Tag Archives: science

Event: Computational Science Symposium – 1-day conference on CS for Science from ThoughtWorks’

This year, ThoughtWorks’ Engineering for Research arm is organizing the first Computational Science and Engineering Symposium. The forum will host scientists and researchers from across scientific disciplines, alongside engineers and technologists to discuss and design solutions for computation challenges. We see this as the beginning of a computational-science community building exercise in Indian context.

The Symposium will delve into the three important trends that are disrupting the field of computational science: Data Deluge, Artificial Intelligence, and Complex Modeling and Simulation.


8.00 AM – 9.00 AM Registration and Breakfast
9.00 AM – 9.30 AM Welcome Note, E4R Vision and TWI Commitment Sameer Soman, Managing Director, ThoughtWorks India; Harshal Hayatnagarkar, Computer Scientist, ThoughtWorks India
9.30 AM – 9.45 AM Opening Keynote Dr.Raghunath Mashelkar, National Research Professor, Chairman, National Innovation Foundatin and President, Global Research Alliance
9.45 AM – 10.30 AM Computational Astronomy and Astrophysics: Challenges and Opportunities Dr. Yashwant Gupta, Centre Director – National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Pune
10.30 AM – 10.45 AM Tea Break
10.45 AM – 11.30 AM Data-driven scientific discovery (4th Paradigm of Science) Dr. Vidyadhar Mudkavi, Director – Council of Scientific & Industrial Research, 4th Paradigm Institute, Bengaluru
11.35 AM – 12.20 PM Large-volume and Long-term Data Management Dr. Aparna N, Group Head – Data Centre, National Remote Sensing Centre
12.20 PM – 1.15 PM Lunch Break
1.15 PM – 2.00 PM A small boy and a hammer: Case studies in Data-Intensive science Dr. Mihir Arjunwadkar, Director – Centre for Modeling and Simulation, University of Pune
2.05 PM – 2.50 PM Trends in Data Storage & Analytics Dr. Milind Bhandarkar, Founder CEO of Ampool Inc.
2.50 PM – 3.05 PM Tea Break
3.05 PM – 4.05 PM Breakout sessions 3 tracks: Data Engineering (Dr Neeraj Gupta & Milind Bhandarkar), Data Science + Artifical InteIligence (Dr. Abhijit Kulkarni & Devangana Khokhar), Modeling and Simulation (TBD)
4.05 PM – 4.35 PM Vote of Thanks Unmesh Joshi, Head of Technology, ThoughtWorks India
4.35 PM – 5.30 PM Open Forum Q & A and Networking

Event Details

The event is in Pune, on Saturday, 24th March, from 8am to 5:30pm, Thoughtworks office, Yerawada, Pune.

The event is free, but by invitation only. To request an invitation register here.

Event: “The cryoEM revolution in structural biology” by Richard Henderson (2017 Nobel, Chemistry)

IISER Pune is pleased to announce a public lecture by the 2017 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, Prof. Richard Henderson (MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK), on:

The cryoEM revolution in structural biology

Abstract: In the last few years, single particle electron cryo-microscopy (cryoEM) has experienced a quantum leap in its capability, due to improved electron microscopes, better detectors and better software, and this is revolutionising structural biology. Using the technique invented by Jacques Dubochet and his colleagues, a thin film containing a suspension of the macromolecules of interest is plunge-frozen into liquid ethane at liquid nitrogen temperature, creating a frozen sample in which individual images of the structures can be seen in many different orientations. Subsequent computer-based image analysis is then used to determine the three-dimensional structure, frequently at near-atomic resolution. Prof. Henderson will show examples of some recent structures, and discuss remaining barriers to progress. CryoEM is already a very powerful method, but there are still many improvements that can be made before the approach reaches its theoretical limits. Prof. Henderson will also include some historical perspective on how he became an electron cryomicroscopist.

Fees, Registration, and Logistics

This event is open to all. No registration required.

The event is on Sunday, January 21, 5pm, at Sir. C. V. Raman Auditorium, Lecture Hall Complex, IISER Pune

Event: R&D in Publicly-Funded Labs In India -by Sourav Pal, Directory NCL

National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, is one of the top R&D institutions in the country. With approximately 200 scientific staff working here, it is an interdisciplinary research center with wide research scope and specializes in polymer science, organic chemistry, catalysis, materials chemistry, chemical engineering, biochemical sciences and process development. It houses good infrastructure for measurement science and chemical information.

