2016 ACM India General Election

A third party, Election Services Corporation (ESC), is conducting the 2016 ACM India General Election

The candidate slate is listed below.

A pdf offering all candidate bios and statements in one document may be downloaded for printing, or you can click on the candidate’s name below for his or her respective bio and statement.

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Candidate Slate 2016

President (1 July 2016 — 30 June 2018):

Vice President (1 July 2016 — 30 June 2018):

Treasurer (1 July 2016 — 30 June 2018):

Secretary (1 July 2016 — 30 June 2018):

Members at Large (1 July 2016 — 30 June 2020):


Candidate for President

(1 July 2016 – 30 June 2018)

Madhavan Mukund
Chennai Mathematical Institute

BIOGRAPHY

Madhavan Mukund studied at IIT Bombay (BTech) and Aarhus University (Ph.D.). He has been at Chennai Mathematical Institute since 1992, where he is Dean of Studies.

His main research area is formal verification. He has active collaborations within and outside India and serves on several editorial boards and programme committees.

He is Vice-President of the ACM India Council and President of the Indian Association for Research in Computing Science (IARCS).

He is also passionate about CS education. He has coordinated the Indian Computing Olympiad since 2002 and has taught courses in the MOOC initiatives of Microsoft Research and NPTEL.

STATEMENT

While on the ACM India Council, my focus has been on ACM India's role in research and teaching in computing.

It is common knowledge that not enough serious computing research happens in India. Most Ph.D. students lack exposure to quality research. To raise the bar, several steps have already been taken: prestigious ACM conferences are coming to India, the ACM-IARCS travel grants programme has been initiated, an Eminent Speaker Programme for India has been set up and the Indian Doctoral Dissertation Award is in place. These initiatives need to be strengthened and expanded further.

Though the Indian curriculum broadly follows international standards prescribed by ACM, several systemic weaknesses prevent the effective transfer of knowledge. MOOCs can play a role in self-learning, but they need to be adapted to the Indian context. I have been involved with IARCS's Instructional Courses and Microsoft Research's Massively Empowered Classrooms, both aimed at improving teacher quality. The ACM India Education Committee is actively engaged in developing sustainable initiatives to improve the standard of CS education in India.

Finally, ACM India should take the lead in bringing together academia, industry and government to formulate policies for enhancing the quality of computing activity in the country.

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Candidate for Vice President

(1 July 2016 – 30 June 2018)

 

Mukesh Mohania
IBM India Research Lab

BIOGRAPHY

Mukesh Mohania is an IBM Distinguished Engineer and has worked extensively in the areas of Information Management. His work has led to the development of new products and also influenced several existing IBM products. He has received several awards within IBM, such as "Best of IBM", "Excellence in People Management", “Outstanding Innovation Award”, and many more. He has published more than 120 papers and got more than 40 patents on his name. He is serving VLDB 2016 conference as Organization Committee Chair. He is an IBM Master Inventor, a member of IBM Academy of Technology, and an ACM Distinguished Scientist.

STATEMENT

He plans to take several initiatives that lead to the wider visibility of ACM and its activities in India, such as organizing an ACM road show in key Universities/Institutes, organizing regional ACM events, help the team to expand the footprint of ACM activities and getting awareness program in North-East India region. Under ACM banner, plans to organize 3 to 4 workshops on "how to organize your new technical ideas and to give them shape to execute them" which will trigger the entrepreneurship among students.

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Candidate for Treasurer

(1 July 2016 – 30 June 2018)

 

Gautam Shroff
TCSR

BIOGRAPHY

Initiator and current chair of the ACM-India IKDD SIG on Knowledge Discovery & Data Mining; this SIG was also approved as the India chapter of ACM SIGKDD (http://ikdd.acm.org/). The SIG has organized a "Mysore Park" workshop on Big Data in 2013 and a peer-reviewed Conference on Data Sciences (CoDS) in 2014.

Member of ACM India’s Education Committee headed by Prof. Mathai Joseph. Currently also an elected member of ACM India Council.

STATEMENT

I have been involved in ACM activities in India since 2012 when I started the India chapter of SIGKDD, called IKDD. We began with a workshop in 2013, and then launched the CoDS (Conference on Data Sciences) series under IKDD. Three successful editions of CoDS have been held so far, in Delhi-2014, Bangalore-2015, and Pune-2015.

