BENGALURU: Three distinguished chairs for brain research have been set up at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, with a corpus of `10 crore each, by Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan and his wife Sudha Gopalakrishnan. Kris and Sudha will give the money under the banner of Pratiksha Trust, their charitable organisation.
The trust funds education, research, innovation and entrepreneurship. The purpose of these chair professorships is to bring distinguished researchers in the areas of computational neuroscience, machine learning, data science and neuromorphic engineering to the IISc campus for collaborative research interactions.
The first of these three chairs, ‘K Vaidyanathan Distinguished Chair’ named after Sudha’s father, was launched on Monday. The first occupant of the chair is Prof Shihab Shamma, Institute of Systems Research, University of Maryland, College Park, USA. The professor is an electrical engineer with expertise in the areas of neuromorphic computing, neural signal processing, representation of speech signals in the brain and neuromorphic engineering.
He has recently developed systems for speech and voice recognition and diagnostics in industrial manufacturing through signal processing algorithms inspired by neurophysiological and psycho-acoustical experiments.
Kris said, “I hope the launch of these distinguished chair positions will help push frontiers in these areas. It would be excellent if the collaborations lead to highly creative new computing architectures and algorithms inspired by the functioning of the brain. These three chairs along with three more at IIT Madras will create critical mass in the area of neuromorphic computing and machine learning in India.”
These chairs will complement a centre for brain research being set up at the IISc campus through an endowment of `225 crore from the Pratiksha Trust.
Words of Gratitude
“I must profusely thank Kris Gopalakrishnan and Sudha Gopalakrishnan for their wonderful donation,” said Prof Anurag Kumar, director, IISc.
“I am sure these distinguished chair positions will add a new dimension to research collaboration in key strategic areas between IISc researchers and star contributors anywhere in the world,” he said.