There are about 400 graduate students pursuing research towards doctoral degree; about 50 students are awarded Ph.D. degree every year. NCL publishes over 400 research papers annually in the field of chemical sciences and over 60 patents worldwide. It is a unique source of research education producing the largest number of PhDs in chemical sciences within India.

InnoVidya and IUCAA present a talk by Dr. Sourav Pal, the current Director of NCL, on Research and Development in Publicly Funded Laboratories in India, on Saturday, 23 Aug, 2014, at Bhaskara 3 Hall, IUCAA. This is the next talk in the InnoVidya/IUCAA SPARK lecture series.

Abstract of the talk:

Publicly funded Research and development laboratories play a major role in promoting scientific research and development of technology in India. In this presentation, Dr Pal will relate his experiences of working in such laboratories and presently as Director, NCL. He will highlight the role of these institutions in leading scientific research. He will bring out the expectations that the Government has from such publicly funded institutions.

About the Speaker – Dr. Sourav Pal

Dr Sourav Pal is the Director, of National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), Pune, and Director, Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI), Bhavnagar. He holds an integrated Masters degree in Chemistry from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and a Ph.D. from Calcutta University. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Florida, Gainesville, USA and an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the University of Heidelberg, Germany . He was a visiting Professor at the University of Arizona, Tucson, USA and at the Institute for Molecular Sciences, Okazaki, Japan. Dr. Pal has been recognized by several awards and honours for his contribution to science and technology including the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award in Chemical Sciences, the SASTRA-CNR Rao Award in Chemistry & Materials Science. He is a Fellow of all the three National Academies of Science in India and the Royal Society of Chemistry, UK. He has published over 215 papers in peer-reviewed international journals, guided over 25 Ph D thesis, delivered more than 100 lectures in important conferences and is serving on the editorial boards of international journals.

About the InnoVidya IUCAA Spark Program

The SPARK program is a series of events jointly conducted by InnoVidya and IUCAA. These are special events that <spark> imagination & curiosity of our young, build bonds between participants of different disciplines, catalyze interactivity & promote peer links

About InnoVidya

InnoVidya is a group of educators and industry professionals who want to reach out to students, teachers, trainers and working professionals and catalyze significant improvements in their learning ecosystems. In addition to the InnoVidya website and the InnoVidya mailing list, we also hold public lectures on the 4th Saturday of every month. Lectures usually involve talks by senior educators, industry visionaries, or social and/or for-profit entrepreneurs working in the space of higher education.

If you’re interested in the state of education in India, please subscribe to get updates by email

Event Details

The event is on Saturday, Aug 23, 2014, at 11am, at the Bhaskara 3 Hall, IUCAA, at University of Pune campus.

Fees and Registration

This event is free and open for anybody to attend. Register here. There is ample parking at the venue.

Overview of Function Space (@fspace314), Pune’s “Facebook for Science”

FirstPost has an good overview of Function Space – Pune’s Science Social Network, the startup founded by Pune’s Adit Gupta, Sakshi Majumdar, and Sumit Maniyar, and that was recently funded by Nexus Venture Partners.

How did Function Space get started?

The venture, started in April 2013, was conceived as a sort of Facebook for science – a way to make knowledge sharing accessible and approachable. Now known as Function Space, it uses the social learning model to make science easy and understandable for all skill levels – be it novices or experts.

In April 2013, both Gupta and Majmudar quit their jobs in the design and IT fields respectively, and decided to focus on creating a science platform full-time – within two months they had a basic prototype of what Function Space would look like. During that period, their current partner Sumit Maniyar heard about their venture through a common friend and soon after decided to join the duo.

How did they do the initial marketing for Function Space?

Maniyar, 28, explained how word about Function Space got out. “Adit’s friend posted that we were working on social learning science platform on Hackernews, a social news website dedicated to content related to computer science and entrepreneurship,” Maniyar said. Soon, someone picked up the thread and the discussion went viral.
Within a day’s time, the Function Space team had between 800-1000 people sending in requests for invitations to the beta site. As with many startups, word-of-mouth was Function Space’s number one marketing tool, with the team spending no money on advertising.

What exactly does Function Space do?

