Greetings from IIT Bombay!
Hope you are healthy and safe.
Nature seems to have spared us her wallop this time - the cyclone has side-stepped the city and passed on. Except for some branches falling and an odd tree getting uprooted here and there, the campus has been mostly unaffected. Current scenario in the Institute is unquestionably not one of an archetypical June. The hardest hit were the final year students who were cooling their heels in the hope of being able to spend their last few months in the Institute. The Institute is using its best endeavors to cope up with the unprecedented situation. I take this opportunity then, to update you of the current situation on the campus as well as to showcase some of the most brilliant pieces of research being conducted in the Institute.
A committee chaired by Prof. A. K Suresh (Deputy Director AIA) has been set up to look into current circumstances. They are sparing no effort to come up with sustainable solutions in various areas ranging from required infrastructure change to academics. After much effort and help from Prof. Wangikar as well as the Deshmukh couple (Mrs. Deshmukh is an Institute employee, and Mr. Deshmukh works with the BMC), our hospital has now obtained permission to start an 18-bed isolation ward (in which mild cases can be treated as per ICMR guidelines), plus a 6-bed facility for suspected COVID cases. This increases our ability to provide immediate attention to Covid-19 cases on campus. The campus has now seen a total of 5 cases among its residents and (permanent and contractual) staff. Two of them have recovered, two are on their way to recovery, and there has been one unfortunate death.
The Institute has put its best efforts for the learning of students. Various ‘edx’ coupons were distributed as well as the ‘coursera for campus initiative’ was undertaken. An appreciable enthusiasm and determination have been demonstrated by the student’s bodies who have left no stone unturned in trying to conduct their various events and initiatives online. The Institute also requested all the companies our students were about to intern in to extend their offer to work from home internship and not revoke the offer.
Similar to the preceding newsletter, we will be covering faculty and student’s research in this edition. In this context, I am delighted to present an aphoristic account of the remarkable research of Prof. Raghavan. B. Sunoj, a faculty member at the Department of Chemical engineering, IIT Bombay. He has been honored with the prestigious Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar Award, 2019, for breakthrough work on providing molecular-level insights on organic reaction mechanisms. Prof. Sunoj and his group work on understanding chemical reactions, and how catalysts and other external factors influence a chemical reaction. They are looking at designing catalytic reactions that favor molecules of a specific handedness. We are very proud of his sensational contributions and wish him luck for his future.
We have also invited B. Tech, Dual Degree, M. Tech. and Ph.D. students to provide a concise account of their research for the knowledge of our alumni. We present a few of them for your reading in the edition of the newsletter.
The generous contribution received from our alumni, corporate entities, and other friends of the Institute helps make an important difference in our endeavor to pursue global excellence. The contribution towards Institute Development, Infrastructure Development, Young Faculty Awards, Chair Professorships, Hostel Development, Student Development, etc. are examples of utilization of these funds for the betterment of the Institute. We invite you to contribute to the Institute’s betterment to the best of your ability.
Dean of Alumni and Corporate Relations
Dr. Raghavan B. Sunoj
Space-Time, Supercomputer at IIT Bombay will open up many possibilities: A faculty research perspective.
Krishna Subramani, Supervisor: Prof. Preeti Rao
VaPar Synth - A Variational Parametric Model for Audio Synthesis
Sumit Jain, Supervisor: Balamurugan Palaniappan
Designing Neural Networks robust to perturbations and not easily fooled