This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Cover Article: Editor’s Column Innovation: A Challenge for the Creative to be Productive
By Prof. M. Balakrishnan From the sweltering sun, You require some shade; Hectic exams & assignments; Also need to fade; Coming from you & for you, Ideas here are laid; With such motives, This newsletter is made ! Ideas, Inventions and Innovations– what’s common is the ‘I’. I gives rise to all these. And hence this edition of the newsletter inquires, intrigues and incites you to discover the ‘I’ in You. Sometimes it is difficult, sometimes it is the ‘aha’ moment, sometimes a stroke of luck. But when an idea comes, not only should you be joyous about it, but also preserve it, not let it go to waste, for you never know in what form and at what time it could solve a problem that you encounter. Our cover article in this issue, is on challenges in innovation by Prof. Balakrishnan. Knowledge management is a hot research topic today and the projects section features the same. Articles on innovation feature the work of a recent graduate from CSE, IITD in robotics and a brief understanding of the various types of innovation. Besides these, we have the regular fun section featuring crosswords and a caption contest. A poem by Aditi also seems to be a regular feature now.
BROUGHT OUT BY ACM STUDENT CHAPTER
nnovation is the new buzz word today and everyone from your employer and family expects you to be innovative. Many a times the word is confused with “entrepreneurship” but is quite distinct. From a business or any other complex venture perspective, it is clear that both innovation and entrepreneurship is required to make a mark but that doesn’t make them synonymous. To me entrepreneurship relates to one’s ability to pool in all resources (time, human, material and financial) effectively to achieve one’s objective. These resources need not necessarily belong to you but it is your entrepreneurship which makes them accessible to you. Normally this requires clear thinking, intense work and communication abilities to convince others of your objective.
with the society. Here again the word is confused with “invention”. Invention is something much more fundamental and has a longer term impact on the society. Unlike innovation, it may or may not be useful even in the longer term and is done with the joy of discovering something new or solving some unsolved puzzle. Time frames and resources available for generating innovative solutions are much smaller compared to what is acceptable in an invention. The abilities and/or the training required to perform invention are much higher and beyond the scope of this article. Innovation in our field is primarily technology driven. It requires clear understanding of the potential as well as limitations of “current” deployable technology, and “common sense”. Many a times I find my colleagues as well as students suggesting solutions which in my opinion are in the realm of science fiction as they do not correspond to deployable technologies. It is true that every day we are pushing the boundaries of “deployable technologies” but having a clear understanding of the current boundaries and one’s capability to push it are the keys to the success of any innovation. The word “common sense” suggests that most of us would possess it but unfortunately that is far from reality! Common sense in social behavior relates to our ability to see the others’ point of view but that goes against the basic human trait of “me” being at the centre of any analysis. What is possible in one society or organization may or may not be possible in (contd. on Page 2)
On the other hand, I consider innovation to be a reasonably “simple” ability which unfortunately in my opinion very few develop. Innovation can be in
Innovation in our field is primarily technology driven. It requires clear understanding ..
Inside this issue:
Innovation—Challenge for Creative to be Productive Open House Personality Profile— Charles Babbage Who Innovates? Robotics and Healthcare Project Perspectives — PhD Survey Faculty Profile— Vinay J. Ribeiro Department News Flashes Linux User Group @ IITD Fun Section Caption Contest
2 3 3 4 5 6 6 7 9 8,9,10 10
Hope you will like this edition of the newsletter as much as you liked the previous ones. This will be the last edition with me as the lead editor. At this point, I would like to thank the team of this year for their immense support, and also welcome the team for next year and wish them good luck. Anubha Verma (Editor)
any area including that of “copying assignments”. Human beings tend to be naturally “innovative” if it can reduce their effort and I will not discuss this further as I am sure you are already aware of real “experts” in the area. Many of such innovations are not scalable; it reduces their effort but generally at the cost of much higher additional effort by people around them. On the other hand, one is always looking for innovation in solving problems associated
Cover Article (Contd.)
