Lecture Series at IIT Delhi

Lecture by Venkatesh Narayanamurti

Cycles of Invention and Discovery: Rethinking the Endless Frontier

Speaker: Prof. Venkatesh Narayanamurti
Benjamin Peirce Research Professor of Technology and Public Policy at Harvard


In this talk I will reflect om the genesis of the Information and Communications revolution and through an analysis of the hard case of Nobel Prizes in Physics to show that the causal direction of scientific discovery and radical invention are often reversed. They often arose in a culture of so called “applications oriented research” in industrial laboratories and will use those examples to enumerate the key ingredients of highly successful R&D institutions. My views have been shaped by my own personal experiences in industrial research, U.S National Laboratories and research intensive universities. By exploring the daily micro-practices of research, I will show how distinctions between the search for knowledge and creative-problem solving break down when one pays attention to how path breaking research actually happens. I will highlight the importance of designing institutions which transcend the ‘basic-applied’ dichotomy and contrasting them with models of the classic but still influential report Science, The Endless Frontier. The need for new integrative institutions to address global challenges such as climate change and alternative energy sources will be discussed.

About the speaker:

Venkatesh Narayanamurti is the Benjamin Peirce Research Professor of Technology and Public Policy at Harvard. He has served on numerous advisory boards of the federal government, research universities and industry. He was formerly the John L. Armstrong Professor and Founding Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Professor of Physics and Dean of Physical Sciences at Harvard. From 2009 to 2015 he served as the Director of the Science, Technology and Public Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School. He has a Ph D in Physics from Cornell University and a Honorary DSc from Tohoku University. He is the author of more than 240 scientific papers in different areas of condensed matter and applied physics. He lectures widely on solid state, computer, and communication, and energy technologies, and on the management of science, technology and public policy. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and an elected member of the U.S National Academy of Engineering and of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. He served as the Foreign Secretary of the U.S National Academy of Engineering from 2011 to 2015.

Guest Lecture by Nobel Laureate Mr Kailash Satyarthi

Nivah, DMS IIT Delhi in association with NSS IIT Delhi


Town Hall with Nobel Laureate Mr. Kailash Satyarthi on "Youth Leadership for Change"

"Let us democratize justice, let us universalize knowledge, let us globalize compassion"-Kailash Satyarthi

About the speaker:

Mr. Satyarthi has been a tireless advocate for children's rights over three decades. He and the grassroots movement founded by him, Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Movement), have liberated more than 85,000 children worldwide from exploitation and has developed a successful model for their education and rehabilitation. In 2014, he was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for "struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education."

About the event:

The talk by Mr. Satyarthi, a former engineer, will be centered on "The Role of Youth in Making the Society a Better Place". He will make us cognizant of the harsh reality child labor and child trafficking and will enlighten us to the path of eliminating these evils. This will be followed by a Townhall Q&A which will be broadcasted live on Facebook India. The students can get their questions brought up through the attached registration form. 'Nivah'- Social Sector Initiatives, Department of Management Studies, IITD will also be inaugurated in the event.

"Town hall to be Live on facebook!"

Date: November 04 (Friday)
Time: 5 pm
Venue: Dogra Hall

Institute lecture and felicitation of Prof Naveen Garg

An Institute Lecture by Prof. Naveen Garg is being organized on Tuesday 18th October, 2016 at 5:00 PM in LH 121. This would also be the occasion to publicly felicitate Prof. Garg for his recent Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award for Outstanding Contributions to Mathematical Sciences in India.


How do we make decisions without knowledge of the future? How do you decide between paying Rs 1000 for the monthly membership to the swimming pool and paying-per-swim at Rs 100/swim? This talk will explore the area of "Online Algorithms" where the input to the algorithm is revealed one step at a time and the algorithm has to make decisions while hedging against the future. The lack of information - about the future - can often be offset by "resource augmentation", and we shall demonstrate this through examples from the world of scheduling.


Prof. Naveen Garg is a Professor of Computer Science at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. His research interests are in Theoretical Computer Science, specifically in the design and analysis of algorithms. Naveen Garg did his B.Tech. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from IIT Delhi. He was a postdoctoral researcher at the Max-Planck-Institut fur Informatik, Germany from 1994 to 1997. Since 1998 he has been a faculty member in the CSE Department at IIT Delhi. He is currently co-director of the Indo-German Max-Planck Center for Computer Science and the Amar S. Gupta Chair for Decision Science. Naveen Garg's contributions are primarily in the design and analysis of approximation algorithms for NP-hard combinatorial optimization problems arising in network design, scheduling, routing, facility location, etc. He was awarded the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel award (2002) by the Humboldt foundation, Germany, was chosen by the Max-Planck-Society to form and head a partner group on "Approximation Algorithms" at IIT Delhi (2004), and received the AICTE Career Award for Young Teachers (2004), INAE Young Engineer Award (2005), INSA Young Scientist Medal (2006), IBM Research Faculty Award (2006) and IIT Delhi Teaching Excellence Award (2012). He is a Fellow of IASc and has been selected for the SS Bhatnagar award for Mathematical Sciences (2016).