Microsoft conducted an AI Virtual Summit for the students of BML Munjal University (BMU), a Hero Group initiative on May 6 & 7, 2020. This was as per the MoU signed between BMU and Microsoft Intelligent Cloud Hub (ICH), to enrich skills and expertise in Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things & Data Science. The collaboration furthers the hands-on learning experience at BMU through workshops, internships and industry specific labs. The two days long summit was attended by approximately 200 students and the faculty members. Data Science is a diverse field with immense purpose in today’s time, and the students of BMU got the chance to hear from leading experts in the space, share their experience and derive key insights from the online sessions.

The first day’s session of the two-day virtual summit was inaugurated by Dr. Manoj K Arora, Vice Chancellor, BMU, on May 6, 2020where he spoke about how BMU is taking charge in teaching skills that are relevant for students today, and how the collaboration with Microsoft is helping them achieve that. He also shared how he has been a part of the AI community from his early days, starting from his doctoral research abroad, to collaborating and contributing in research projects and teaching Machine Learning topics like Support Vector Machines to the students of IIT Roorkee as a faculty member in the past. During the session, Dr. Maneek Kumar, Dean - School of Engineering and Technology (SoET), spoke about the importance of collaboration with industry leaders in today’s time, to enable a more holistic growth of the students. He said that such collaborations of educational institutes and industry leaders ensures growth of students and helps in making the leaders of tomorrow. 

The keynote speaker, Mr. Sandeep Alur, Director, Microsoft Technology Center (MTC), shared his perspective about key trends in technology and how AI is revolutionizing the world. Mr. Bhavesh Goswami, Founder and CEO, CloudThat, Microsoft Partner and member of the Microsoft Partner Advisory Council conducted the majority of the sessions at the summit. The entire workflow of a typical data science project, starting from data acquisition, pre-processing, model building and interpretation to deployment was demonstrated on the first day. The second day of the summit saw participants getting exposed to Microsoft Azure cloud services, wherein everyone had an opportunity to work on real-life Data Build and Machine Learning models and interpret results using Microsoft’s Azure ML Studio. The event concluded with an enriching discussion on cognitive services related to computer vision.

Speaking on the success of the virtual summit, Dr. Maneek Kumar, Dean, School of Engineering and Technology (SoET) said“It is a unique opportunity for the students of BMU to interact with industry leaders, that too from an industry giant like Microsoft, and understand the application of their course material. The collaboration of educational institutes and industry leaders ensures growth of students and helps in making the leaders of tomorrow. Such collaborations are here to stay. I thank the Microsoft Intelligent Cloud Hub team for their contributions.”

Mr. Sandeep Alur, Director, Microsoft Technology Center (MTC) said, “BMU has some extremely bright students, who are very keen to learn the new age skills. The collaboration is mutually beneficial, as not only does the younger generation get hands-on experience, we ourselves are able to prepare students for a better future and fulfill our mission of empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”

BMU lately has undertaken many initiatives to make sure that the curriculum is updated as per the latest requirements of the industry. Courses related to Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Mining are being taught as a part of the B. Tech CSE programme. Recently, the Microsoft Intelligent Cloud Hub (ICH) programme has been incorporated in the curriculum. BMU has collaborated with many industry partners like Sabudh Foundation, Ativitti AI Technologies Pvt. Ltd and these industry partners are working jointly with the faculties, delivering lectures and conducting projects in the related domain of AI and Machine Learning. As part of the revised and updated curriculum, a specialization on Data Science and Artificial Intelligence has been introduced. A certification course on Applied Data Science has also been planned to be offered to the outgoing students of B. Tech CSE/CSC during this lockdown time. The third-year students’ are also being offered courses related to Data Science, Big Data Analytics etc. in the coming semester.