In 2014, I was elected to the ACM India Council as a ‘member at large’. I took up the compilation of the Computer Science Ph.D. production report for India, in 2015 and am continuing that activity for 2016.

I will be happy to take up responsibilities as Treasurer of ACM India.

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Candidate for Secretary

(1 July 2016 — 30 June 2018)

 

Rashmi Mohan
Independent Consultant/Technologist

BIOGRAPHY

Rashmi Mohan is a technologist, engineer and an entrepreneur. Until recently, she was a Senior Engineering Manager at Yahoo Labs in Bangalore. She has spent 15+ years in various technical and management roles in the industry. Her work involved working with researchers and applied scientists in building prototypes and proof of concepts of the most cutting edge ideas being developed in the Labs.

Rashmi is an ACM India Council member (since 2014) and is actively involved in the CS community. She has led the Grace Hopper Conference in Bangalore as Program Chair for the past two years.

STATEMENT

In the past two years as an ACM India Council member, I have had the opportunity to be plugged into the state of CS education and development in India. I have had numerous invitations to speak to students across the country, sharing my knowledge and learning from the hundreds of eager minds I encountered. It gave me a renewed belief in the reach of ACM. I look upon this nomination as a stepping stone to furthering my commitment towards strengthening Computer Science education, improving diversity in the CS realms and fostering deeper ties between the industry and academia.

If I were to be elected as ACM India secretary, my goals would be to:

  • Improve the awareness of and support for pursuing meaningful STEM careers amongst the student community, beginning with high school.
  • Encourage and empower women in Computer Science to pursue more challenging roles via mentorship, symposiums and forums to present their work
  • Define and evangelize the value that ACM can bring to industry professionals thereby encouraging worthwhile collaborations and exchange of ideas.

I appreciate the honour of being nominated for this position in this election and look forward to continuing my contributions towards ACM India, regardless of the outcome.

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Candidate for Member-at-Large

(1 July 2016 — 30 June 2020)

 

Vineet Kansal
ITS Engineering College, Greater Noida

BIOGRAPHY

Vineet Kansal received his B.Tech. degree in Computer Science and Engineering from GB Pant University, Pantnagar in 1991. He received his M.Tech. and Ph.D. from IIT Delhi in 1997 and 2003 respectively. He has over 25 years of teaching and academic administrative experience and is currently working as Professor and Director at I.T.S Engineering College, Greater Noida. He has over 21 International and National publications to his credit. He has chaired and participated in several research conferences. He has been Guest faculty for many institutions including South Asian University and IMT Ghaziabad. He has been the Member, Academic Council, and, currently is Member BoS CSE and IT, AKTU, Lucknow, UP, India. He has been engaged in many consultancy projects in India and abroad. Kansal is a big proponent of Industry-Academia partnership and Entrepreneurial sensitization and working for such initiatives.

STATEMENT

  • To extend support to ACM India team for the growth and development of the fraternity
  • Improving outreach of ACM India to start-ups in India
  • Encourage dynamic members to come forward to join hands with ACM for inclusive growth
  • Strengthening connection between academia, research organization and commercial entities for better ecosystem
  • Incubating innovative business ideas and promoting Young Minds
  • To work with ACM India team for organizing regional events

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Candidate for Member-at-Large

(1 July 2016 — 30 June 2020)

 

Maria Choudhary
Oracle India Pvt Ltd.

BIOGRAPHY

Maria Choudhary is a Principal Engineer at Oracle India Pvt Ltd. with over 17 years of industry experience, 15 of which with Oracle (India/USA), AT&T, USA as well as a Research Scholar at IITB. She holds a BSc (Physics), MS from Stevens Institute of Technology, NJ USA and MCA from Goa University. My interests lie in Core Server Technologies, Agile Software Engineering Practices, and Cloud Computing. She has been a member of ACM for the past 14 years. She is part of the ACM-W India Council and has been the past chairperson of ACM Goa Chapter. She actively participates in chapter activities. She has represented ACM-W at the Arab-WIC and the Grace Hopper Conference, Bangalore.

STATEMENT

ACM has a lot to offer to the Indian computing Diaspora. Here are my goals.

