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Sasikumar, M.
Centre for Development of Advanced Computing
Mumbai, India
 
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Dr. M. Sasikumar currently serves as the Executive Director of the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Mumbai. After his graduation from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, in 1987, he joined C-DAC and had the opportunity to be part of KBCS, a knowledge-based computer system project. KBCS, funded by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), initiated significant development work in various aspects of artificial intelligence in India. His work was mainly in parallel logic programming, a topic of much interest then. He worked on this topic, with Professor R Kowalki, on a fellowship to Imperial College. He built India’s only indigenous expert system shell, called Vidwan, and supported it for many years. With his interest in expert systems, he taught in the field and eventually coauthored a book on the topic.

In a career spanning over 30 years, Sasikumar has played many different roles at C-DAC Mumbai. He was head of the artificial intelligence group (called KBCS) and later created and led the group on educational technology. As part of the KBCS group, he was involved in a number of projects, including oil tanker scheduling, pipeline pumping scheduling, discrepancy detection for import pricing, neural network modeling for predicting electricity consumption, and so on. Later on, he also worked with English-to-Hindi machine translation systems using rule-based and statistical approaches.

As part of the educational technology group, Sasikumar was chief investigator of the project to build virtual labs for schools. This resulted in 170+ school labs covering multiple subjects. These labs were a game changer during the pandemic, as schools remained practically closed for nearly two years. He is now leading a follow-up project to build 500 more labs for schools. Other significant work includes the design and building of an adaptive instruction framework (Anurup), generative question templates, an automated program grading system (Parikshak), and an assessment and monitoring framework.

Sasikumar is an active supporter of the open-source software movement. With his team, he conducted many training programs to encourage and contribute to free and open-source software (FOSS) adoption. On the academic front, seven PhD students have completed their doctorates under his guidance, on topics such as language learning, cloud security, content access for the learning disabled, assessment technologies, and so on. He serves on the Board of Studies or Advisory Board at a number of academic institutions in Mumbai. He is also an adjunct professor in the educational technology group at IIT Bombay (Mumbai).

Sasikumar has over 100 publications, including two books on expert systems and parallel computing, respectively. He is fairly active on LinkedIn, ResearchGate, and Facebook. He has designed and conducted a number of academic programs for C-DAC and IIT Bombay, and has delivered a number of invited talks at workshops and conferences in computing. He has been a regular reviewer for Computing Reviews for over a decade.

 
 
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