CHENNAI: Hoping to reconnect with alumni through the ages, IIT Madras’ heritage website heritage.iitm.ac.in may soon be equipped with a photo recognition tool, where faces can be tagged - similar to Facebook. The idea, already discussed with the institution’s six member heritage committee, was announced at the 10th anniversary celebrations of their Heritage Centre that saw the attendance of alumni dating back to the early 60s and even the first registrar of IIT M, R Natarajan.
“One of the initiatives our office has taken is to get more alumni to visit our campus, and rekindle memories,” said professor R Nagarajan, Dean of International and Alumni Relations said at the function. And the concept is quickly picking up momentum thanks to the recent revamp of the institution’s ‘virtual’ heritage centre that according to curator Kumaran Sathasivam now has 13,000 photos tracing through time digitised. He said, “It took a couple of months with the help of experts, and we also digitised about a 100 of the students’ publications released on campus way back like Focus and Campastimes.” Incidentally, Sathasivam, an alumnus who wrote for the latter in the 80s, even released a book on the heritage of IIT M, titled Campaschimes, a play on the title of the publication he wrote for as a student. With a heritage gallery open all day at the campus, plans are underway to have the space staffed by students on a rotation basis by the end of the year, said a professor. This way the black and white photos of yore that cover everything from classrooms to convocations to culturals - will have a roomful of fresh faces to tell their tale.
DID you know?
■ When IIT M was founded in 1959, the campus was all forest, so it’s marble foundation stone was actually laid outside the campus, in Kotturpuram
■ The opening year had a little over a 100 students who studied in classes at ACTech as classrooms were yet to be built
■ Interestingly, the hostel students who cycled from Saidapet and Guindy were not divided based on their chosen subjects, but rather on their choice of food - one was the vegetarian hostel and the other non-vegetarian