  1. I would like ACM to be a grassroots organization and focus on increasing membership among students.
  2. I would like to reach out to Industries and ask for Industries to partner with us in our initiatives as well as increasing our member count.
  3. I would like to create an environment in increasing industry and academia collaboration and create initiatives to improve the quality of computer education and Indian computing research.
  4. We need our ACM Chapters to collaborate more within zones. We need to make the chapters be more vibrant and active and collaborate with each other, and I would like to work with our Indian Council in increasing chapter collaboration.
  5. Goal Setting:
    I would like ACM India to set goals for itself and encourage the individual chapters to set yearly goals.
  6. Rewards and Recognition:
    I would like to propose setting up of an annual ACM Chapter award to encourage chapter participation and measure Chapter Performance.
  7. Work with ACM-W in promoting and encouraging Women Participation in the computing field.

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Candidate for Member-at-Large

(1 July 2016 — 30 June 2020)

 

Shourya Roy
Xerox Research Centre India

BIOGRAPHY

Shourya Roy is a Senior Scientist and Research Manager at Xerox Research, India where he leads the “Text and Graph Analytics” group. In 15+ years of a research career, Shourya’s work has led to over 25 patent disclosures and 50 publications in premier journals and conferences. He has served various professional roles including PC member in top ranked conferences and editor in reputed journals. Shourya has been organizing workshops in conferences – notably, “Noisy Text Analytics” (AND) workshop series which he co-initiated in 2007. He is actively associated with recently created ACM IKDD and led a successful Data Challenge in CODS 2015 conference.

STATEMENT

As an ACM India Executive Committee member, I will support all activities pursued by the organization to the best of my ability in collaboration with fellow members. During my tenure, I will work towards spreading awareness about ACM in student and professional communities of India. ACM India is a great platform for young researchers to get access to information and to better position their work in various domains. In particular, I would like to help drive events such as ACM IRISS and ACM Compute as well as initiate new events providing effective and larger platforms for building a more vibrant computer science research ecosystem in India. I believe my strong Indian and global network, as well as the experience of organizing such events in the past, would be useful towards achieving this goal. Additionally, I intend to pursue a more ambitious goal towards initiating ACM India Programs to get school children introduced to and excited about real-life potential and possibilities of different fields of Computer Science such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Machine Learning, etc. I strongly believe that the next generation should get exposed to this wonderful world of computing towards making this planet a better place to live.

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Candidate for Member-at-Large

(1 July 2016 — 30 June 2020)

 

Murali Krishna Ramanathan
IISc, Bangalore

BIOGRAPHY

Murali Krishna Ramanathan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Automation at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. His research interests broadly span the areas of software engineering and programming languages. Previously, he was affiliated with Coverity Inc (USA) and helped build program analysis tools that are widely used in the industry. In the past, he used to participate in endurance sports and has successfully finished an Ironman triathlon. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Purdue University, West Lafayette and a B.E (CSE) from CEG, Anna University, Chennai.

STATEMENT

ACM India is a vibrant organization and has been at the forefront of organizing and sponsoring many useful academic activities in the country.

As part of the Council, my goal will be to contribute to expanding its activities. More specifically, as a member of the council, I will strive to do the following:

  • Work towards bringing top-tier conferences to India that can provide exposure to the local academic community,
  • Foster more collaboration between industry and academia in organizing/sponsoring events including faculty summits, tech talks, summer schools, etc.
  • Explore avenues for increased participation of under-represented sections of the society which includes students from rural areas, students from institutions where the medium of teaching is not English, etc.

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Candidate for Member-at-Large

(1 July 2016 — 30 June 2020)

 

Sudeshna Sarkar
IIT Kharagpur

BIOGRAPHY

Sudeshna Sarkar is a Professor and Head of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at IIT Kharagpur. She did BTech and Ph.D. from IIT Kharagpur, MS from University of California, Berkeley. She has earlier served on the faculty of IIT Guwahati and at IIT Kanpur. She is interested in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Natural Language Processing. She had been working on processing of Indian languages, cross-language information retrieval, and recommendation systems. Currently, she is also working on applications of Artificial Intelligence in various problems related to society including climate data mining and the Transportation and Logistics domains.

