IITM Newsletter

First Annual Workshop on Computational Brain Research at IIT Madras


The first annual workshop on Centre for Computational Brain Research (CCBR) was held at IIT Madras from January 4th to 8th. The Introductory address was delivered by IITM alumnus Kris Gopalakrishnan. The first session that followed included talks by the three CCBR distinguished chairs - Prof. Partha Mitra, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), Prof. Anand Raghunathan, Purdue University, US, and Prof. Mriganka Sur, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), US.

The goal of the workshop was twofold: pedagogy (“neuroscience for engineers”), and outreach/community building. The academic goals were served by a number of lectures by domain experts in basic neuroscience as well as in machine learning as one interfacial domain between neuroscience and engineering. As part of the workshop there was a discussion on the development of a neuroscience curriculum for engineering students at IIT Madras and by extension to other IITs and engineering colleges in India. A brief hands-on lab component was also there. The second goal was to build links to academia, industry and medicine. The workshop connected with academic research programs elsewhere in India and internationally working in the area of computational brain research, participants from the computer industry with an interest in brain-inspired software and hardware development, and medical researchers seeking connections with engineering.

Saarang 2016: Chennai Stronger Together


IIT Madras' annual cultural festival, Saarang 2016, was held from 6th to 10th of January. It is one of the biggest student-run cultural fests of its kind in India, and is ISO certified. Every year, it associates itself with a social issue, this year Saarang focused on “Chennai Stronger Together” to raise funds to help rebuild the city of Chennai post the devastating floods of December.

Saarang organized five professional shows, one on each day. The first of these was Classical Night, this year starring Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and Rukmini Vijayakumar. Next up was the Choreo Night, an annual national level group dance competition several of whose performers have gone to become nationally famous. All ticket collections of the choreo night are donated to the associated cause. This was followed by EDM Night; DJs from Mars, Candice Redding, Aceaxe and Sicklead performed this year. On the penultimate day was the Saarang Rock Show, one of the most famous rock concerts in the country having seen reputed international artists. Popular Night, the main concert of Saarang, on the last day hosted Vishal-Shekhar this year.

A large chunk of Saarang is formed by its 50+ events ranging from quizzes to band competitions to freestyle dancing. These have been highly reputed and have been launch pads to several artists. Lectures and Demonstrations, LecDems in short is Saarang’s lecture series. This year the series included speakers such as Tania Sachdev, Apsara Reddy, Terence Lewis, Karun Chandok.

Shaastra 2016


IIT Madras' technical extravaganza Shaastra was held from 23rd to 26th January. The theme of this year was 'Challenging Conventions'. The flagship event of Shaastra 2016 was Maker Summit. It was a concoction of various events including Lectures, Panel discussions, Workshops and a Product Design Challenge to cap it off. It is aimed at giving students a stage to learn and give them a wonderful experience of working with the most creative and inspired minds from across the country over a period of 4 days. This year's Shaastra included lectures by NASA Scientist Dr Kamlesh Lulla; Deepak Bapna, VP-Technology, VISA; Vinita Bali, Former MD, Britannia Industries. The students also enjoyed robotics competitions, photography contests and Indian Railway design challenges. Shaastra's Pledge-A-Book 2.0 Campaign was a phenomenal success. Immerse, the third edition of Research Magazine of IIT Madras was unveiled.

First Phase of Placements at IIT Madras

Post the floods in Chennai, IIT Madras saw a successful first phase of placements that was not significantly affected by the rain delay. Most companies that were registered visited the campus during Phase I itself. The season saw a Jump in Dual Degree and M.Tech placements, largely due to an increase in Core, R&D and PSU sectors. Most branches reached 60% placement in Phase I itself. Education sector will pick-up in Phase II with several educational Institutions coming to the campus. There was also a sharp rise seen in consulting jobs.

Immerse 2015-2016

Immerse, is the annual science publication of The Fifth Estate, student media body of IIT Madras. It stands for IIT Madras Magazine on Research in Science and Engineering, where the endeavour is not only to showcase some of the recent developments in research and innovation at IIT Madras, but also to communicate the science behind them in the simplest way possible for better understanding and appreciation. This year marks the third year of Immerse. The cover page this year is in celebration of 2015 – UNESCO’s International Year of Light. Just like the seven colours of light, this year’s issue covers a spectrum of seven themes such as communication, computing, economics, health, energy, defense and materials. In each of these features, besides the technical and emotional facets of research at IITM, faculty’s passion and expertise to the research scholars’ enthusiasm and perseverance are also covered.

