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Pragyan promises more this year


For more details and registration, visit www.pragyan.org


Having achieved international stature in its very second year of inception, Pragyan ’09, the fifth edition of the annual science and technology festival of National Institute of Technology, Tiruchi, promises much more in keeping with its phenomenal growth over the years.

Four-day event

The four-day festival, slated to start on February 12, has come a long way in terms of opportunities for brightest minds in the world to exhibit their technical prowess; interaction with prominent technocrats, scientists and industrialists; unique workshops, and support from corporates and media establishments. Prize money of Rs. 7 lakh awaits contestants of 25 events in the genres of coding, innovation, robotics and management.

Contests

The most popular events across the categories include ByteCode — an online programming contest; Ventura — A Business Plan contest with prize money worth Rs.3 lakhs along with Innovation Fund of upto Rs.40 lakhs; Dalal street — an online stock market simulation event, Avishkar — a design event; and Anveshanam — a paper presentation contest. Petroleum Corporation Research Association, MindTree, Department of Science and Technology (GoI), Sun Microsystems and Trec-Step constitute the main sponsors.

Guest speakers

An intellectual feast awaits participants. For, they are to interact with distinguished luminaries comprising Kalyan Banerjee, co-founder of MindTree, which is ranked among the most admired knowledge enterprises in the country; Astronaut Loren Acton, a Payload Specialist in the STS-51-F Mission on board the Space Shuttle Challenger; John C Mather of the Goddard Space Research Centre of NASA and head of the COBE [Cosmic Background Explorer] Project, who had won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2006 for measuring the intensity of Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation [CMBR] that permeates the entire universe and currently forms the basis of the Big Bang theory and all currently accepted models of the evolution of the universe; Robotics specialist Josh Bongard, whose resilient machine project has been recognised by Esquire magazine as one of the ‘Six Ideas That Will Change The World’ and was named in the annual list of “Young Innovators” by Technology Review magazine; Peter Norvig, Director of Research at Google Inc since 2001; Thomas Kuruvilla, Managing Director of the Middle East operations of Arthud D. Little, one of the world’s top consultancy firms; and Manish Tripathi, an IT specialist and Honorary Director of Mumbai’s dabbawalas, a 125-year-old organisation delivering food to the office workers in the city, charging a very nominal fee.

Workshop

Workshops have been a major highlight of this festival that has so far witnessed numerous eminent personalities of the likes of Jimmy “Jimbo” Wales (of Wikipedia), Dr Philipe Lebrun (from CERN Switzlerland ) and Noam Chomsky (father of linguistics) enlightening the audience.

The workshops have provided a platform for participants to learn new skills and sharpen existing ones.

This year’s speciality will be a Light Painting Workshop by Kshitij Anand- showcasing the innovative technique of using a light source as a paint brush; an Animation Workshop conducted by the Nikhil Madan, RoboSapiens, India using the popular animation software MAYA; an iRobo Tricks Workshop by RoboSapiens, India, on Multi Functional Autonomous Bot, and a workshop on JAVA FX conducted by Sun Microsystems.

R. KRISHNAMOORTHY

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