June 13,  Monday, 15:45 - 16:45 hrs
Asha Subramanian (Semantic Web India Private Limited)

Title: An introduction to Natural Language Processing enabled applications and Question Answer Systems

Abstract: Natural Language Processing is a technology space that allows the computers to understand spoken language and text the way humans interpret. This space has a lot of pertinent applications, one of the most sought after being the ability to extract relevant information from swathes of structured and unstructured data using a natural language enabled question-answer interface. Commonly referred to as “Question-Answer Systems”, this branch deals with the intersection of information retrieval and NLP enabling users to get answers to questions posed in natural language from a repository of information. This talk will introduce you to the core concepts behind NLP processing, common approaches to Question-Answering systems and how we have infused semantic intelligence to the problem domain of Question-Answering in implementing some of the real application use cases.  

Top Applications of NLP in 2021: https://odsc.medium.com/top-applications-of-nlp-in-2021-f4decffee68

An Introduction to NLP techniques (Link)

June 14,  Tuesday, 17:00 - 18:00 hrs
Divya Uma (AzimPremji University, Bengaluru, India)

Title: Disguise and deceit in the natural world

Abstract: Humans sometimes fool others. Do animals and plants deceive other species? We will look at examples of deception in the natural world. We will then understand potential costs and benefits of cheating.

June 15,  Wednesday, 17:00 - 18:00 hrs
Maria Thaker (IISc, Bengaluru, India)

Title: How challenging is urbanisation for animals?

Abstract: The rapid rate of urbanization worldwide, and its consequences for species, urgently warrants research and action. Whether animals effectively cope with urbanization is hotly debated, mainly because interpretations are based on different measures of animal responses. I’ll take a multivariate view of animal coping strategies and set up predictions for determining urban utilizers. We will use the Indian rock agama (Psammophilus dorsalis) as a model system. I will share results from a suite of studies examining behavior, hormones, and health that collectively suggest active physiological and behavioral coping responses. We will also think about how multiple measures of animal responses enables us to better understand adaptation to the urbanization challenge. 

June 16,  Thursday, 15:45 - 16:45 hrs
Leelavati Narlikar (IISER Pune, India)

Title: Computer Science as a Tool for Biology

Abstract: Many recent discoveries in molecular biology have been driven by advanced bio-technologies that produce lots of data. I will talk about how computer science has contributed to learning from this data and touch upon some challenges that still remain.

June 17,  Friday, 15:45 - 16:45 hrs
Swati Sircar (AzimPremji University, Bengaluru, India)

Title: Playing with Platonic and Archimedean Solids

Abstract: While the 5 Platonic solids are quite popular with math people, the 13 Archimedeans ones are not, possibly with the exception of the truncated icosahedron or the football. Can other Platonics be truncated to get some of the Archimedeans? But what about the remaining 8? Are they also linked to Platonics? How? And why 13? This talk is about a colourful journey with these 18 solids and the discoveries, all inspired by art and craft, and where the play led us...

Reading Material


June 17,  Friday, 17:00 - 18:00 hrs
Susy Varughese (IIT Madras, India)

Title: Plastic bags to brains: understanding the ubiquitous polymers

Abstract: The term “polymer” brings to mind mundane synthetic things, like, plastic bags, buckets, styrofoam cups etc. However, polymers are much more ubiquitous in the natural world than we may think. From life’s building blocks to most sophisticated information storage, from applications, such as, articficial lens for cataract to aerospace structures, polymers are everywhere in our lives. Engineers to biologists, mathematicians and statisticions to medical doctors use different tools to understand polymers as a class of materials. Polymers are very large molecules (macromolecules) which are neither solids nor fluids completely. They do not comply with the classical thermodynamic laws when it comes to phase transitions. It is curious, how, nature chose this “soft” material as the wagon of “life”. We will discuss this ubiquitous, yet exciting material in this talk.

June 19,  Sunday, 09:00 hrs
Ashok Rupner (IISER Pune, India)

Title: Fun with hands-on Science and Mathematics.

