IIIT-Naya Raipur

IIIT-Naya Raipur B.Tech. students get direct PhD admission in South Carolina University

May 18, 2020

At a time when the extended lockdown in the face of the coronavirus pandemic has hit the education sector badly, leading technical institute IIIT-Naya Raipur has achieved a milestone. Two of its B.Tech final year students, Vedant Khandelwal and Vishal Pallagani have secured direct admission into the PhD (Computer Science) programme at the prestigious South Carolina University, USA.

The 2016 batch students of IIIT-NR will be graduating this July. Both students were previously selected for six-month institute funded major project at the same university under the guidance of Professor Amit Seth, who is also the founding director, Artificial Intelligence Institute and professor, Computer Science & Engineering, at the University of South Carolina, USA.

The six-month major projects of the students revolved around people behaviour through Twitter in COVID 19. The projects use advanced Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence techniques to understand human behaviour. At IIIT-NR, both the students had worked under Prof. Venkanna U. on a project titled “Deep Learning Integrated Solar Powered Device for Automatic Plant Disease Prediction for Internet-of-Agro-Things (IoAT)”. In their work they had proposed novel automation of irrigation with an integrated health maintenance system for the crops.

Elaborating on their current research project before they start their PhD, the elated students said, “We are currently working on analysing the online conversations to track the social and mental health issues surfacing during the coronavirus pandemic. We are performing this analysis on more than 800 million social media posts since the beginning of March and more than 700,000 news articles about the COVID-19 pandemic. We are also working on various other research projects such as identifying the relations between cannabis and depression, developing a question answering system for the medical domain, understanding radicalisation, and suicidal instincts in social media posts. But these are all the projects we are currently working on, it is not guaranteed that we will continue to work on the same once we start our Ph.D., because we will be exploring more venues where we wish to research and might start working on that.”

Other students of their batch have already been placed with top IT companies such as Deloitte USI, Utopia Labs, Carl Zeiss, TCS Digital, TCS Ninja, Ericsson, Examly, Algotech, Robert Bosch and Delta X. 11 percent of the students from this batch went abroad for six-month major projects with reputed universities in Europe, USA, and South Asia.

“We are proud that our students have been doing good and bringing laurels to our institution with their outstanding performance. Our main focus has always been research. It helps student to learn in a holistic way about their subject. Our institution makes the students abreast about the latest technologies in the IT industry be it artificial intelligence, data analytics or robotic. During Covid-19 too, our course module focuses on all these new technologies, job training and research. We are sure that both Vedant and Vishal will excel in their PhD program like their other batchmates,” said Dr. Pradeep K. Sinha, vice chancellor and director, IIIT-Naya Raipur.

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