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Three disruptive trends were at the center of this symposium: Data Deluge,
Artificial Intelligence, and Complex Modeling and Simulation
Pune: ThoughtWorks India, a leading global IT company, recently hosted the first-of- its-kind,
Computational Science Symposium in Pune. The symposium brought together both India’s
renowned scientists and researchers from across scientific disciplines, and prominent engineers
and technologists in the country. The objective is to nurture a strong community of scientists
and technologists, who together, will solve some of the world’s most difficult scientific problems.
The symposium delved into the three important trends that are disrupting the field of
computational science: Data Deluge, Artificial Intelligence, and Complex Modeling and
Simulation.

Dr Raghunath Mashelkar who is a Padma Vibhushan recipient and the National Research
Professor and Chairman of the National Innovation Foundation, was the keynote speaker who
set the stage with what he called, vanishing boundaries. He said, “There is only science and its
application. Increasingly, the distinction between science and engineering is vanishing. For
instance, I am an Engineering Scientist and a lot of my papers are published not only in core-
engineering journals, but in pure science ones as well. I believe this is significant of the
vanishing boundaries between humanity, social science and natural science. This is the age of
an integrated and borderless world of science, engineering and innovation.”
The symposium saw topics such as data driven scientific discovery, large volume and long-term
data management, and trends in data storage and analytics being discussed amid energetic
interactions.

Dr Yashwant Gupta, Centre Director at the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, Tata
Institute of Fundamental Research who discussed the challenges and opportunities in the field
of Computational Astronomy and Astrophysics had this to say about the relevance of
collaboration between the scientific and engineering community, “A lot of the scientific and
research community’s challenges are amenable to computing and engineering solutions.
Interestingly, Computational Engineering uniquely positions an engineer to better understand
challenges of the future; 5 or 10 years in the future, and better prepare for them. Collaboration
with the scientific community enables engineering partners to stand at the edge of computing,
and implement increasingly profitable tech.”
Dr Vidyadhar Mudkavi, Director at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research Fourth
Paradigm Institute (CSIR-4PI) in Bengaluru, when elaborating on the fourth paradigm for

science based on data-intensive computing, highlighted the significance of ‘crosstalk,’ “A lot of
crosstalk has to happen. For example, with my theoretical background, I need a cursory
understanding of computation architecture, else it will be difficult for computer science to
understand my needs. Models are built on the grammatical capability over a language. Given
the core elements, language, hardware and tools – we will still need guidance on the tools to
choose and the solutions to build. For example, it is not uncommon for a team of physicists,
meteorologists and computer scientists to sit together and write a piece of complex scientific
software. Developing new technology and applications with a combination of competencies will
perform far better, than not.”

Gunjan Shukla, Head of ThoughtWorks’ Engineering for Research Practice had this to say on
ThoughtWorks’ research investments around bleeding edge technology, “The Engineering For
Research practice is a ThoughtWorks initiative that will push technology’s boundaries, in
partnership with the research community. We look forward to innovative applications of our
collaborative learnings on futuristic tech, which we also view as the path towards our own
strategic reinvention.”
On the symposium itself, she reflected that, “ThoughtWorks is thrilled to provide a common
platform for India’s scientists from research labs across disciplines. This symposium was not
only an opportunity for the engineering and scientific practices to learn from each other but, has
made ThoughtWorks even more determined in our resolve to further this community,
consistently exchange ideas and brainstorm on challenges.”

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