Abstract: In my three-hour talk and demonstrations, I will show them how science and mathematics are fun if we learn them through experiments and simple activities. I will cover how we use hands- on activities to make science and mathematics interesting and experiential. This also helps teachers and students design simple activities for various topics during their classroom teaching and learning process. We have designed hands-on activities and models (we call them toys) using very inexpensive materials so that everyone can get the opportunity to learn in an interactive manner.
In this session for participants, I will learn concepts of electricity and magnetism, generators, motors, spinners, air pressure, heat, area, volume, and many more with activities using plastic bottles, straws, syringe tubes, and other very inexpensive materials. While these toys may appear simple, the science behind them is quite interesting and challenging. Once we get our hands dirty by making these toys, the conceptual understanding of the science behind these models becomes easy and natural. Folding paper to learn geometry, and making generators or motors are some of the activities that unravel the science around us, which is often explained in textbooks in a very dry manner. If we can bring all of these toys into our classrooms, I am confident that we will revolutionise the learning experience for teachers and students.

Reading Material 

June 19,  Sunday, 12:00 hrs
VSS Sastry (Origami, India)

Title:  Magic Squares in Daily Life in India 

Abstract: Even though magic squares were not in our folk literature these have been used in India as mystical objects, which means there were experts to create magic squares, and others using them in rituals. This talk explores which magic squares were popular etc. 

June 20,  Monday, 17:00 - 18:00 hrs
Anupama Lakshmanan (R-ladies)

Title: Forecasting Time Series with Multiple Levels of Seasonality

Abstract: Complex multiple seasonality is an important emerging challenge in time series forecasting. In this work, we propose models under a framework to forecast such time series. The framework segregates the task into two stages. In the first stage, the time series is aggregated and existing time series models such as regression, Box-Jenkins or TBATS, are used to fit this lower frequency data. In the second stage, additive or multiplicative seasonality at the higher frequency levels may be estimated using classical, or function-based methods. Finally, the estimates from the two stages are combined. The proposed framework is capable of handling covariates, is low on computational complexity and does not suffer from instability in forecasting (for example over-fitting). We compare the forecast accuracy of this framework with a popular method proposed by Livera et al. (2011) and show that the proposed framework performs favourably in both short (day ahead forecast) and long term forecast horizons (one year ahead forecast) in a few case studies.

June 21,  Tuesday, 17:00 - 18:00 hrs
Shubha Ramachandran (Biome Environmental Solutions Pvt Ltd)

Title:  Water Literacy for children and a Million Wells for Bengaluru 

Abstract:  The ‘Million Wells for Bengaluru’ campaign was started by the Biome Environmental Trust in July 2015 and is expected to run for ten years, till 2025. The explicit objective of the intervention is to increase the groundwater table in the city while providing livelihoods to the local community of traditional well diggers (called Mannu Vaddars) in Karnataka.

Reading Material


June 22,  Wednesday, 15:45 - 16:45 hrs 
Rukmini Dey (ICTS, India)

Title: Introduction to Minimal surfaces

Abstract: In this talk I will introduce zero mean curvature surfaces, called minimal surfaces, in Euclidean 3-space. These appear in nature as idealized soap films. We will talk about some mathematical aspects of these surfaces. 

It will be good if they can brush up some complex analysis,  like definition of holomorphic and meromorphic functions etc.  

June 23,  Thursday, 17:00 - 18:00 hrs
Chitra Pattabiraman (IDRF)

Title: Surveillance for disease in India and a role for molecular diagnostics

Abstract: I will talk about existing surveillance systems for diseases in India. Highlight how they mainly use a syndromic approach and how molecular diagnostics can get integrated into this system. I will describe my work on brain infections and the use of genomic sequencing for pathogen identification both in outbreak and non-outbreak settings.

June 24,  Friday, 11:20 - 12:20 hrs
Kavita Sutar (Chennai Mathematical Institute, India)

Title: Two projects in computer vision  

Abstract: I will present two exciting problems in computer vision that I have been working on. The aim of the talk is not so much to discuss the solution but to lay stress on how mathematics can equip you with the tools and the confidence to take on real-life problems when you meet them.