Distinguished Lectures

STCS Vigyan Vidushi will feature a series of lectures by distinguished women scientists on new paradigms and breakthroughs in computer science. The lectures will be streamed on the STCS TIFR Youtube page. The links will be shared here when available.


Speaker: Preethi Jyothi, IIT Bombay

Title: Machine Learning: What is it and Why should we care?

Date and Time: 22nd June, 2021, 6 PM IST

YouTube Linkhttps://youtu.be/OGKWDcJNF7w

Abstract: Artificial Intelligence, specifically machine learning (ML), has increasingly been making inroads into society and our lives over the last decade. We are entering an era where users are likely to take advantage of ML-driven technologies in all walks of life, by interacting seamlessly with digital systems. But, what is machine learning? What are the main milestones achieved in the last decade? What are the challenges involved with building machine learning systems? I will aim to throw some light on these questions and also describe how ML shapes my research on speech and language.

Speaker: Lalitha Vadlamani, IIIT Hyderabad

Title: Great Ideas in Coding Theory: From Theory to Practice

Date and Time: 24th June, 2021, 6 PM IST

YouTube Linkhttps://youtu.be/_JpMoMdX7W4

Abstract: In 1948, Claude Shannon wrote his landmark paper on "A mathematical theory of communication", which paved way to the field of information theory. He introduced the term entropy to measure information and also determined the fundamental limits of source compression and communication over a noisy channel (known as channel capacity). In his work, he proved the existence of codes which achieve the channel capacity. In 1950, Richard Hamming discovered the first-ever error correcting code which is single-error correcting. Coding theorists have contributed to designing codes which achieve the channel capacity in the decades to come. Low density parity check (LDPC) codes invented by Gallager in 1960s and rediscovered in 1990s proved to be very effective codes due to their low decoding complexity requirements at large block lengths. In 2009, Erdal Arikan proposed polar codes which are the first class of codes provably capacity achieving for a class of binary input discrete memoryless channels. There are several applications of coding theory, apart from channel coding, including storage devices, distributed storage systems etc. Reed-Solomon and BCH codes have been conventionally used in storage devices. More recently in 2012, locally repairable codes (LRC) were introduced by researchers in Microsoft to solve the repair problem in distributed storage systems.

Speaker: Shweta Agrawal, IIT Madras

Title: Cryptography: The Jugalbandi (duet) of Structure and Randomness

Date and Time: 29th June, 2021, 6 PM IST

YouTube Linkhttps://youtu.be/9sQRZAdrp3c

Abstract:  Cryptography is a beautiful branch of theoretical computer science that seeks to provide guarantees to the art of secret keeping. The questions it poses are fundamental --  does the universe permit asymmetry of computation? It's practical utility requires no argument -- ad-hoc security solutions repeatedly fall prey to attack and crime is increasingly digital. Its scientific charm lies in its deeply paradoxical nature – among its early successes is the ability for two strangers to meet, generate a secret key and communicate privately, all of these from within a crowd!

In this talk, we will take a closer look at this fascinating field, paying special attention to the many apparent paradoxes it enables. Via examples such as zero knowledge proofs, fully homomorphic encryption and deniable encryption, I hope to show you how it is the perennial jugalbandi, or duet between structure and randomness that enables these beautiful and useful constructs.