another society or organization and this gives an unlimited scope for innovation in any situation. vice. Alternatively, you can vow to listen to the bhavishyavani in the morning TV channels before you start on the same mission next time. to work on innovation in deploying the available technologies in a sustainable manner. This could be solar heaters in the hostels, water recycling plants or green transport for the campus. All these require formation of interdisciplinary groups and huge innovations as one has to look at the complete process including costing and operational issues and create stake holders for sustainability. Only when this happens, we can upgrade ourselves from the current College of Engineering and Science to the name Indian Institute of Technology. -Prof. M. Balakrishnan
In my earlier discussion, I hinted that the capacity to innovate can be Finally, I would like to developed. For that you share with the readers need to do a test whether I would like some of you to work something which bothers you are innovative or not. A on innovation in deploying the me a lot these days. IIT simple test revolves around Campus, in our day to day, available technologies in a analyzing what you do living has one thing misswhen you come across long ing and that is technology. sustainable manner. delays in a queue or procTechnology remains conessing time or when you get shell fined to our laboratories. The society is shocked by the unexpected, exorbitant facing huge challenges in terms of enprice of a service? One reaction could be ergy, environment, transportation, access recreating the service process and thinkfor the disabled etc. We may be working ing of applying some technology to proon “inventions” in all these areas in our vide more efficient or economical serlaboratories but I would like some of you
Open House: Display of research & technical innovations
In the midst of final projects and assignments submissions for the semester, was the time to showcase proudly the hard work put in by the students, professors and other staff. The Open House, as it has always been, was a brilliant event, with over 200 innovations ranging from an easy Braille reading device to a leaves collector displayed to school and college students, teachers and other visitors from industry and alumni associations. The entire Bharti building was alive with school students and teachers beaming with joy and curiosity, jostling each other in order to catch a glimpse of the inventions. One distinguishing achievement among all projects displayed was the "Smart Cane for the visually impaired". The gadget designed for the blind can detect objects even above their knee height like a table, through a user-triggered wireless identification system with vibration as a warning signal. This along with another project work can be used to assist a blind in using the bus transport with ease. This is achieved by giving audio instructions at bus stop about the bus numbers of apVOLUME 1, ISSUE 3 (MAY ‘08)
proaching buses, These projects have been completed through a collaboration between IITD and The National A s -
veillance and crowd management, real time rendering of minute details present on surfaces and an efficient implementation of ray tracing implemented on GPUs by using bounding volume hierarchies. Some of these projects left the school students spell bound.
An interesting project in innovations ranging from an easy computer vision was on time-lapsed photography, a Braille reading device to a leaves technique wherein recorded video frames are time collector warped linearly or nonsociation for the Blind. linearly during playback to create interestAnother interesting project was the "Smart ing visual effects. Events that extend over Passenger Alert System", which is a smart a long period of time are captured, anatechnology solution that sends automatic lyzed and meaningfully condensed to conSMSes to all passengers when the bus is vey the concept more expeditiously. It about to reach their bus stop, so that pasinvolved implementing some of the existsengers don’t need to wait outside in harsh ing techniques to generate time lapse video weather conditions. Other embedded sysof continuous processes such as growth of tems projects from our department include a flower from seed to full bloom and exthe bicycle vending system, automatic ploring newer visualization techniques lights system, among many others. The involving event detection i.e. a time lapse results clearly reflect the long night outs video generated by picking up only the put in by students involved in the projects. relevant parts, from a video, in which an One could see the diversity in the areas of event takes place. Instead of selecting research with projects related to simulatframes at a uniform interval, adaptive ing explosions by fundamental principles frame selection was done depending on the of physics like Black Body radiations and relative importance of the frame in the fluid dynamics, in order to create photorecorded video. realistic renderings with improved stabil(..contd. on Page 5) ity, crowd behavior analysis to assist surPage 2
...a brilliant event, with over 200
Personality Profile: Charles Babbage Unplugged
Mathematician, philosopher, computer scientist are the various roles which Charles Babbage, a renowned personality, assumed. He was the man behind the inception of the idea of a programmable computer. Here we try to explore some of his lesser known dimensions. Born in 1791 in London in one of the richest families of that time, Charles received his elementary education from several elite schools and teachers. But around the age of 8 he was sent to a country school near Exeter to recover from a life-threatening fever. His parents ordered that his “brain was not to be taxed too much” and Babbage felt that “this great idleness may have led to some of my childish reasonings.” He then joined a 30-student Holmwood academy which had a well-stocked library that prompted Babbage's love of mathematics. He studied with two more private tutors after leaving the academy. The young Charles was always interested in mechanical gizmos and this experimental approach got reflected in one of the greatest innovative experiments of that time- walking on the river Dart. He attached to his each