The Mehta Family School of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence
The Bhupat & Jyoti Mehta Family Foundation and Indian Institute of Technology-Guwahti (IITG) founded the Mehta Family School of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence in 2021 to promote undergraduate and postgraduate studies in both of the technical fields. The collaboration ushered in new opportunities for Indian students, and the school’s first cohort was admitted in the 2021-22 academic year.
“IITG has always endeavored to play a leadership role by diversifying the flavor of its academic programs,” IITG Director T.G. Sitharam says. “The Mehta Family School of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence is another important initiative…and will bridge the gap of highly skilled personnel that exists in these emerging fields.”
The memorandum of understanding founding the school was signed virtually by Sitharam and MFF Chief Executive Officer Rahul Mehta in the presence of Dr. Rajiv I. Modi, IITG’s Board of Governors Chairman, Professor Krishnaswamy Vijayraghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, and Professor Sandeep Verma, Secretary of India’s Science and Engineering Research Board.
MFF supports the new school’s infrastructure and programs, which attract some of the best rising talent from India and abroad, as well as some of the world’s leading technical faculty members.
“The explosion of data across all fields of knowledge continues unabated,” Rahul Mehta says. “Just like computer science changed the world, data science and artificial intelligence are posed to do the same. These fields will shape the methods used in education and research across the spectrum of human knowledge.”
As a global interdisciplinary collaboration, the new school is intended to lift our understanding of society and nature. Professor Shankar Subramaniam and Professor Rajesh Gupta of the University of California San Diego and Professor Ananth Grama from Purdue University anchor the school’s world-class faculty.
The distinguished professors provide time and expertise for School of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence academic and research activities and act as strategic advisors. The school’s arrangement represents the first of its kind in India.
“With the available expertise, I believe IIT Guwahati will take up this school as a foundation to set up data collection sites in the eastern region of the country for various sectors, such as healthcare, climate, transportation, security, and other areas and convert the huge data into effective knowledge and understanding to serve the society in a better way,” Vijayraghavan says.
Professor R. Bhattacharjee leads the school, a bastion of academic excellence imparting state-of-the-art teaching, research and technology development in frontier areas of data science and artificial intelligence. The school’s curriculum provides students a strong theoretical foundation and emphasizes interdisciplinary application areas. “One of the objectives of the school is to take up targeted multi-year interdisciplinary research projects and solve the problems which benefit society at large, a deep-rooted vision of IITG,” Bhattacharjee says. “The close association and support from the Mehta Family Foundation has added an international flavor to this school from its very inception.”