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Blue Star plans solar-powered ACs with IIT Madras help.

Leading air-conditioning firm Blue Star has said that it will work on developing solar-powered air-conditioners (ACs) and indigenising controls and other parts used in inverter ACs as part of its collaboration with IIT Madras.

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Technip joins hands with IIT-M

Technip, known for project management, engineering and construction for energy industry has joined hands with IIT Madras to sponsor two pioneering projects in the field of Education (The C-4 Programme) and Waste Management & Resource Recovery (Clean & Healthy Village Model). The C-4 Programme, is designed to train the students of high school so that they could impart the same learning to their juniors, train and mentor them. Students from the IIT Madras would be deployed to carry out this project. The Clean and Healthy Village Model will focus on innovative and sustainable waste management and reuse of resources recovered so that the hygiene and sanitation conditions can be improved resulting positive impact on health. One village will be adopted to conduct the pilot study.

Singapore Based Govin Capital Signs MOU with IIT Madras Incubation Cell

Govin Capital (Singapore) signs MoU with IIT Madras Incubation Cell (or IITMIC, Chennai) to offer Bio-Entrepreneurial education and accelerate Med-tech & Life-Sciences Startups from the wider IITM community. Govin Capital will also be mentoring startups at IITM’s Bio-incubator and MedTech Incubator and organize events such as boot camps in Venture Financing and Private Equity.

Raftar brings in glory!

IIT Madras student racing team, "Raftar Formula Racing", finished third out of fifty teams that took part in the Formula Student India Car Racing Championship that was held from 23rd-28th January 2016 in the Buddh Formula One International Circuit Premises in Greater Noida, NCR.

Team Raftar successfully completed the most important and difficult part of the race, namely, Endurance, wherein they were placed 2nd and grabbed the top position in the Fuel Economy section. 3rd rank overall among 44 teams.


1st in Fuel Economy.

2nd in Endurance 22 lap Race.

3rd in Autocross Fastest Lap.

‪#‎Congratulations‬ Team Raftar

IPR Column

A Method and apparatus to certify and verify applications

In platforms like Android that follow component based application model, it is a tough challenge to ascertain the behavior of an application, in terms of unauthorized leakage of private and sensitive data. This problem gets tougher as the behavior can vary based on the other application components present (or installed in future) in the target system. Understanding the authorized behavior of an app, inferring the actual behavior of the app and detecting the possible non-conformance between the two, and doing so in a fast and scalable manner, are some of the most challenging tasks, in the context of Android apps. The challenge becomes stiffer when the non-conformance results from the collaborative behavior of multiple apps. We propose an extension to the existing android permission system to address these challenges.

ICSuite extends the existing Android permission system, by allowing the app developer to declare the app behavior (in terms of the usage of the sensitive data) concisely and providing an efficient system to validate the declared behavior. ICSuite detects undeclared leakage of sensitive data by static analysis of Android apps, which may be acting in a standalone or collaborative manner. ICSuite takes as input the app (in binary format), including a certificate called DDAB that contains a succinct representation of the developer defined application behavior capturing the flow of sensitive data. ICSuite generates a concise abstraction of the actual behavior of the app and stores it as a certificate called ICApps. ICSuite then compares the DDAB with the ICApps of the app and the ICApps of all the prior installed apps to check for behavior conformance. The design of ICSuite is guided by three principles: Scalability (to be able to analyze large apps), Precision (small number of false positives) and Speed (analyze large apps within a reasonable time limit). ICSuite can be realized as an android-device-based, a desktop-based, or a web-based tool. We have evaluated ICSuite against top 50 Google Play apps and 773 malwares from the Android malware genome project, and derived encouraging results.

In The News

Workshop on Computational Brain Research at IIT Madras

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IIT-Madras to train 1000 women entrepreneurs

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IIT-M: designer alloys by chemical reactions

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4 top institutes come together for research on brain disorders

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Technip joins hands with IITM

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Proceeds of Saarang for the Flood-hit

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From life to dance moves, choreographer Lewis opens up with IITians at Saarang

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By getting into brain research, we gain and so does the world: S Gopalakrishnan

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IIT placements cross 300, engg firms steal show

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Looking for brain clues to fix comps

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IITM develops dental filling for pain-free, lasting cure

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R and D, Core Engineering Jobs a Big Draw at IITM Placements

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