foot two boards closely connected together by hinges fixed to the shoe-sole. According to him, when he would lift his leg up, the two boards would close up towards each other while on pushing down his foot, the water would rush between the boards causing them to open out into a flat surface, thereby offering him greater resistance towards sinking in the water. He took a pair of boots for the experiment and cut a couple of old volumes with thick bindings. In this way, he fixed the boards by the hinges. Equipped with his machine, he went down to the river to test his discovery. He could manage to float down the river with a very slight exertion of force. Unfortunately the apparatus malfunctioned and Charles was nearly drowned. Nevertheless, the experiment became the torchbearer of many future experiments. Babbage went to Cambridge in 1810, his eyes twinkling with the joy of getting his difficulties in Mathematics explained. But his high hopes of Cambridge speedily dissolved as he was also disappointed by the professors there. Charles found himself actively participating in various societies and associations formed in Cambridge. At the age of 30, he began to construct a machine for making mathematical tables. Building his first Difference Engine led to crucial advances in machine tools and engineering techniques affecting the whole development of precision mechanical engineering. In 1834, Babbage started working on the Analytics Engine. These are one of the greatest intellectual achievements in the history of the mankind. While constructing his first engine, he developed his doctrine for the union of theory and practice. He also led many campaigns for the application of scientific methods to solve industrial problems. Compiled by: Anshuman and Rahul
The debate over who is most likely to innovate dates back to, at least Schumpeter, who first suggested that small entrepreneurial firms innovate. Later people suggested that large firms with some degree of monopoly power in their business have the potential and will to innovate. The focus has shifted to individuals and then back to firms. But with the evolution of study on ‘innovation’ per se, better classification mechanisms have arisen. These attempt to categorize the type of innovation and then explain the source of the same. The first is a simple distinction between incremental and radical innovation, which as the name suggests is based on the extent to which the technological knowledge required for the innovation differs from existing knowledge. Similarly one could classify it as radical or incremental based on the economic impact of the innovation.
VOLUME 1, ISSUE 3 (MAY ‘08)
Attacker's Advantage, R. Foster, 1986
there have been examples of large companies like GE adopting radical innovations while well-established players like Xerox have failed to recognize incremental innovation. To solve this dilemma, other innovation models have been proposed, which are quite interesting. These classify the innovation on the basis of the architectural components that they alter or on the basis of the market disruption that they cause. It’s often believed that well established companies have more market knowledge and they can thus cater to the requirements of the customers in terms of the innovation. While all these are static ways of classifying innovations, the actual technology goes through different life-cycles, and hence the dynamic nature of innovation is also important. In this respect, many people are familiar with Foster’s S curve, which shows that technology goes through the phases of slow growth, then rapid growth and finally maturity. (Contd. on Page 10)
It is important here to revisit the difference between invention and innovation. Innovation is invention + commercialization, i.e. putting the invention to a use for the people. While new firms have the capability and incentive to go for radical innovation, existing companies might not have the same, and contribute to only incremental change. At the same time,
Interesting Projects—Robotics and Healthcare
This is a project that I, Advait Jain, have been a part of since joining the Healthcare Robotics Lab at Georgia Tech as a PhD student in August 2007 and would love to share with the students in CSE, IIT; because innovation fosters innovation. Our project's aim here is to build a robot that can perform everyday tasks such as retrieving objects, opening doors, operating light switches etc. with the hope that it can provide people with disability greater independence in their day to day activities. The project started in the summer of 2007 and so I got the opportunity to work on this robot from the conception stage itself. We have now built the first prototype of our robot El-E (shown in the figure), which is designed around two key ideas. The form and features and the various components of El-E are shown in the figure. First, El-E is able to translate its manipulator and associated sensors to different heights, which enables it to grasp objects on a variety of surfaces, such as the floor and tables, using the same perception and manipulation strategies. This effectively takes advantage of a common symmetry found within human environments - smooth flat surfaces that are orthogonal to gravity. Second, El-E has a laser pointer interface that detects when a user illuminates a location with a green laser pointer and estimates the 3D location selected by the user. This enables a user to unambiguously communicate a 3D location to the robot and is a direct way to tell the robot which object to manipulate or where to go. The laser pointer interface is a different way of looking at interaction between humans and robots. The current approaches for human-robot interaction are speech, gestures, pointing. These methods have greater ambiguity, spatial error and are more complicated as compared to pointing at an object using a laser pointer and letting the robot estimate its 3D location. This is a joint work of three PhD students (including myself) and my advisor, Prof. Charles C. Kemp. We divided the main components of the system- laser pointer interface, mobility and manipulation amongst the three students. The division was soft rather than hard, with a lot of improvement to all the components as they were integrated together. I