By Rob Knies
January 19, 2012 12:01 AM PT
Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta, long has been venerated as a center of intellectual refinement. Once regarded as the Paris of the East, the city, like several others within India, has turned in recent years into a vibrant IT hub. Still, it retains its well-deserved dual reputations as both the cultural capital and the literary heart of the nation.
On Jan. 20, though, the city will add another sobriquet. In hosting TechVista 2012, it will don the mantle of India’s Center of Computer-Science Excellence.
TechVista 2012, the eighth annual research symposium hosted by Microsoft Research India, gathers together world-class computing researchers, governmental elites, and accomplished academics for a day of stimulating interaction and the exchange of intriguing perspectives on the role computer science has to play in the 21st century—and the directions related research could take.
“Kolkata is a great city with a rich history and culture,” said P. Anandan, Microsoft distinguished scientist and managing director of Microsoft Research India. “It has been one of India’s capitals in art, literature, and science, and it is the home of many great intellectuals.
“It’s really exciting to hold TechVista in Kolkata, a city which has a long tradition of world-renowned thinkers in fields as far flung as science, literature, philosophy, and social reform.”
The event, to be held in the auditorium at Kolkata’s Science City, the largest science center in India, will feature a bevy of computing luminaries, from both Microsoft Research India and the academic community.
The hundreds of attendees will hear from Anandan and Rick Rashid, Microsoft chief research officer. Joining them will be some of computer-science’s most renowned thought leaders, including:
Also featured during TechVista 2012 will be a poster session in which 17 Ph.D. candidates from Indian universities will exhibit their research before a high-profile audience that will include the keynote speakers and fellow students.
The symposium falls squarely in the tradition established by past versions of TechVista, which over the years has featured keynote addresses from A.M. Turing Award winners John Hopcroft, Butler Lampson, Raj Reddy, Barbara Liskov, and Tony Hoare; Academy Award winners Michael Kass and Ken Perlin; and world-renowned scientists Eric Grimson, Manuela Veloso, Maria Klawe, Takeo Kanade, Ashok Jhunjhunwala, and Krithi Ramamritham.
TechVista 2012 promises to be just as stimulating, bringing yet more intellectual sustenance to burnish further Kolkata’s long-established reputation of smart people doing discussing absorbing topics.