Aurora, Infosys' “thought sharing and collaboration event that brings together the best academicians, researchers, practitioners and thought leaders,” came to the USC Viterbi School in October.
Infosys SETLab director Subu Goparaju discussed the whats and hows of innovation
Subu Goparaju, head of SETLabs, the R&D arm of the Bangalore, India-based IT giant, delivered the welcoming address at the three-day event held for a select invited audience, the first of its kind that Infosys has held outside of India.
In his opening remarks, Goparaju laid out the gathering’s vision: “Aurora is an attempt to bring together the early adopters and visionaries among practitioners and leading researchers together to co-create. To identify new emerging technologies with potential and promise to bet on, identify innovative applications for the same. And at the same time identify the engineering challenges of these new technologies and solve them.”
Viterbi CSSE director Barry Boehm keynoted
Mr. N.R. Narayana Murthy, Chairman and Chief Mentor, Infosys, set the context for the event at its start.
Mr. S.D. Shibulal, COO of the organization, started with a brief history of Infosys and went on to outline some key trends that he sees driving technology innovation.
The overall goal, said the executive in kicking off the event, was “innovation co-creation,” and in the Aurora sessions that followed, the participants attacked the problems in with panel presentations and breakouts in four areas, Digital Convergence, Software Engineering & Parallel Architectures, Knowledge Driven Information Systems & Text Analytics, and Smart Energy and Cloud Computing.
And at the event’s close, many participatns felt that the effort had been a success. “We were very happy to have as many people participating as we did,” said one Infosys participant.
The event saw participation from industry practitioners as well as from researchers and academicians with 42% from industry and 58% from research and academic institutions
Innovators gather at the USC Davidson Conference Center
The developing relationship led to Infosys choosing the Viterbi School as the site of its first research center outside of India, the Center for Research and Education in Advanced Software Technologies, (CAST), in an agreement signed in Bangalore by Yortsos and S. Kris Gopalakrishnan, and officially launched on the Viterbi campus in September 2008.
The opening night networking reception and banquet dinner was a huge hit and afforded the opportunity for attendees to network. A delightful address by Dean Yorstsos touched upon Greek islands, Indian mathematicians and flat world. The audience was entertained by “The Trojan Men, an all-male a cappella, USC student music group.
A large number of Viterbi faculty participated as panelists in the sessions, including CAST co-director Viktor Prasanna (EE and CS), Priya Vashista (CS), Nenad Medvidovic (CSSE, CS), Ramesh Govindan (CS), and Jerry Hobbs (CS/ISI).
Dean Yannis C. Yortsos was a presence throughout and gave the event's highly successful banquet dinner speech.
The Aurora gathering included a video inaugural by company chair and chief mentor N R Narayana Murthy, the 2009 recipient of the Viterbi School’s Daniel J. Epstein Engineering Management Award.
The twin keynote addresses were given by Shibulal and by Barry Boehm, director of the Viterbi School’s Center for System and Software Engineering.
Interaction, networking, and information sharing continued in dinners — and will continue into the future. Besides a second Aurora, Infosys will be furthering its virtual connect leveraging the Infosys Technology Forum for this community. “Between events, we hope to build and engage the community, to create environment of constant communication.