was responsible for manipulation i.e. grasping unknown objects illuminated using the laser pointer. Grasping is in itself an entire research area devoted to determining the best way to pick up objects whose 3D model is known. Our approach is in tune with the new thinking that grasping unknown objects is possible using models which can be extracted using sensors like cameras and laser range finders. We grasp objects from the top (which we call an “overhead” grasp). First, the Katana robot arm is moved such that the eye-in-hand camera is above the object (the front edge of the object can be determined using the laser range finder). Then, the object is segmented from the background and is modeled as an ellipse. We choose the grasp point as the center of the ellipse and align the two fingers of the gripper along the minor axis. This approach is successful for a number of common objects including bottles, wallets, cellphones, toothpaste tubes and cups. More complicated methods are required for grasping plates, bowls, books, laptops etc. and that is something that we are working towards. Today El-E is a prototype which works well within a laboratory setting. It takes around 3 minutes to deliver an object back to a person, too long for an able-bodied individual. But, from our collaboration with ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) Center at Emory University, we know that disabled people sometimes need to wait for hours before they can get back a dropped cellphone, wallet or TV remote. El-E can definitely make a huge difference in the lives of these people. My group will soon test El-E with patients suffering from ALS to better inform our next design iteration. In the long run, my goal is for a service robot to relieve me of tasks such as cooking, cleaning, washing so that I can maximize time spent on research ☺ And the good thing is that we made it in the news as well! Here is an article in the popular press about our work: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/16/ technology/16novel.html Also, Videos, publications and technical details are available from the lab website: http://www.healthcarerobotics.com/
Contributed by Advait Jain (an alumni)
“Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.” - Albert von Szent-Gyorgy
VOLUME 1, ISSUE 3 (MAY ‘08) Page 4
Interesting Projects in Department Managing secured documents over long periods
An IIT Delhi student, Baadshah, graduates in 2008 and our institute puts his degree in a electronic format online and plans to continue doing so until Baadshah retires (i.e. for at least the next 40 years). Baadshah will no longer have to provide an attested Xeroxed copy of his degree to potential employers. Employers in turn will be able to verify effortlessly the credentials of Baadshah and the thousands of other competing candidates online. Initially Baadshah’s degree and grade card information are encrypted using the IIT-Director’s 128-bit RSA private key and stored in a database. Baadshah’s information is for the time-being electronically secure and cannot be tampered with — b u t Reaching out to the masses with (unfortunatel y) forever. broadband wireless connectivity is n o t Within a decade what is the promised potential of or so it is quite WiMAX (IEEE 802.16) likely that with fast improving algorithms, CPU speeds and number crunching computer architectures, the Director’s private key will be cracked in a matter of seconds. Using a stronger key (say a 1024-bit key) will secure the information for longer but there can be no guarantee for how long. So how does one secure an electronic document for arbitrarily long durations of time? Ask four BTech students – Sachin Jindal, Yogesh Tomar, Vikrant Kumar, and Gorav Jindal. Under the guidance of Prof. B. N. Jain and Dr. Vinay Ribeiro of the Networks Group they have developed a prototype server through which IIT Delhi degree certificates can be made available on a need-to-know basis. Their solution uses “timely re-encryption” which is best explained using the following analogy. Say that we store a jewel in a casket sealed with a lock of strength L. Nobody can break the lock today but Dr. Evil will have a tool to do so in N years. Our solution is to stay one step ahead of Dr. Evil – before he produces the tool, say after only N/2 years, we put the existing casket into a larger one and seal it with a lock of strength 2L. With time the jewel will be surrounded by several layers of caskets each sealed by stronger and stronger locks. That takes care of Dr. Evil. But what if an insider, for example someone with a key to the outermost lock, turns foe and wants to replace the jewel with an imitation? Worse, what if a group of people with keys to different locks want to steal the jewel? Yogesh and team have mathematically proved that their system is fool-proof to some such attacks. Although the current focus is on degree certificates, the approach can be easily extended to passports, birth certificates, land sale deeds and other critical documents. This work has the potential to greatly extend the capabilities of egovernance in India and abroad thereby bringing ease, transparency and accountability in society. Contributed byVinay Ribeiro Yogesh Tomar and
Open House : Display of our research and technical innovations
This year's Open House provided a beacon light towards this approach of creating superb works of excellence which don't have any parallel in either history or present. Seeing the excellent real life projects actually working was a cynosure in itself. Hope we continue this tradition of applying innovation in handling the so-called mundane real life problems. After all, any invention must pass the acid test of being used in normal day to day life.
(.. Contd. from page 2) And finally, this day long exercise wherein students tried their best to make even a layman understand and appreciate their work didn't end in a vain. The faculty applauded the contributions by the students who made this year's Open House a success story. "IIT Delhi is not just an engineering college providing degrees to students. It's a centre of research and subsequent technological innovations as well," said Kushal Sen, the coordinator of the event. The CS department definitely saw the hidden dimensions of its students that day.
