CHENNAI (TIP): Two alumni of IIT-Madras based in the Silicon Valley in the United States – Anand Rajaraman and Venky Harinarayanan – have donated $ 1 million, sponsoring the Visiting Chairs in Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) in their endeavor to promote lead research on data-driven approaches and outstanding talent.

The Visiting Chair Programme was announced at 42nd international conference on Very Large Data Bases in New Delhi on Wednesday, September 7.

The Chair Professor is expected to collaborate extensively with faculty at IIT-Madras engaged in aligned fields of research, and also help the Institute build up capability in this emerging area, besides get involved in a range of activities including teaching or co-teaching of UG and graduate courses, co-advising IITM students, and assisting in recruitment of post-doctoral fellows.

In order to ensure that the Chairs are of high quality, an advisory committee has been constituted to help the CSE Department in screening and selection of the Chair Professor, IIT Madras said in a statement.

Three eminent scientists – Prof. Jeffrey Ullman at Stanford University, Prof. Randy Katz at UC-Berkeley and Prof. Hari Balakrishnan at MIT – have already indicated their willingness to serve as Chairs at the launch of the programme.

Prof Katz said “this new Visiting Chair programme will spark a great connection between the international Computer Science research community and one of the leading centers of Computer Science education and research in India. I’m looking forward to an exciting and substantive engagement in this rapidly developing center of the computer science world”. The Head of the Department of CSE at IIT Madras, Prof Krishna Sivalingam and Prof R. Nagarajan, Dean, International & Alumni Relations, welcomed the endowment.