The main goal of the site is to bridge the gap between an academic curriculum to the skill-based requirements of the workplace. Through the use of videos, articles, problems, diagrams, equations and codes, the site allows users to interact and collaborate with each other on everything from algebra and applied maths to cosmology and particle physics to artificial intelligence.

For instance, a user might post a query or an opinion on a subject which could result in discussion threads that could include solutions, readings or even more questions and opinions. Users can also share news or post challenges for others to solve. Tabs on the screen allow users to navigate between sections like ‘Feed’, ‘News’ and ‘Challenges.’

What were the next challenges?

The buzz Function Space started out with helped it get noticed in a few hallowed educational institutions. PhD students and professors from universities like IITs, Stanford and MIT began logging in to check out the material being shared and sometimes even engaging with users from across 190 countries globally, Maniyar said.

But trawling through the mounds of sometimes useless data on the site to find that one IIT professor’s post was a painful task. So the Function Space team signed on volunteers to “sanitise the platform.”

“We get a lot of garbage on the site and maintaining the quality is a big challenge. It’s also difficult to find good talent,” he said. “The volunteers remove factually inaccurate content.”

As regular readers of PuneTech are aware, Function Space entered the list of tech companies in Pune that have recently raised funding last month, which now makes it one of Pune’s hottest young startups.

Naren Gupta, of Nexus Venture Partners who funded Function Space, points out how Function Space is different from a MOOC:

“Would anyone expect a Physics Noble prize winner to discuss relevant issues and share ideas on Quora?” he asked. “Function Space could take learning to new levels even beyond MOOCs (Massive Open On-line Courses). While MOOCs are one too many learning platforms, Function Space would become a many-to-many learning and discussions platform,” believes Gupta.

Read the full article on FirstPost.

Pune-based Sci/Math Learning Platform @FunctionSpace get funding from @NexusVP

(Sorry, this news is being posted here a little late; I was on vacation when this news broke, and decided that a late update is better than no update at all.)

Pune-based Function Space, an online “social” platform for learning science and maths has recently raised seed funding from Nexus Venture Partners.

Function Space is trying to make STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education fun and engaging, something that is seriously been missing from our education system

Function Space, already offers a strong community consisting of users from over 190 countries, including students, professors and researchers from MIT, Stanford, University of California, Berkeley and Los Angeles campuses, Indian Institute of Technology campuses, Indian Institute of Science and other prestigious institutions.

The funding will be used for expansion: of their content, their tools, and their customer reach.

Function Space was founded in 2013 by Adit Gupta, Sakshi Majmudar and Sumit Maniyar.

Note, this makes NexusVP the most Pune-friendly venture capital firm with 9 investments in Pune.

Read the full article

National Science Day at IUCAA with demos, talks, Q&A, experiments – 28 Feb

What – Open day at IUCAA with science made interesting for kids and adults

IUCAA is the Inter-University Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, and is housed in University of Pune. On 28th Feb, on the occasion of science day, they have organized a full day of various interesting sessions for people to see. For free.

Basically: “IUCAA takes its research to the masses”.

Anyone can visit the campus to attend and participate in popular science lectures, demonstrations, screening of scientific films, Q&A sessions etc. Work at IUCAA is showcased through a poster exhibition. A sky watching session wraps it up.


IUCAA is one of the best institutions in the country for pure science, and includes such greats as Jayant Naralikar, Naresh Dadhich (a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences), Thanu Padmanabhan (Padma Shri winner).

It also includes people like Arvind Gupta who have a genius for taking scientific principles and then applying them to “common” things like toys for children (made from everyday objects found in Indian homes).

A chance to visit an institution of this caliber, and interact with actual scientists engaged in cutting edge research, and with links to the best institutions in the world is something that most people in the world don’t have – and we in Pune are lucky to have that opportunity.