Contributed by: Anshuman and Rahul
VOLUME 1, ISSUE 3 (MAY ‘08) Page 5
Perspectives — PhD Survey
Why is the number of students doing PhD in India so less? What goes inside the young minds of today? Is there no more crave for in-depth research, is the society becoming completely money-minded or are there more profound reasons. This was the issue explored in a survey conducted by Prof. Jalote. A total of 100 students participated in it from undergraduate and post graduate course in our department. A significant majority of them (61%) believed in taking up a job instead of further studies. Many of them felt that PhD took too long and the conditions in India are not suitable for good quality research. The other reasons given were a lack of any inspiration and even a lack of thought! Some felt they had no patience left to study more. Surprisingly only 1% felt that it was too difficult. The young minds know what they want and are not handicapped by the lack of confidence even if they are constrained by poor research conditions. As a student pointed out, “… lack of infrastructure, I see no world-leading research work happening.” Another felt, “The low financial compensation makes it difficult to do that, even though I am very much interested.” A vast number of students felt willing to give PhD a try if they were given a high assistantship, good job opportunities and good internship opportunities. Another lucrative factor for them would be to have a joint degree with some foreign university. Interestingly, the difficulty level of entrance exam or the amount of course work was the last thing in their minds. Some of the suggestions given by students to encourage the number of PhD’s were: “As the quality of research being done in India cannot be improved overnight, the PhD programmes in India should forge and promote active collaborations with the best in the world (e.g. MIT, UC Berkeley, MSR Redmond, IBM Research Watson etc.), as well as a chance to spend some time during the PhD (say 1 year at least) at these places to work there. Also, the compensation levels to professor in places like IIT should be much higher than their current status, to make me consider seriously the possibility of joining back as a professor ...reasons given were a lack of any in India itself. (This would inspiration and even a lack of help increasing quality of research in India in the long run) thought ! ” “There should be seminars conducted which encourage students to take up PhDs in India. They should at least show what kind of work in various research areas is available. We should invite some PhD students who have been successful in their career to come and give a personal touch to these seminars. ” Clearly, PhD in India could become a career choice of many provided the academic conditions are encouraging and future prospects lucrative enough. - Compiled by Aditi Kapoor
Faculty Profile— Vinay J. Ribeiro
After obtaining a B.Tech. in Electrical Engineering from IIT Madras, I spent 9 years abroad during which I completed my M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engg. at the Rice University in Houston and was a research intern at AT&T Labs New Jersey, Sprint ATL California, and Institut Mittag-Leffler Stockholm. After a post-doctoral stint at Rice, I returned to IITD as an Assistant Professor in October 2006. My research interests are broadly in the areas of Computer Networking and Signal Processing and my current focus is on the design of wireless networking protocols. I was featured in a recent Indian Express article along with other IIT faculty: http:// www.indi anexpress. co m/sunda y/ story/250682.html. Incidentally, my brother Rahul recently joined the Mechanical Engg. Department at IITD as an Assistant Professor. Some of the firstyear CS students may bump into him in their engineering drawing class. As far as hobbies go, I am an amateur classical guitarist (favorite piece: Lagrima by Francisco Tarrega) and chess enthusiast. My best sport is probably badminton (if only ACES could schedule their tournament before 10pm!) and I’m not too bad at football and hockey. You young students may wonder what I am doing back here in India, that too as an academician! I’m probably nuts, eh?? Well, I can assure you that as time goes by, your own ideas about what is important in life will change and you too might end up going “nuts.” My only advice to you is that success has a 3-letter acronym: MTV-- Motivation, Talent, and Virtue. I suppose IIT students have a pretty strong “T”-factor so you would do well to work on improving your “M” and “V”-factors during your stay at IIT and thereafter.
