Prashant R. Nair

Eminent Speaker

Short CV: Prashant R. Nair Associate Professor of Computer Science & Engineering at Amrita School of Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Deemed-to-be-University), Coimbatore. He has 20 years of teaching, research, mentoring, training, consultancy and academic administration experience at Amrita University. He has taught in academic programs in USA and Europe at University of California, San Diego and Sofia University, Bulgaria as an Erasmus Mundus fellow. He holds PhD in Industry 4.0 and MBA specializing in Information Systems from Amrita University and BE in Electronics & Communication Engineering from Bharathiar University. He is passionate about contributing to the innovation ecosystem of the country through student initiatives and outreach.

He has been the associate site director and site coordinator of the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) for over a decade. He has mentored student teams which have won premier international and national competitions like Smart India Hackathon, Rajasthan Hackathon, TCS Digital Twin challenge, Scilab hackathon, India International Science Festival (IISF) engineering model competition and represented India as part of the national hackathon team for Singapore-India Hackathon and felicitated by Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi. He has also been ranked as top innovation mentor in India by Atal Innovation Mission of NITI Aayog and currently coordinates AIM activities at Tamil Nadu as regional mentor of change.

He currently holds international and national leadership positions in professional bodies such as IEEE, IETE, ACM, Computer Society of India and Coimbatore Management Association. He has written six books and one book chapter, edited two books, and has over 50 publications in reputed journals, books, magazines and conferences. Publications that he currently edits include IEEE Asia Pacific region newsletter, CSI Journal of Computing and CSI Transactions on ICT. Has been a CSI Distinguished speaker and is a prolific technical speaker, having keynoted over 300 technical conferences, workshops, seminars, webinars, panel discussions and events.

Title of Talk 1: How to Prepare for International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC)?
Synopsis : This presentation is a sharing of experiences, best practices, tips and operational strategies for students to prepare for International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) based on the experience of organizing the ICPC as an associate site director for over a decade. ICPC (formerly ACM ICPC) is an international competitive programming event, considered the Olympics of Collegiate Programming. ICPC boasts of an annual participation of 50,000+ students in 3000+ universities in 100+ countries spread across 6 continents. From 1977 to 2017, ICPC was held under the auspices of ACM and was referred to as ACM-ICPC with funding globally from IBM. This presentation deliberates on strategies for students to prepare and participate in ICPC and qualify for the World Finals. This preparation includes how to use platforms like CodeChef, Mooshak, & HackerRank; ICPC training & bootcamps; sports programming leagues; online resources and practice contests. Strategies to improve collaboration, creativity and teamwork are stressed in addition to knowledge of data structures & algorithms to score in this contest. This presentation also provides tips on working under pressure, understanding the difficulty of the problems, deducing the requirements, design testbeds and architecting software systems to solve challenging real-world problems which are normally the problem set for ICPC. The presentation also exhorts students to move forward, qualify and win ICPC World Finals. Despite ICPC popularity in India, an Indian team has yet to win the World Finals. If an Indian team aces the World Finals, they are entitled to a prize money of Indian Rupees 1.6 million (Approximately US $23,000) from CodeChef in addition to the ICPC prize money.

Title of Talk 2: How to Win a Hackathon?
Synopsis: This presentation is a sharing of experiences, best practices, tips and operational strategies for students to ace hackathons. This draws from the experience of mentoring student teams over the last 5 years to victories and top ranks in over 50 international and national competitions & hackathons including prestigious ones like Smart India Hackathon, Rajasthan Hackathon, TCS Digital Twin challenge, Scilab hackathon, India International Science Festival (IISF) engineering model competition and representing India as a mentor for national hackathon team in Singapore-India Hackathon. Hackathon successes include international ones at Indonesia, Australia and Singapore. This presentation demystifies and provides an overview of hackathons, as an exciting learning and hands-on avenue for all students. This presentation provides tips and strategies towards team formation, selection of right contest, abstract submission, solution development, pitching, winning online & onsite hackathons as well as acing hardware & software hackathons.

Title of Talk 3: Building Blocks of AI, ML & Data Science
Synopsis: This is an introductory talk on building blocks of AI, ML & Data Science. ThIs presentation also focuses on the overlap and subtle differences between these cutting-edge technologies. An introduction to Artificial Intelligence (AI) is provided with simple hands-on exercises in Prolog Programming. The gamut of concepts covered in machine learning include Why Machine Learning (ML)?, purpose of ML, ML terminology and approach, Taxonomy of ML & Deep Learning (DL) with example use-cases. An overview of basic concepts and flow in Data Science is also provided covering introduction to data science, data analytics and Python, data analytics Process and its Steps also with example use-cases. Hands-on session on Python includes environment setup and essentials

Title of Talk 4: Internet of Everything (IoE): Rise of the Machines
Synopsis: The presentation traces the evolution of the fourth industrial revolution and the trends that have enabled smart factories such as CPS, whose foundation is IoT. An overview of the building blocks of IoT is provided with focus on sensors, actuators and associated hardware and software, communication technologies and IoT protocol stack. The evolution of M2M to IoT is also traced. Various use-cases are discussed in terms of applications and impact of IoT in various domains and contexts which include smart health, smart homes, smart retail, smart transportation and smart environment. This pervasive and wide-ranging impact of IoT makes one appreciate the fact that IoT has transformed into IoE and we are entering the era of smart machines. The talk also exposes the participants to the ThingSpeak platform for executing hands-on projects in IoT with example use-cases.

Title of Talk 5: 5G & Beyond
Synopsis: The presentation gives a bird-eye view of the 5th Generation wireless technologies. It touches upon the advantages & applications of this exciting technology as also its relevance as a communications building block for Industry 4.0 and interconnected world. The evolution of this technology is traced and its basic architecture and protocol stack highlighted. Various use-cases are also discussed in terms of test-beds and early commercial deployments. Insights on the future trajectory and direction of this technology are also provided.

Prashant R. Nair

Qualifications: PhD, Amrita University

Title: Associate Professor, Computer Science & Engineering

Affiliation: Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University, Coimbatore

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