  • Bhaskara 1
    • Virtual Astronomy tools Demonstration
  • Bhaskara 2 & Outside
    • Optics experiments Demonstration
    • Experiments in Radio Astronomy
  • Lobby between Bhaskara 2 & 3
    • Research at IUCAA + Astronomy Posters Presentation
  • Bhaskara 3
    • Talks by Astrophysicists (duration 30 min each)
    • 11:30 p.m. Brahmaand ki Pehli Kiranen – CMBR: Pranjal Trivedi
    • 12:30 p.m. Our Expanding Universe: Varun Sahni
    • 1:15 p.m. Things around us and elsewhere: Gaurav Goswami
  • Chandrasekhar Auditorium
    • Astronomy explained through Videos
    • Science Toys & Experiments demonstrated by school children.
    • 12:00 p.m. IUCAA Observatory Live telecast
    • 2:30 p.m. Astronomy Quiz for Public
    • 3:30 p.m. “Ask a Scientist”
  • Muktangan (Science centre)
    • Spectroscopy Demonstrations and model making
  • Science Park
    • Various Scientific playground models explained by volunteers.
    • 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Sky Watching (passes necessary)
  • Chandrasekhar Auditorium
    • 6:00 p.m. Public Lecture: Nobel Prize in Physics – 2010 (A N Ramaprakash)

This event is free and open for anybody to attend.

8 Tech Events in Pune over the next few days

We try to list all the interesting tech events in Pune in the PuneTech Calendar. A few of them are promoted on the PuneTech blog as an article, but we don’t always write an article about all of them. So, if you are not subscribed to the PuneTech calendar (rss, email, sms), then you might not be aware of all of them.

Here is a quick listing of the events happening tomorrow, Saturday, 15 Jan:

  • TechWeekend: Monthly meeting on specific tech topics. This month’s focus is NoSQL and Databases in the Cloud. 10:30am, SICSR.
  • Cutting Edge Water Technologies from across the world. Organized by Venture Center and NCL. 11am, at Venture Center, Pashan Road.
  • SPIN Pune Meet – Next Generation Outsourcing. 5:30pm, Persistent, SB Road.
  • YASHADA: Wikipedia 10th Anniversary Celebration: 5pm-6:30pm. at YASHADA.
  • SICSR: Wikipedia 10th Anniversary Celebration: 6:30pm. at SICSR.
  • Joomla 1.6 Release Party. 6:30pm, Tekdi Web solutions office, Karvenagar.

On Sunday, 16th, IUCAA has a talk on the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, by Dr. Giuseppina Fabbiano. 6pm at IUCAA.

On Tuesday, 18th, eZest and Telerik are conducting a free seminar on implementing your own Agile process. From 9am to 1pm, at MCCIA Trade Tower, SB Road.

All of these events are free, and anybody can attend them. For more details, including registration procedure (if any), and details of the event, see the PuneTech Calendar.

Seminar on “European Perspectives on Patents”

As lot of collaborations are taking place between Pune based firms and German companies, and considerable amount of trade also takes place between both the countries which is likely to be affected by the current European Patent legislation, it is felt desirable to create an awareness among Indian manufacturers and service providers about the current trends in patenting in Europe. LES India in association with URDIP, Pune is organizing the seminar on the theme of “European Perspectives on Patents “ with a particular focus on the automobile and IT sectors.


URDIP is a specialized service unit of CSIR, which helps organizations to meet the challenges of the new knowledge era. CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) and Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India have jointly set-up a Unit for Research and Development of Information Products (URDIP) at Pune. The mission of URDIP is to develop and distribute science, technology and industry related information products in electronic, online and web based formats. URDIP will also host third party databases.

It has been extensively involved in building patent databases and various patent analysis and mapping activities and has conducted a variety of comprehensive global patent search and analysis studies for clients in public and private sector. URDIP also provides training programmes in the area of Patinformatics.

URDIP is based in Pune. For more information, see http://urdip.res.in/

About the speakers

Prof. Dr. Heinz Goddar – a German Patent Attorney, as well as European Patent and Trade Mark Attorney.

He is particularly involved in international patent and licensing matters, including litigation and arbitration. He teaches Patent and Licensing Law as an Honorary Professor at the University of Bremen, Germany. He is also a Director at the Global Institute of Intellectual Property (GIIP), Delhi.

He is a Past President of LES International and of LES Germany.

Mr. Damien Trotereau – He has an engineering degree in electronics and control. He has passed the European Qualifying Examination for patent professional representatives. He has nearly 13 years of experience as Patent Examiner at EPO and also as resource person for EPO patent training programmes.

LES India

LES India is a not-for-profit company responsible for LES International activities in India. It is a professional society that encourages high professional standards among individuals engaged in the transfer and licensing of technology and industrial, or intellectual property rights.