“There's a way to do it better—find it.” — Thomas Edison
Department News Flash
I. Visitors Dr. Alefiya Hussain, SPARTA, 29th Feb Prof. Kees Van Hee (Eindhoven UT), 11th March Prof Mateo Valero of UPC Barcelona, Spain, 12th March Prof. Rama Chellappa, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, 14th March Ashwin Rao, Arzad Kherani, and Anirban Mahanti, “Performance Evaluation of 802.11 Broadcasts For a Single Cell Network with Unsaturated Nodes”, Proc. of IFIP/TC6 Networking, Singapore, May 2008. Naimul Basher, Aniket Mahanti, Anirban Mahanti, Carey Williamson, and Martin Arlitt, “A Comparative Analysis of Web and Peer-to-Peer Traffic”, Proc. of the 17th World Wide Web (WWW) Conference, Beijing, China, April 2008. Niklas Carlsson, Anirban Mahanti, Derek Eager, and Zongpeng Li, “Optimized Periodic Broadcast of Non-Linear Media”, IEEE Transactions on Multimedia, to appear. (Accepted December 2007) Phillipa Gill, Liqi Shi, Anirban Mahanti, Zongpeng Li, and Derek Eager, “Scalable On-demand Media Streaming for Heterogeneous Clients”, to appear in ACM Transactions on Multimedia Computing, Communications and Applications (ACM TOMCCAP) Phillipa Gill, Martin Arlitt, Zongpeng Li, and Anirban Mahanti, “The Flattening Internet Topology: Natural Evolution, Unsightly Barnacles or Contrived Collapse?”, Proc. of Passive and Active Measurement (PAM) Conference, Cleveland, USA, April 2008. Mark Pauly, Niloy J. Mitra, Johannes Wallner, Helmut Pottmann, Leonidas Guibas, “Discovering Structural Regularity in 3D Geometry”, To Appear in SIGGRAPH 2008 Martin Kilian, Simon Floery, Zhonggui Chen, Niloy J. Mitra, Alla Sheffer, Helmut Pottmann, “Curved Folding”, To appear in SIGGRAPH 2008. Dror Aiger, Niloy J. Mitra, Daniel Cohen-Or, “4-points Congruent Sets for Robust Surface Registration”, To appear in SIGGRAPH 2008. S. Rajasekaran and S. Sen, “Optimal and practical algorithms for sorting” on the PDM. IEEE Transaction on Computers April, 2008.
• • • •
Sonali Chouhan, M Balakrishnan, Ranjan Bose, "A Framework for Energy Consumption Based Design Space Exploration for Wireless Sensor Nodes", To appear in International Symposium on Low Power Electronics and Design (ISLPED) 2008. Nikhil Bhargava, Priyanaka Kokil, "Mechanisms to Maintain Confidentiality of Business Information," NWIP 2007(http://www.mnnit.ac.in/nwip/nwi p2007.htm) Nikhil Bhargava, "Switching Gap Analysis for generalized butterfly networks," WPMC 2007 (http://wpmc2007.org/)
• Shishir Nagaraja, Cambridge University, 26th March • Dr. Naresh Sehgal, Intel Bangalore, 28th March • Dr. Subhasis Banerjee, Intel, PhD IISc, 31st March •
Prof. Dinesh Manocha, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 22nd April
Garima Lahoti (MTech) and Priya Gupta (BTech) from our department among the 16 women Indiawide awarded the Google Women in Engineering Award.
• • • •
A workshop on Embedded Software by NVidia 7th March Digital Heritage Workshop, IIT Delhi, 22-23 April CSE Summer Workshop on Digital Hardware Design, June 1 to July 15, 2008 CSE Summer Workshop on Computer Graphics and Vision, June 1 to July 15, 2008
• The work Sanjam Garg (BTech 4th year) did for his BTech project (supervised by Raghav Bhaskar and Satya Lokam of MSR, India) has been accepted at CRYPTO 2008, the number one conference in the area. •
Anirban Mahanti's paper "*The Flattening Internet Topology: Natural Evolution, Unsightly Barnacles or Contrived Collapse?" co-authored with his M.Sc. Student Phillipa Gill and collaborators Martin Arlitt (HP Labs) and Zongpeng Li, (University of Calgary) has won the Best Paper Award at the 9th Passive and Active Measurement (PAM) conference. PhD student Arindam Pal got Infosys fellowship and G. Krishnaiah got Lucent fellowship. Prof M Balakrishnan and Dr Kolin Paul are the winners of 2005 VASVIK industrial research awards
F. Bassino, C. Nicaud, P. Weil, “Random generation of finitely generated subgroups of a free group,” International Journal of Algebra and Computation 18 (2008) 1-31. P.V. Silva, P. Weil, “On an algorithm to decide whether a free group is a free factor of another”, Theoretical Informatics and Applications 42 (2008) 395-414. Nadim Parvez, Carey Williamson, Anirban Mahanti, and Niklas Carlsson, “Analysis of BitTorrent-like Protocols for On-Demand Stored Media Streaming”, Proc. of ACM SIGMETRICS, Annapolis, USA, June 2008.
Two online programming contests : Cmaphore (2nd March), ACES programming contests (16th Feb)
Think of Invisibility !
