MSR India Academic Research Summit 2017

Microsoft Research (MSR) and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) India co-organized the second edition of the Academic Research Summit in partnership with the department of Computer Science and Automation at the Indian Institute of Science, on January 24th and 25th 2017 in Bangalore. The objective was to share ideas and explore interesting challenges around the theme of ‘Technology for Societal Good’. The summit was a forum to foster meaningful discussion and discussion among the Indian Computer Science research community and drive potential collaborations to address societal challenges in the country with technology.

The agenda included keynotes and plenary talks from distinguished researchers across a variety of areas. There were also tracks focused on specific topics related to the above theme. Speakers/Track participants at the summit included Kalika Bali, Sorav Bansal, Ranjita Bhagwan, Monojit ChoudhuryR Govindrajan, Jayant Haritsa, Nutan Limaye, Vani Mandava, Geetha Manjunath, Srujana Merugu, Rashmi MohanMadhavan Mukund, P J Narayanan, Venkat Padmanabhan, Raghu Ramakrishnan, Timothy Roscoe, Yogesh Simmhan, Manohar Swaminathan, S Sudarshan, Mukund Thattai, Jaime Teevan, Chandu Thekkath, Jeannette Wing, among others.

The audience at the summit comprised faculty and research scholars from top engineering institutes across the country and representatives from industry and the government. The range of interests and breadth of the technical topics covered hopefully provided a unique experience for the attendees.



24th January 2017

12:00 noon: Registration

12:30 – 2:00 PM : Lunch

2:00 – 2:10 PM: Welcome Address

2:10 – 2:50 PM: Keynote : Mukund Thattai, National Centre for Biological Sciences

Title: Possible and Impossible Cells: A recording of the talk can be accessed at:

Abstract: Cells are the smallest complete units of self-replication, and all life is made up of them. It is becoming clear that cells are best studied as informational and computational units, not just physical machines. Many of the questions of interest to cell biologists fall into the general category of “how is this or that aspect of a cell encoded in its genome?” But the connection between molecules and phenotype is complex: cells are irreducible, and must be understood as a whole. I will discuss questions that arise in the study of membrane traffic: the logistics system that moves cargo between different parts of a cell. Surprisingly, many important issues can be phrased as well-posed abstract problems, whose analysis leads to experimentally testable predictions. I will close with our recent experimental work on the evolution of Saccharomyces carlsbergensis, the yeast that makes lager beer.

2:50 – 3:15 PM: ACM India Update – Madhavan Mukund: A recording of the talk can be accessed at:

3:15 – 3:30 PM: Tea Break

3:30 – 5:00 PM: Track: Data Science for Social Good – Vani Mandava, Manohar Swaminathan, Yogesh Simmhan

5:00 – 6:30 PM :  Travel to Dinner Venue (Hotel Jayamahal Palace)

6:45 – 8:00 PM: ACM India Women  session (Hotel Jayamahal Palace)

8:00 – 10:30 PM : Summit Dinner (Hotel  Jayamahal Palace)

9:30 PM onwards : Transport back

25th January 2017:

9:30 – 9:50 AM: Plenary Talk: Jeannette Wing, Microsoft.

Title: Research at Microsoft: Looking Beyond the Horizon. A recording of the talk can be accessed at:

9:50 – 10:30 AM: Plenary Talk: Raghu Ramakrishnan, Microsoft

Title: Azure Data Lake: A World of Data. A recording of the talk can be accessed at:

10:30 – 1045 AM: Tea Break

10:45AM – 12:45 PM: Track : “Computer Systems – The Plumber’s Paradise”

  1. Short Talks by R. Govindarajan and Venkat Padmanabhan
  2. Panel Discussion: Sorav Bansal, Ranjita Bhagwan, Timothy Roscoe, S Sudarshan, Chandu Thekkath, moderated by Jayant Haritsa

A recording of this session can be accessed at:

12:45 – 2:00 PM: Lunch

2:00 – 2:30 PM: Announcement of Call for Proposals for MSR summer workshop  – Monojit Choudhury

2:30 – 4:00 : ACM India Research Board: Planning for the future – P J Narayanan

4:00 – 4:15 Closing