Computer Science Association, BITS Pilani

September 9, 2012


Filed under: Events — csa2010 @ 6:36 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Knowledge and wit is not just the fodder for the intellectual minds. There is always more to it. MINDTURNER aims to instigate the same.

The first event of CSA 2013, MINDTURNER 5.0 was hosted on August 31, 2012 at the Lecture Theatre Complex. With a flute of enthusiasm being played in the air, the event flagged off at 5:15 PM. The event saw a decent assemblage of the teams, mostly comprising of the first year students with a subtle pinch of a third year team, and a few second year teams as well.

A set of 22 questions was prepared for the quiz over a variety of topics ranging from the history of the first mouse to the recent news about the iphone hacker pod2g.The genre of questions was mostly derived from the quiz’s predecessor version 4.0. Star Marked questions had a special weightage and were used to resolve clashes in the final result. Also, certain questions had two parts with bonus marks for answering both of those.  However a mixed level of difficulty was maintained to keep the participants’ grey cells fired up until the end. The diverse set of expressions on the faces of the contestants indicated of a competitive pulse being built up as the quiz progressed.

The event concluded with the Solutions Discussions. Participants’ eyes gleamed with happiness on getting a correct answer. Goodies were also distributed to the participants answering the difficult questions. This marked the end of the 5th successful year of MINDTURNER and the beginning of a promising year for the CSA Team 2013.So here is to next edition of MINDTURNER 6.

PS:  Stay tuned for the Google Dev fest coming up this September at BITS Pilani.

February 12, 2012

‘Qrious’ – A pre-APOGEE CSA event

Filed under: APOGEE,Events,Online — csa2010 @ 1:13 pm

The online riddle cum quizzing event, ‘Qrious’ is back under its fifth cover come APOGEE, 2012. Despite owing its existence to the Computer Science Association, BITS – Pilani, the event is spared of the innate technical edge and is broadly a  multi-disciplinary event. While it has a linear format, requiring players to solve each level in turn before progressing to the next, one could anticipate some interesting deviations to the game such as the liberty of taking a flip and so forth. A fair proportion of logical skills, remote viewing and a decent general knowledge/googling skill should suffice the requisites for the game. The pictures on display, background, URL or even the page source could hold indicators to your answer ;so, listen well! A dynamic leader-board would be maintained keeping track of the rankings, modulated both by the total score and as well the time of completion at any given instant. As evident, the person capturing the top slot when the event calls off, takes home the win.

The event commences on the 11th of Febraury, 2012. Remember to get yourself registered at the APOGEE 2012 website and use the same credentials to login for Qrious. For all the updates and discussions do follow our  facebook page  and yes, stay Qrious.

December 21, 2011

Alumni Research Talks – II

Filed under: Campus,Events,Geeky — csa2010 @ 7:16 am
The last blog post had pretty much introduced Alumni Research Talks to everyone. The speakers for the event and their topics of discussion have been finalised. We thus have a whole range of really hot research topics for the event with some highly prolific BITSian alumni throwing light on each of them this January.
We have Abhishek, who did his final semester thesis from Chennai Mathematical Institute, who would be giving a talk in ART describing certain aspects of Coding theory. His talk will focus on  encoding and decoding schemes in the context of non-binary cyclic error-correcting (Reed-Solomon) codes which finds applications as varied as compact disc players and deep-space exploration.

Natthu, another talented 2010 BITSian graduate, is currently doing his masters from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He will be uncovering topics like Virtualization, with a special emphasis on Virtual Machine Managers (Hypervisors).

Prasanta will be here to provide insight into ICTD (Information and Communications Technology for/and Development), which is an initiative for designing low cost solutions for our emerging communities. He did his Masters in Software Systems from Pilani, and is currently working as a software engineer at ebay.

Rizwan, yet another prolific 2010 alumnus,  who is currently taking his Masters at IIT-K, will be here this January to describe some techniques to analyse randomised algorithms, and to discuss some of its applications in various domains. He will also be discussing the use and scope of CS in quantitative finance.

The co-founder of TheFind Inc (a shopping search based startup with more than 17 million unique online hits every month), Shashikant boasts of a masters degree at Stanford University amongst many other things. As his profile suggests, he will discussing certain aspects and hairy intricacies of owning a technical startup, with a particular emphasis on people having a CS background.

Srikrishna is currently undergoing his Ph.D at University of Wisconsin-Madison. He will be helping us remove that familiar fog of doubt amongst us BITSians regarding taking Ph.D/MS for higher studies.

Swapnil is doing his masters at UIUC. This January, he will be throwing some all-important light on the potential of Supercomputers, its power requirements, its construction, speed and applications.