Floating candles, moving staircases, invisibility cloak and even talking portraits, such are the magical contents of Hogwarts school. Such fascinating stuff has made the Harry Potter books and movies a worldwide success. It is interesting to see how it all started in the prolific imagination of author JK Rowling as she sat in a café in Edinburgh. The world of scientists and engineers is not uninfluenced. These Muggles without magical powers turn to material science and computer science to spring to reality some of these wonderful magical creations. Turning science fiction into reality, researchers are developing an "invisibility cloak"; wrap it around you and people just see through you as if you weren't there. Professor Susumu Tachi of the University of Tokyo (http:// w w w .s t a r. t .u -to kyo . a c .j p /p roj e ct s / MEDIA/xv/oc.html) has developed a cloak made of thousands of tiny beads. Cameras video what is behind you and a computer system then projects the appropriate image onto the front of the cloak. The beads are made of a special material called retro-reflective material. It is vital to give the image a natural feel. Normal screens give too flat a look, losing the impression of seeing through the person. The magic is in your hands just at click of a button. This technology of missing real and virtual world bears great potential to solve daily life problems. Imagine, if you can see through the back of your car, how easy would it be to park your car in garage! If used in cockpit to make floor transparent, it can reduce landing accidents, which accounts for more than a third of all general aviation accidents. Contributed by: Himanshu Gupta
Acknowledgement Section and Call for Articles
No fruit is complete, till all its rightful bearers are acknowledged. Its through our teachers that the experience here in IIT is complete, for whether inside class or outside, their support and guidance is immense. For our newsletter, the professors certainly took time out from their schedules and wrote quite some motivating articles for us and I hope they will continue their support. The senior team of Neeraj, Kiran and Vikram, who took on the initiative and motivated us to write for the newsletter. And finally the team which contributed this time and is set to take over reigns of ACM chapter and this newsletter. I feel a lot confident of their ability. I sincerely wish that you will all support and encourage them. And of course contributions from students of our department, who wrote about their projects, experiences or views. Everyone of us has the ability to write, its those who overcome the inertia and shyness, who come forward and make it happen. Please send across articles for the next issue to Aditi or email@example.com by July 15th, 2008. For detailed call for articles, see the ACM Newsletter homepage. -Anubha (Editor)
Fun Section: Crossword
1 3 5 6 7 4 2
14) A partial shadow, as in an eclipse, 4) Acronym for a mechanism within an IC between regions of complete shadow and that verifies all or a portion of its internal complete illumination functionality. 16) Ownership of ideas and control over 6) A device that both transmits and rethe tangible or virtual representation of ceives analog or digital signals. those ideas.(12,8) 7) Transmissions which occur in only one 17) The signaling rate of a line, a meas- direction at a time, but that direction can change.(4,6) ure of data transmission rate 18) The process of converting the polygonal or data specification of an image to the image itself, including color and opacity information Down
8 11 13 14
10) A short computer program that is permanently resident or easily loaded into a computer and whose execution brings a larger program, such as an OS or its loader, into memory.
Clues : Across 5)A sequence of related images viewed in rapid succession to see and experience the apparent movement of objects. 8) An array of elements in row and column form a ___ 9) The ‘___ problem’ is a decision problem, also the simplest problem that is undecidable over Turing machines. 12) Firmware that activates peripheral devices in a PC, Basic Input Output System
VOLUME 1, ISSUE 3 (MAY ‘08)
11) A program which copies other pro1) Acronym for computerized online grams from auxiliary memory to main catalog of the materials, used in our memory prior to its execution. central library 13)In computer programming, this would 2) An interlocked sequence of signals refer to a specific identifying enclosing between connected components in which context. each component waits for the acknowledgement of its previous signal before 14) kilo mega giga tera ____ exa proceeding with its action, such as data 15) A small glass sealed vial which is used transfer. to contain or preserve a fluid 3) The process of computing new interBuilt by Anubha Verma (Solutions at: mediate data values between existing http://www.cse.iitd.ernet.in/~acm/ data values. newsletter.html
Linux User Group@ IIT Delhi