STATEMENT

I will work towards facilitating and organizing the following types of events for the growth of ACM India.

  1. Organization of workshops and tutorials on recent exciting topics
  2. Tutorials and seminars on skill development programs
  3. Focus on initiatives to include more women in ACM events and mentoring of women professionals in early stages of their career

One and two will foster interaction between academia, professionals, and students and enable discussion on suitable careers and skill sets. Through these workshops and seminars, ACM may reach out to a wide cross-section of students and professionals and make them aware of recent developments, exciting research, and important technology skills. The tutorials should be archived and made available to the community.

I am specifically interested in reaching out to women in technology by getting women speakers who can serve as female role models, and encourage women students and professionals to participate in these programs. I believe that it is important to provide mentorship to young working women at the stage where many of them may have to cope with family and work balance, and adjust with the environment at work. Successful women professionals can act as role models and help women keep their careers on track.

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Candidate for Member-at-Large

(1 July 2016 — 30 June 2020)

 

Umesh Deshpande
VNIT, Nagpur

BIOGRAPHY

Umesh A. Deshpande earned his B.Tech from VNIT, Nagpur in 1991, M.Tech. from IIT-Bombay in 1993 and Ph.D. from IIT-Kharagpur in 2005 in Computer Science and Engg. Since last 20 years, he is a faculty member at VNIT, Nagpur.

He has one book chapter and about 30 papers in international journals and conferences. He is an active member of ACM and is presently the Chair of the Nagpur Professional Chapter. He was the Organizing Chair of ACM India’s Annual Conference, Compute 2014.

STATEMENT

There are many activities initiated by ACM India like ACM India Annual Event, Eminent Speaker Program, Best Dissertation Award, various Conferences, etc. I will work in helping their organization and towards popularizing these. Many Indian researchers contribute effectively on different research areas of computing, and it would be nice if the researchers collaborate and create Special Interest Groups (SIGs) in India. I would be delighted to be a part of a team that facilitates this collaboration. I will work towards increasing the awareness in Indian engineering institutions about ACM and its activities such as ACM ICPC so that there is more participation by Indian students.

At the ACM Nagpur chapter, we regularly organize technical events like workshops, training programs, lectures on current research topics to promote research in Indian engineering institutions. We help engineering institutions in Central India in revising their curricula and in conducting lectures on specific topics. We feel that such activities contribute effectively towards a better quality of Computer Science and Engineering education in the country. We are working towards increasing the presence of ACM in Central India by starting new student chapters and by encouraging professional and student membership.

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Candidate for Member-at-Large

(1 July 2016 — 30 June 2020)

 

Viraj Kumar
PES University (Bangalore)

BIOGRAPHY

Viraj Kumar is a Professor in the Department of CSE at PES University (Bangalore), where he heads the Applied Research in Technology for Education research domain. Dr. Kumar received his MS and PhD in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he taught for two years and received the Rose Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Education. He has 9+ years teaching experience (across four institutions), has conducted research in challenges in Indian online education (with NPTEL, and with Microsoft Research India), and has served as Member Secretary to the Karnataka Knowledge Commission Task Group on Educational Technology.

STATEMENT

ACM India can be a powerful catalyst in elevating college-level Computer Science faculty in this country from mere regurgitators of information to educational researchers, and thereby better educators. My goal is to work with existing ACM India initiatives (specifically, the Education Committee and numerous ACM-supported conferences) and, where necessary, to refocus them to drive this transformation. I strongly believe that a majority of faculty in India acutely sense society’s low respect for “mere teaching” and significantly greater regard for “research”, yet lack sufficient opportunity and experience to undertake quality research. Educational research (spearheaded by the Indian Chapter of SIGCSE, but also supported by education-specific tracks at other ACM conferences) can provide vital scaffolding for faculty to initiate their research. My experience from several academic institutions is that (1) key entry barriers (e.g., cost to conduct research, fit with existing workload) are lower in this domain, and (2) institutions are generally willing to unburden faculty with established research credentials, which allows them time to explore other academic development avenues. Key aspects of this transformation are observable, and my intention is to demonstrate positive effects in Computer Science to serve as a model for policy-makers, with support from the ACM community.