Finally, we have Vineet, a 2011 alumnus currently working with the Advanced Technology Group at NetApp, India. He will visit his Alma mater during ART to discuss the potential, advantages and disadvantages of Flash Memory over conventional storage devices, and different research aspects pertaining to it.

We look forward to seeing all our decorated seniors around, and we hope their endeavour maneuvers the largely clueless BITSians to the right paths to research.

Complete profiles of the speakers can be viewed at

November 21, 2011

Alumni Research Talks – I

Filed under: Uncategorized — csa2010 @ 2:18 am

Alumni Research Talks is a three day industry-student-research symposium being organized by the Computer Science Association and the CSIS Department of BITS Pilani, in association with Embryo.

Research Talks and seminars are very common in most premier institutes all over the world, and these things are a quintessential component of any world class learning institution. However, we at BITS Pilani have scarcely been exposed to such activites, which is indeed unfortunate.

Now, with a total overhaul of course structure, creation of new Professorships and complete revamping of infrastructure on the cards, we at CSA believe that it is imperative to promote research related activities on campus.

The idea for ART stems from the same fact. Business plan competitions and leadership contests have already been a big success in BITS, but for a university that goes by the name Institute of Technology and Science, there is a sore lack of activites that promote research. Also, what we study seems to be totally irrelevant to what we hope to become once we get that coveted BE degree.

Which is what ART hopes to open our eyes to.

During this 3 day symposium we shall have on campus, recent alumni of BITS Pilani who are actually involved in doing what hope to do someday. Some are pursuing MS and PhD in grad schools from different parts of the world like UIUC and Stanford, while yet others are working for firms like Facebook, Google, NetApp, et al. They hope to dispel all myths that one might harbour about academics in BITS in general, and illuminate minds towards how things actualy work in the real world. These are people who have, to use a cliche, “been there, done that.”

The Research Talks that have been planned encompass a wide variety of topics, mostly centered around various aspects of Computer Science. Also, there shall be a Hackathon and free snack sessions to boot, wherein you can actualy meet and talk your heart out to these wonderful people who will only be glad to share there experiences and knowledge with you.

The official website for ART is up here. So for further details, keep checking this page. Also, you can register online and be a part of ART 2012, here.

We look forward to seeing you around.

September 28, 2011

TURING TALK – “Complex Network Analysis”

Filed under: Campus,Events,Turing Talks — csa2010 @ 9:22 am

24th September, 2011: Continuing with the tradition of  Turing Talks, which is a CSA organised lecture series, Ajitesh Srivastava, the Mr. Turing of the day, presented an illuminating yet exciting talk on Complex Network Analysis. The evening saw a descent turnout of  approximately 60 keen participants . With focus on the mathematical modelling  of social networks,he paid emphasis on acquainting the audience with the basics of the same before delving deeper.

The later part of the evening was mostly dedicated to,

  • Modelling of a subset of the BITSian friendship network and determining the various mathematical parameters associated.
  • Plotting of the twitter growth model and comparing with the actual data, thus paving way for show stopper,
  • The Power Law which practically dominates the growth pattern of most social and collaboration networks.

The speaker managed to keep the audience interested by picking up interesting demonstrations of  Power Law in collaboration networks like the Erdos’ number and the Bacon number, seemingly flawed but true instances !

The event wrapped up with a round of interesting queries, thus providing an intellect invoking end to the lecture.Many thanks to Mr. Turing, Ajitesh and lets hope to see the Turing Talks get bigger and better.


P.S I have share the presentation slides below

September 4, 2011


Filed under: Events — csa2010 @ 4:38 am

31th August, 2011: The end of August saw the initiation of CSA events with Mindturner completing its fourth successful year.With a decent assemblage  of quizzing enthusiasts, the event was good to go by 5:30 pm.

At the very outset,  the audience was briefed  on the rules governing the game; which basically were :

  • an upper limit of 3 members in a team
  • higher weight-age to starred questions and,
  • the supremacy of the quiz-master of course.

The quiz began with relatively simpler questions, soon to delve into trickier and wit demanding ones later in the evening. Brainstorming to say, was clearly in the air with frowned minds attempting to unveil the answers.The smartness of the audience was evident from the very fact that hints to certain prechosen  questions were vehemently discouraged by certain teams.

Internet history and less known significant events were the ruling themes of the event.Certain genre of successful questions of the former Minturners  like ‘Photo Connect’  were continued while some new patterns viz. xkcd’s and dooodles were experimented with.With questions reaching an  exhaustion point, the unmistakable determination to win was clearly portrayed on  the participants’ faces.