LES India assists its members in improving their skills and techniques in licensing through self education, the conduct of special studies and research, the sponsorship of educational meetings, the publication of statistics, reports, articles and other material, and the exchange of ideas related to domestic and foreign

One of the important mandates of LES India is to make available to its members the latest, most accurate information on licensing.

For more information see: http://www.lesindia.org/

Workshop on commercialization of science & technology ideas

Normally, PuneTech does not promote events that have an entry fee, unless the fees are nominal or very low (below Rs. 1000). This Venture Center/Accelerator India workshop for science & technology entrepreneurs, with estimated costs of Rs. 55000 is definitely not free. However, some of the applicants will not only get the workshop fees waived off, but even their travel costs might get funded. If there's one thing we like more than free events, it is paid events where there's a chance to get in for free! 🙂

Venture Center (technology business incubator affiliated to NCL/ CSIR)  and Accelerator India (a spin-off of the University of Cambridge, UK) are organizing a workshop titled  Accelerated Commercialization of Technology and InnoVation or ACTIV workshop.  The workshop seeks to transfer the experience and key lessons learnt in science-based entrepreneurship from Cambridge, UK (which has now become a leading center of science entrepreneurship)  to India. Run over 2-days, the ACTIV workshop has a sharp focus on science & technology entrepreneurship and the nucleation and creation of new enterprises. Faculty from Venture Center and other guest speakers shall provide India-relevant experiences and context.

The ACTIV – EE workshop seeks to equip science/technology entrepreneurs with key skills and practical insights to help take technology based ideas to market. The workshop will be held on Sunday, December 12, 2010 and Monday, December 13, 2010 at Venture Center, Pune. More info on the ACTIV-EE workshop: http://venturecenter.co.in/activ/entrepreneurs.php
We are keen that the groups attending the workshops be a focused and determined group so that the workshop also ends up creating a community of cohorts who support, inspire and challenge each other. It is for this reason and the fact that seats are limited that the faculty plans to select the participants carefully. 
To apply, please visit http://venturecenter.co.in/activ/apply.php – the last date to apply is November 21, 2010.

Venture Center Event – Technology opportunities in the Water Industry

Venture Center and NCL Innovations invite you to an informative and interactive discussion on the Water industry – specifically the opportunities available for impact in India.
Date: Saturday, November 13, 2010
Venue: Training Room, Venture Center, NCL Innovation Park, Pune (Address/directions: http://www.venturecenter.co.in/contact_mailinglists.php)

Time: 11am – 12.30pm
Registration: The event is free and does not require RSVP, however seating will be on first-come, first-serve basis.
Background: Venture Center's flagship program – Lab2Mkt (http://www.venturecenter.co.in/lab2mkt.php) – seeks to nucleate technology ventures around competencies developed at R&D institutions in India (eg. NCL, Pune). To develop a pipeline of potential spinoffs, Venture Center has raised a Proof of Concept (PoC) fund (http://www.venturecenter.co.in/poc.php) – this enables us to run PoC projects – each of which involves development of prototypes, creation of business models, building the entrepreneurial team, etc. NCL Innovations (http://www.nclinnovations.org/) aims to facilitate the creation of more technology enterprises using NCL know- how, expertise or involvement of NCL staff, students and alumni.
Water: One of the areas of interest for PoC/Lab2Mkt projects is Water – a $500B global industry that offers a variety of challenges & opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs in India. We have spent the past several months researching global & Indian water markets, with the intent of identifying specific market opportunities for new technology ventures.
We would like to share our findings with scientists, entrepreneurs, investors, industry professionals, etc. This is likely to be the first in a series of such water-related talks – we will begin with a high-level overview this time around – and in the future, focus on specific aspects of water (eg. VC-funded tech startups, Indian water treatment markets, etc.).

Anil Paranjape points out why this is important:

This is indeed a great opportunity to learn about opportunities in the water sector.  It's one of the most under-rated, under-funded and under-innovated fields in cleantech.  But it's also one of the most critically endangered resource. Investors and researcher the world over are rapidly waking up to the challenges and potential in it.

Anyone with an entrepreneurial bent and ambition should definitely learn to see how they can participate in this opportunity.  Huge opportunities in water will be created in the next few years/decades.  Water is at a stage today that the Internet was in early 1990s: it's absolutely a huge ground-floor opportunity now!