Linux user group is an initiative of the students of IIT Delhi for promoting the use of Linux among IIT Delhi students. The group was started on Jan 12, 2008 and over the period of four months has done extensive work. Major initiatives of the LUG@IIT are an active mailing list for discussing issues with Linux and its usage, organizing workshops and opensource projects. The group has organized three workshops. The first workshop was on the basics of Linux which included basic commands and a demo installation along with a lecture on shell programming. All the lectures and demos were given by the student members of the LUG group. Coda-voda, the second workshop, focused on various coding issues and methods. Third, the documentation workshop involved tutorial and demonstration sessions on various tools and softwares in Linux. These were helpful for writing thesis, making presentations, diagrams and webpages. An important characteristic of these workshops were open invitation to participate and organize. For each workshop, a webpage for workshop is created on the group of 250+ members, where each member can edit the page and assign the responsibility to himself. This work distribution shows the equal participation and further motivates the group. It also demonstrates the work culture of an open-source community. Apart from the workshops, LUG also organized two installation demonstrations"install fest" and another was during Openhouse 2008. In the Openhouse LUG organized discussions, talks and demos on various aspects of Linux, both for kids and for grownups. In the effort of helping IIT Delhi students in their Linux installations, LUG@IITD has setup a vast local repository of various Linux distributions (Repository can be accessed at http://10.10.4.1). Using this repository, one can install from the network as well as burn their own DVDs of any Linux version. The community has also started two opensource projects- Free world and Eduvid. More projects are expected to start in near future. The idea of Free world project is to create peer to peer communication network for sharing data and for instant messaging. The peer to peer network will be based on some form of network connectivity, e.g, LAN, WAN or internet. The project Eduvid generates vector based education videos, which is intended to replace whiteboard teaching technique to more efficient electronic board teaching. This would result in size efficient videos, which reduces the internet bandwidth and storage disc space. Both of these projects are in development stage.
Fore more details, visit:
 LUG@IIT Delhi Group webpage : http://gro up s.goo gle.co.in/gro up/ iitdlug/  LUG@IIT website: http://www.lugiitd.org  Eduvid Project webpage: http:// sites.google.com/e/techfandu.org/ eduvid/Home  Free World Project webpage : http://sites.google.com/e/techfandu.org/ freeworld/Home
-Contributed by Neeraj
“What happens when you read some doc and either it doesn't answer your question or is demonstrably wrong? In Linux, you say "Linux sucks" and go read the code. In Windows/Oracle/etc you say "Windows sucks" and start banging your head against the wall.” --- Denis Vlasenko
A Poem—First flight
Don’t hold me this time, let me try Don’t push me away But don’t force me to stay I need this test Even though I love my nest Testing my new feathered appendages Seeking my own grains and bondages I migrate far out across seas I will come back I tell you My eyes sparkle My steps are light Future seems bright
Pace is just right On my first flight
On this first flight The trees are greener than green New leaves awaiting to curl me New twigs and things awaiting my game of pursuit Dusk comes and I settle in my nested space With its blues and purples and violets My heart yearns home and eyes threaten tear droplets
-Contributed by Aditi Kapoor
And go to new skies, my heart warms with a new peace
The sun gleams its reds, oranges and yellows
BROUGHT OUT BY ACM STUDENT CHAPTER ACM Student Chapter Sponsor—M Balakrishnan Newsletter Team Magazine in-charge: Anubha Verma Assisted by ACM chapter members Associate Editors— Aditi Kapoor Rahul Gupta Anshuman Aggarwal Chair - Neeraj Goel (Photos in above order left to right) Email—firstname.lastname@example.org
Who Innovates? (Contd.)
But the nature of innovation cycle is such that a new technology can totally alter the curve. Typically such technologies are called Disruptive Technologies. These technologies when compared on conventional parameters have a lower benefit-curve, but soon catch up to what the customers need at a much reduced cost. It is difficult to know upfront if the innovation is disruptive or not, however, one could look at other features which describe it as incremental or radical, architectural or modular and decide its value. Besides valuation, knowing the types of innovations also allows us to think along these lines, especially when one runs outs of ideas. Well-established companies find it difficult, if not impossible, to do radical innovation, while new entrants are easily able to do so. Similarly as entrants into the industry, we could think of new ideas and innovations, which can help in our projects, when we enter companies. It is important to realize this, not only for those who step out into the new world, but also those who are doing their projects, wherein they have a very flexible environment to experiment with new ideas and techniques. — Contributed by Anubha
To leave you… Caption Contest
Landmarks in Life or just on the road or Heights achieved. What does this picture (courtesy—Prof Suban) make you think? Give a caption to this picture and the best entries(2) will be published in the next issue, besides winning exciting prizes ! One entry per person to be sent to email@example.com by July 15th.
WINNERS of previous edition’s Caption contestKing of the birds caught by king of the profs (Prof. Suban ;-) ) - by Anand Come out rainbow! Let's see who is more colorful, you or me? - by Snigdha Goyal
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.