Solving the world’s problems is not about individual heroism and expertise alone. You need heroes, but you need collective knowledge to be able to amplify and accelerate that great idea to an outcome,” said Ananth Krishnan, Executive Vice President and CTO of Tata Consulting Services, who kicked off the USC Viterbi- Aixlor Lecture series last week on the topic of “Building Greater Futures with Innovation and Collective Knowledge.” This year, the Viterbi School of Engineering resumed its joint lecture series with Indian accelerator Axilor Ventures to cultivate innovation among startups and future entrepreneurs. Held in India tech hub Bengaluru, the lecture series is a showcase and open dialogue with scholars, innovators, and entrepreneurs from India and the United States (many of whom are USC Viterbi alumni) to share new advances in science, technology, and engineering.
Following Krishnan’s talk, Kalyan Sivasailam, Co-founder and CEO, 5C Network, discussed AI in healthcare. Sivasailam emphasized the role of AI in augmentation and the use of AI in identifying brain bleeds and kidney stones remotely. He cautioned that “AI is a problem solver, but not a panacea,” and that one must “pick the right problem for AI.”
P. Vijay Kumar, Honorary Professor, ECE Department, IISc, and USC Viterbi alumnus and an emeritus professor at USC Viterbi School of Engineering, shared his involvement in designing the spreading code for NaviC’s L1 Signal. Kumar discussed how such technology could be applied in remote areas, such as for fishing zone alerts, boundary alerts, and even precision farming.
The final lecture of the evening from Nitin Sharma, Co-founder and General Partner, Antler, and an alumnus of the USC Viterbi School focused on the Indian start-up scene. Sharma noted key factors that are giving rise to the Indian startup scene—including the price of data. He noted India’s pattern of “leapfrogging.”
Dean of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, Yannis C. Yortsos, who had returned to India for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic started, spoke about his return, “I am thrilled to be back in person and meet our Indian friends and colleagues. We look forward to continuing our alliance with leading scholars, engineering educators, and researchers to take on the world’s biggest challenges. They are bigger than those for one country, or one university. As we have all learned in recent years, many issues, e.g., related to health and sustainability, know no borders, and we must face them together.”
Ganapathy Venugopal, Co-founder, and CEO, Axilor Ventures, added, “The complex problems that surround us require not just entrepreneurship but also innovation that is inter-disciplinary. The USC-Axilor lecture series is an attempt to bring together innovators and a diverse audience to spark conversations on topics that demand such solutions.”
The USC Viterbi Axilor Lecture Series concluded a three-day trip of meetings between the USC Viterbi delegation with high-level India business leaders, the USC Viterbi India Advisory Board, as well as USC alumni and families and prospective students. The US-based USC delegation consisting of Dean Yortsos, Vice Dean for Global Academic Initiatives, Cauligi “Raghu” Raghavendra, Senior Associate Dean for Admission & Student Engagement, Kelly Goulis, and Glenn Kazuo Osaki, Senior Advisor-International Marketing and Communications met up with Shishir Kumar Upadhyaya, Principal Advisor for USC India and Sudha Kumar, Director for USC Viterbi India who are based in India. The events were organized and coordinated by Sudha Kumar, USC Viterbi India.
Watch the lecture series here:
Published on December 13th, 2022
Last updated on December 14th, 2022