another 25 had masters’ degree. Academic participants constituted bulk of non-TCS attendees.

The program was hosted by Prof. Harrick Vin (TCS Innovation Labs, Pune), and supported by a number of TRDDC technical and administrative staff. The program ended with an extended dialogue between the organizing team and participants on the program on their experience, and ways to improve the event.


Speaker details and lecture notes (top)


Guruduth Banavar

IBM Research , USA

Dr. Guruduth Banavar is Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of the Global Public Sector in IBM. In this role, he is responsible for providing technical leadership across the Public Sector, with a particular focus on IBM’s Smarter Cities initiatives to capture strategic opportunities, improve upon solutions, harvest core assets, and maintain a vital link to IBM Research.

Previously, Dr. Banavar was the Director of IBM Research in India, one of eight labs of the worldleading IBM Research Division. He was responsible for establishing India as a pre-eminent research lab in the areas of services research and mobile computing. He also created the Bangalore branch of IBM Research as well as a Collaboratory with the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad. In his additional role as Chief Technologist (CTO) of IBM India / South Asia, Guru led the creation of a technical leadership group, a regional technical strategy, and sales enablers aligned with the business objectives. Finally, he served as the external face and spokesperson for IBM’s technology leadership in India.

Earlier, Dr. Banavar worked for 10 years at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center in New York, which he joined in 1995 after his PhD. His broad technical interests and contributions have been in Service Science, Pervasive Computing, Distributed Systems, and Programming Models. Guru has published more than 40 research papers in top international forums, invented more than 25 US patents, chaired major international technical conferences and workshops in his research areas, and served on PhD committees in major US universities.

Dr. Banavar is an elected member of the IBM Academy of Technology. He serves on the advisory boards of international governmental, educational, and industrial organizations.

TECSWeek topic: Smart cities



Vijay Kumar

Univ. of Pennsylvania, USA

VIJAY KUMAR is the UPS Foundation Professor and the Deputy Dean for Education in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from The Ohio State University in 1987. He has been on the Faculty in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics with a secondary appointment in the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania since 1987.

Dr. Kumar served as the Deputy Dean for Research in the School of Engineering and Applied Science from 2000-2004. He directed the GRASP Laboratory, a multidisciplinary robotics and perception laboratory, from 1998-2004. He was the Chairman of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics from 2005-2008.

Dr. Kumar's research interests lie in the areas of robotics and manufacturing. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the Institution of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). He has served on the editorial boards of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, Journal of Franklin Institute, IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering, ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, the ASME Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics and the Springer Stracts in Advanced Robotics (STAR). He is the recipient of the 1991 National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator award, the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, and the 1997 Freudenstein Award for significant
accomplishments in mechanisms and robotics. He has won best paper awards at DARS 2002, ICRA 2004, ICRA 2011, and RSS 2011 and has advised doctoral students who have won Best Student Paper Awards at ICRA 2008, RSS 2009, and DARS 2010. He is also a Distinguished Lecturer in the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society and an elected member of the Robotics
and Automation Society Administrative Committee.

TECSWeek topic: Robotics



Prashant Shenoy

University of Massachusetts, USA

Prashant Shenoy is currently a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He received the B.Tech degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and the M.S and Ph.D degrees in Computer Science from the University of Texas, Austin. His research interests lie in distributed systems and networking, with a recent emphasis on cloud and green computing. He has been the recipient of the National Science Foundation Career Award, the IBM Faculty Development Award, the Lilly Foundation Teaching Fellowship, and the UT Computer Science Best Dissertation Award, and several best paper awards at leading conferences. He serves on editorial boards of the ACM Transactions on the Web and the Multimedia Systems journal and has served as the past program chair for ACM Multimedia, ACM Sigmetrics, World Wide Web, Performance, Multimedia Computing and Networking, and Hotcloud 2009. He is a distinguished member of the ACM and a senior member of the IEEE.

TECSWeek topic: Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for Sustainable Systems




Shankar Natarajan

SRI International

Dr. Natarajan Shankar, staff scientist in SRI's Computer Science Laboratory, performs research and is published across a wide spectrum ranging from fundamental mathematics to system software building. He is responsible for the creation of the highly influential Prototype Verification System (PVS), a benchmark system for the development of proofs and the verification of algorithms against which other systems are compared. Dr. Shankar's current research ranges from foundational aspects of logic and programming to practical applications in software development, as well as system certification. He is also very active in the software technology community and has hosted dozens of students, professors, and technology leaders from around the world. Dr. Shankar is considered one of the leading scientists in his field, and has played a central role in several international research initiatives.

Dr. Shankar was named SRI Fellow in 2009. The Fellowship Award, established in 1980, recognizes exceptional staff members for their outstanding accomplishments. It is SRI's highest recognition for technical, scientific or professional contributions. The Fellowship award is given to individuals whose work enhances SRI's image as a leading research and problem-solving organization.

Dr. Shankar graduated with a B.Tech in E.E. from IIT Madras, India in 1980 and received a Ph.D. in C.S. in 1986 from the University of Texas at Austin.

TECSWeek topic: Modeling, Verification, and Assurance of Cyber-Physical Systems



Prateep Misra


Prateep  Misra  is  a  Research  Area  Manger in TCS Innovation Labs and is leading  the  development of platforms for Internet-of-Things applications. He has over 19 years experience in the IT Industry in areas such a software development,   research,   technology   consulting   and  software  quality assurance.  Current  focus  areas  include IT Infrastructure architecture &
design,  IT  transformation,  storage  systems,  large  scale  &  real-time analytics   platforms   and   cloud   computing.   As   a   head   of  RFID Center-of-Excellence  in  TCS,  he  was  responsible  for  over 25 projects executed  globally  in  the  area of RFID. Prateep was also responsible for
design  of IT infrastructure for a major SaaS offering from TCS. He holds a B.   Tech   in   Instrumentation   Engineering  and  M.Tech  in  Electrical Engineering, both from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.

TECSWeek topic: RIPSAC - A PaaS platform for IoT Applications


B Reddy

Cyber-Physical Systems Innovations Hub @ IIT Hyderabad

IIT Hyderabad

Bheemarjuna Reddy Tamma is an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering at IIT Hyderabad. He is a Co-PI of DIT (Dept. of IT, Govt. of India) funded Cyber Physical Innovations Hub at IIT Hyderabad. His research interests are in  Cyber-Physical Systems, Smart Grid Communications, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), Green ICT, Converged Radio Access Technologies, Wireless Multimedia, and Network Security. He has published over 30 papers in
refereed international journals and conferences. He obtained his PhD from IIT Madras and then worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) division of California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (CALIT2) prior to taking up faculty position at IIT Hyderabad.

TECSWeek topic: Cyber-Physical Systems Innovations Hub @ IIT Hyderabad


Group photo (top)
Group Photo