Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sugata Sanyal

"There was a time when a serious record collection took up an entire wall, now with Apple's iPod; you can pour the entire lot into a hard disk smaller than a cassette tape. The trend towards shrinking technology is overwhelming, with breakthroughs in mass storage and fast processors creating new niches. And what is groundbreaking is that you can do most things with unbelievably small high-speed gizmos that do not seriously deplete your bank balance. In contemporary times, small is definitely big and surprisingly powerful."

Sugata Sanyal is a Professor in the School of Technology & Computer Science at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research

March 11, 5 pm, over phone.


Murali said...

Questions for a possible e-mail interview

1) As someone who has been seeing the IT (information technology) field over the last about a quarter century, what are the decisive trends that are currently in full force in IT products?

2) The continual effort of the IT hardware industry has been to shrink. What are the key drivers behind the 'shrinking'? Or, is it all about nanotechnology?

3) And, what has been the flip side, if any? Is security, for instance, an issue with shrinking technology?

4) Can you talk about some of the game-changing products that embody shrinking technology?

5) India is predominantly seen as an IT services country. Do we have IT products, too, to showcase to the world? (e.g. mLeap) Are we creating enough IP (intellectual property), compared to other countries?

6) In what different ways should we evaluate a new IT product, against technology benchmarks?

7) Where do you think will be the greatest application of shrinking technology? Any applications of relevance to the common man?

8) What have been the recent projects at TIFR that you have been working on, w.r.t. shrinking? Also, what are the current research areas of interest?

9) You are on the technical boards of financial and other institutions. Do you think the industry, in general, has been able to leverage the cutting-edge product talent available in India? Do we have the right policies to help accelerate innovation?

10) During the 1970s you were part of the teams that worked on some of the early computer applications in the country, be they in weather forecasting, or defence. Any anecdotes about the challenges then? What are today's challenges, in contrast?

11) On what made you choose the line you are in. And, looking at today's technology students and education, what do you find as wanting?

12) Any other points of interest.


Murali said...

About Sugata...

Sugata Sanyal is a Professor in the School of Technology & Computer Science at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, India. He received his Ph.D. degree from Mumbai University, India, M. Tech. from IIT, Kharagpur, India and B.E. from Jadavpur University, India. His current research interests include Multi-Factor Security Issues, Security in Wireless and Mobile Ad Hoc Networks, Distributed Processing, and Scheduling techniques. He has published numerous papers in national and international journals and attended many conferences. He is in the editorial board of four International Journals. He is co-recipient of Vividhlaxi Audyogik Samsodhan Vikas Kendra Award (VASVIK) for Electrical and Electronics Science and Technologies (combined) for the year 1985. He was a Visiting Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science in the University of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA in 2003. He delivered a series of lectures and also interacted with the Research Scholars in the area of Network Security in USA, in University of Cincinnati, University of Iowa, Iowa State University and Oklahoma State University. He has been an Honorary Member of Technical Board in UTI (Unit Trust of India), SIDBI (Small Industries Development Bank of India) and Coal Mines Provident Funds Organization (CMPFO). He has also been acting as a consultant to a number of leading industrial houses in India. More information about his activities is available at

Honorary Member of Technical Board & Consultancy: ( Few significant ones )

(a) UTI (Unit Trust of India): From 2001 till date.

(b) SIDBI (Small Industries Development Bank of India): From 2004 till date.

(c ) CMPFO (Coal Mines Provident Funds Organization) :From 2005 till date, complete ERP implementation and total connectivity of all coal mines in India.
(d) MAHAGENCO: 2007: Was invited by MD, MAHAGENCO, for reviewing the RFP for total ERP implementation of their organization. This was successfully completed in record time.

(e) Helped Centre for Development of Telematics (CDOT) for their Technical Development and Man-power augmentation [1984 – 1988]

(f) Helped Crompton Greaves Limited as a Technical Expert for their Computer and Electronics oriented activities as well for their Technical Man-power augmentation [1987 – 1989]

(g) Helped Tata Electronic Co. (Research and Development) for their (i) IMP-16 Emulation, based on 2Am 2901 bit-slices, [1978], this improved the performance manifold. (ii) PDP 11/34 Emulation, based on Am 29000 processor for developing enhanced and rugged processor [1985].