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Candidate for Member-at-Large

(1 July 2016 — 30 June 2020)

 

Venkatesh Raman
Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai

BIOGRAPHY

Venkatesh Raman obtained his Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of Waterloo, Canada and has been at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai, India since 1991 where he is currently a professor. He is also an adjunct faculty at the Indian Institute of Technology, Jodhpur. His research interests are in Data Structures and Parameterized Complexity.

He served as a member of the Council of IARCS (Indian Association of Research in Computing Science) and the steering committee of IPEC (International Symposium on Parameterized and Exact Computation) during their formative years. He has been a member of several international program committees of conferences and has co-chaired and edited the proceedings of four of them.

STATEMENT

India is a vast country with varied levels of institutions engaged in computer science education and research. At the one extreme, we have institutions focusing on very high-quality research as their primary mandate, while a large number of them focus on teaching and providing well-trained human resources for Indian and International industry and academics. I believe that ACM and ACM India, in particular, should strive to be an organization that should support this spectrum of institutions to raise their level of quality in whatever endeavour they are into. One way to achieve this is to build a database/portal of academicians across the country and to provide multiple forums for the exchange of ideas. I will strive to make these happen through ACM.

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Candidate for Member-at-Large

(1 July 2016 — 30 June 2020)

 

Abhiram Ranade
IIT Bombay

BIOGRAPHY

Abhiram Ranade is currently a professor of Computer Science and Engineering at IIT Bombay. His main research interest is combinatorial optimization with special emphasis on scheduling in packet routing and transportation networks. At IIT Bombay, he has won the P. K. Patwardhan technology development award for the work on the Mumbai Navigator project. His teaching interests include design and analysis of algorithms, parallel computation, graph theory, and programming. At IIT Bombay, he has won Excellence in Teaching awards in 2006-2007 and 2010-2011. He served as the Head of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering during 2006-2009.

STATEMENT

I am interested in all activities that ACM engages; however, there is a specific cause that I would like to work for, through ACM.

I believe that our colleges need to give more importance to teaching and facilitate it while demanding more accountability. Here by "teaching" we mean ability, subject expertise, and also aspects such as the ability to set challenging (but fair) question papers needing the application of concepts instead of just memorization. We should allow teachers to build up their expertise and teaching ability by allowing them to teach the same course several times and attending faculty development programs. While this happens at present to some extent, there is no accountability. There is no measurement of whether the teaching actually improves. Student feedback is an accepted measure of teaching effectiveness -- this should be used along with other measures that could be invented. Each college could be encouraged to report the average teaching effectiveness of its faculty on its website. Each college should also be expected to assess whether its examinations test only memorization or also higher skills. Accreditation bodies could also be persuaded to give more importance to all this.

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Candidate for Member-at-Large

(1 July 2016 — 30 June 2020)

 

Rajveer S Shekhawat
Manipal University Jaipur

BIOGRAPHY

I completed M.Sc. (Hons) Physics from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, which was supported by the National Science Talent Scholarship. I worked at Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. from August 1981 till I joined at Central Electronics Engg Research Institute in 1983 and left to explore industrial R&D at Entity Solutions Ltd a decade ago in 2006. I worked on strategic projects for design and manufacture of products related to smart energy systems. Since July 2015, I’ve been attempting to pass on to the budding engineers what I learnt at R&D institutions and industry at Manipal University Jaipur.

STATEMENT

I am a senior member of ACM and have been active by contributing by way of opening ACM professional chapters (Udaipur), ACM student chapters, organizing a number of conferences and participating in the annual events of ACM India. The academic environment offers more freedom in terms of time and movements and thus be able to participate in ACM activities pan India.

ACM still lacks popularity in India amongst professionals and especially students commensurate with its stature and potential to contribute to the professional development of all its members. I plan to bring more professionals and students in ACM’s fold by way of conducting events at existing chapters and opening new chapters. This shall also include engaging the Eminent Speakers and Distinguished Speakers in such a way that their visits can span over multiple chapters in lesser time to be spent by them and lesser funds required for travel. In a similar vein, all events like workshops, seminars and conferences can be made more effective by joining hands with nearby chapters and ESPs. Enhancing research collaboration with experts the world over using this platform is one of the overarching objectives I wish to focus on the Indian Council.

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