Indian Institute of Science: Pioneering the Path of Transformative Education

Indian Institute of Science
Indian Institute of Science

In the dynamic plethora of global industries, the future is undeniably shaped by the transformative technology of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). In this arena, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), a venerable institution established in 1909 and nestled in the vibrant city of Bengaluru, emerges as a pinnacle of success. With visionary professors like Chiranjib Bhattacharyya and Venkatesh Babu Radhakrishnan at the helm, and several others performing cutting-edge research in the domain, IISc continues to be a trailblazer, guiding students toward a future where they are not just industry-ready but poised to shape the very industries they enter. These distinguished scholars have played pivotal roles in shaping the institution’s AI and ML landscape.

IISc has emerged as a prominent and forward-thinking institution, steadfastly committed to pioneering advancements, nurturing student excellence, and forging impactful industry collaborations.

With its rich legacy spanning over a century, IISc has consistently demonstrated dedication to the advancement of AI and ML. This commitment is evidenced through its leading-edge programs that fill students with the knowledge and skills essential for mastering the technologies that will define the industries of tomorrow.

The Institute’s collaborative atmosphere extends beyond its hallowed halls, creating vital connections with industry leaders and organizations. These collaborations serve as fertile grounds for groundbreaking research initiatives that push the boundaries of what AI and ML can achieve. By actively engaging in research projects that hold real-world significance, students at this magnificent institution gain invaluable practical experience that prepares them to excel in the industry. In the global pursuit of mastering AI and ML, IISc rises as an institution of unparalleled distinction. In this rapidly evolving field, IISc is known for innovation and excellence.

Impeccable AI and ML Programs

At IISc, the knowledge of AI and ML is imparted to the students through a range of top programs and courses designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of this field. The Institute’s Division of Electrical, Electronics, and Computer Sciences (EECS) and the Division of Interdisciplinary Sciences (IDS) collectively house over 40 faculty members who are engaged in pioneering research in AI.

One of the notable programs introduced by the institution is the two-year MTech (AI) program, which dives deep into the foundations and advanced technologies of AI. Furthermore, various MTech programs offered by departments such as Computer Science and Automation (CSA), Computational and Data Sciences (CDS), Electrical Engineering (EE), and Electrical Communication Engineering (ECE) integrate AI components into their curriculum, ensuring a strong overlap with this burgeoning field.

To cater to early-career professionals seeking to upskill in AI, IISc has also introduced an MTech (Online; AI) program, offering flexible learning options.

The Institute has recognized the importance of instilling AI and ML concepts at the undergraduate level and has recently launched a BTech (Mathematics and Computing) program. This program equips undergraduates with a solid foundation in AI and data science, setting the stage for future AI practitioners.

IISc has a faculty team with extensive qualifications and expertise in artificial intelligence and machine learning. These knowledgeable elite members hold Ph.D. degrees from renowned universities worldwide and regularly contribute to top-tier peer-reviewed publications in the field. They actively present their research findings in conferences like NeurIPS, ICML, ICLR, AAAI (Machine Learning), CVPR, ICCV, ECCV (Computer Vision), and ACL, EMNLP (Natural Language Processing).

Industry Collaborations and Real-world Applications

To span the chasm between academics and industry, IISc encourages faculty members to explore collaboration opportunities with leading companies. These collaborations often lead to research projects that provide students with practical experience and contribute to their thesis work. Faculty members also serve as consultants to various industries and may undertake sabbaticals in industry settings.

Furthermore, the Institute actively promotes student internships in leading companies, providing hands-on experience and a chance to apply classroom knowledge in real-world scenarios.

Pioneering Research Initiatives

IISc’s commitment to AI and ML research is evident through its pioneering initiatives. The AI & Robotics Technology Park (ARTPARK), an IISc-led initiative, focuses on translating AI research into practical applications. It also supports startups in the broader field of AI.

Some notable research projects and initiatives include X-ray Setu. This innovative product uses transfer learning to analyse X-ray images of lungs and detect COVID-19 positivity with high accuracy. It provides predictions, localizes infected areas, and generates comprehensive reports within minutes.

Established in 2022 with CSR funding from Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited, the Kotak IISc AI-ML Centre (KIAC) is developing into a state-of-the-art AIML Centre. It facilitates education, training, and skill development in AI-ML through expert talks, courses, workshops, financial support for students, and conference participation.

IISc has invested in resources and infrastructure to support AI and ML research. Four large computing clusters in the departments under the Division of EECS are dedicated to AI and ML research. These have been supported through CSR grants from SBI Cards, Tata Elxsi, GroupM, and Timken.

Additionally, the Institute maintains a well-stocked digital library accessible to all researchers.

Collaborative Learning Environment

IISc fosters a collaborative and interactive learning environment to enrich AI and ML education. Faculty members have the freedom to design courses that encourage collaboration with industry. The Institute promotes faculty engagement with global peers through collaborative research agreements with renowned universities and institutions worldwide.

Placement and Internship Opportunities

IISc students benefit from a robust placement and internship support system coordinated by the Office of Career Counselling and Placement (OCCAP). Graduates find employment opportunities in a wide spectrum of companies, including startups, midsized enterprises, and multinational corporations.

Specialized Tracks and Concentrations

IISc offers specialized tracks and concentrations within the AI and ML field. For instance, the MTech (Robotics and Autonomous Systems) program offered by the Robert Bosch Centre for Cyber-Physical Systems (RBCCPS) focuses on robotics and autonomous systems. Elective courses like ‘Deep Learning for Natural Language Processing’ and ‘Deep Learning for Computer Vision’ cater to specific interests within AI.

Notable Alumni Contributions

IISc has a roster of notable alumni who have made significant contributions to the field of AI and ML. Rama Chellappa, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering; Sethuraman Panchanathan, Director of the National Science Foundation; and Jay Yagnic, Vice President and Engineering Fellow at Google Research, are alumni who exemplify the impact of IISc graduates in shaping the AI scenario.

Staying Updated with Advancements

IISc remains at the forefront of AI and ML advancements by actively participating in research conferences and workshops. Faculty members and students regularly present their research findings at top-tier conferences, ensuring that the curriculum remains aligned with the latest trends and developments in the field.

Industry Collaborations and Support Services for Career Development

IISc has established numerous industry partnerships to enhance students’ practical exposure to AI and ML. These collaborations encompass research projects, internships, and extended engagements with leading companies, both Indian and international. To aid students in their career development and job placements in artificial intelligence and machine learning, the Institute provides comprehensive support services through its Office of Career Counselling and Placement (OCCAP).

Shaping the Future of AI in India and Beyond

Prospective students interested in AI and ML programs at IISc typically need to hold a bachelor’s degree in engineering in the field of Electrical, Electronics, and Computer Sciences for postgraduate programs. Admission to the Ph.D. program typically requires a master’s degree.

The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) stands proudly and contributes effortlessly to the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning in India. Its commitment to leading-edge research, industry collaborations, specialized programs, and fostering a collaborative learning environment positions IISc as a leading institution that equips students with the knowledge and skills needed to make a meaningful impact in the world of AI and ML. With its rich legacy and forward-looking approach, IISc continues to shape the future of AI in India and beyond.