The event concluded with a moderately famous xkcd question which had  a  definitely  illustrious answer, thus not posing a significant disadvantage to the ones new to it.This marked an end to the very first CSA event of the year and yes a promising end, that is.Wishing greater peaks of success to Mindturner 5 and the other events to follow. ‘Stay hungry, stay foolish’ and watch everything fall into place!

April 20, 2011

Curriculum modification for CS

Filed under: Uncategorized — csa2010 @ 5:57 am

As a part of Vision 2020 – Mission 2012 for BITS Pilani (facebook page) which aims to put it amongst the leading educational institutions worldwide, Task Force 1 led by Prof. Sundar B of Computer Science and Information Systems Group recently provided its recommendations to make the curriculum competitive with other universities . An outline can be downloaded here: Suggestions for Curriculum modification. Please not that this is not an official copy.

About the Task Force: The task force for curriculum started its work in Nov 2009. Over 120 faculty members in four campuses took part. Over 60 of them in benchmarking. Over 100 programmes in various universities were analysed. To give an idea, there were 2-3 seminars only on identification of parameters on which the curriculum should be benchmarked and 25-30 parameters were identified.

Since curriculum discussion elicits passionate response from students, there was a discussion about the same amongst alumni of the Computer Science Association and we have compiled a doc which suggests some additions which we believe will complement the modifications suggested by the Task Force. The document can be downloaded here: Suggestions for A7 by CSA alumni

A big thank you goes out to everyone who took time from their hectic schedules to participate in the online discussions. We wish that the new curriculum manages to stimulate and motivate students to pursue their interests and not become just another face in the crowd. As Dolores Umbridge said in Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix,

“It is the view of the Ministry that a theoretical knowledge will be sufficient to get you through your examinations, which after all, is what school is all about.”

More Dumbledore than Umbridge. 🙂

-Vineet Pandey, 2006A7TS054P

(for CSA)

January 12, 2011

APOGEE 2011 Project Meet

Filed under: Uncategorized — csa2010 @ 12:31 pm

at the Lecture Theater Complex, 5102. January 13th 2011.

Be there.

December 23, 2010

Google goes nuts? Presenting the Body Browser

Filed under: Body Browser,Geeky,Google — csa2010 @ 8:17 am

One would associate an uber-cool firm like Google with innovations and ground breaking products in all fields computer-y and internet-y and geeky. True, this new one is all that, yet a lot more.

Google Body Browser

Presenting the Body Browser. Google’s entry into the world of biology with a mind-blowing twist. The Body Browser is all that a medicine and physiology student would need to master the intricacies of the human body. Powered by webGL plugin-less 3D technology, it simulates the human body like never before. You can zoom in, zoom out, go through the various systems and explore blood vessels and tissues from a level never imagined before. Excruciating details, and awesome 3D effects make it brilliantly engaging to say the least. You can even make muscle tissues transparent to allow better study of underlying parts. The images are based on the data from the Zygote Media Group, and 3D rendering right into your web browser is made possible owing to WebGL.

Of course you’d need a web browser that supports WebGL, which is a drawback for the time being. As of now you can use Beta versions of Google Chrome 8 or Mozilla Firefox 4, but more and more browsers will start supporting WebGL with time.

You can check the Google Body Browser in action here (using one of the aforementioned web browsers) here at

To wrap it up, another path-breaking product from Google. Way to go.

September 20, 2010

Architecture & Systems Interest Group

Filed under: Uncategorized — csa2010 @ 6:41 am
Computer Science Association is working to form an interest group in Systems/ Architecture to spur interest in these topics. Very creatively called “Architecture & Systems Interest Group” (ASIG), it will comprise of students from all years who have a keen interest and/or basic knowledge about what goes into designing a system (like an OS) and implementing it. (The word interest has been used 5 times already).
ASIG *hopes to* undertake the following activities:
  1. Discussions on current technical advancements (*technical*)
  2. Understanding and emulating seminal papers
  3. Doubt clearance on related concepts through small tasks
  4. Tea sessions
Based on how this shapes up, we shall align the discussions with faculty work for better impact. If you find this interesting and have wasted enough time reading wiki articles on the topic and can devote 3 hours (two lesser movies) per week, mail in the following details by 24th September (Friday):
(Write “No clue. Damn” wherever you don’t know what to say)
  • Name
  • ID
  • One project you have worked on (20 words)
  • One project you know about anywhere in the world that you’d love to be a part of (not necessarily CS) (20 words)
  • One concept in OS/Architecture you find super-fascinating and why (30 words)
Your mail should be found in the inbox of one Aastha Mehta (07A7): with subject line as “Interest in ASIG”. By Friday evening.
How boring could an interest group be? We shall get back to you. Thanks for reading.
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