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e4r symposium 2019

Thoughtworks Engineering for Research (E4R) Symposium 2019 focuses on Science and Engineering of Complex Systems

Multidisciplinary academicians and industry leaders discussed modeling and designing of complex systems

Thoughtworks, a global software consultancy hosted the second edition of the Engineering for Research (E4R) symposium in Pune on January 19, 2019. This edition focused on the need and approaches to understand and compute complex systems. Discussions centred on how the noble missions of grand explorations and big science need engineering excellence to become a reality.


The E4R symposium hosted leading academicians, scientists, engineers and professionals from a perse range of fields like physics, biology, economics and software engineering. The event saw representation from ISRO, University of Delhi, NIAS, IIM-A, IIT Mumbai and TCS Research who are at the forefront of the complex systems space.


Here are the four key takeaways from the symposium:


  • A great opportunity for India's research and technological community to collaborate on is the exploration of financial and economic complexity; amongst the least researched areas in the field of complex systems
  • Scientists want technologists to help build the platforms and tools that can further the research of complex systems
  • We are still applying 20th-century engineering practices to solve 21st-century problems that concern engineering complex systems
  • The building of complex systems shouldn't be done in isolation. Seamless, cross-disciplinary knowledge sharing leads to better outcomes.


Gunjan Shukla, Head of Thoughtworks’ Engineering for Research Initiative said this about what E4R wants to accomplish, “We want to build a community that will work with research organizations to craft tools for scientific exploration. This exploration will go on to discover patterns, frameworks and computer science of the future.” She also had this to say on the day’s event, “The E4R symposium is a platform for multidisciplinary collaboration. This year, we chose the theme; complexity in systems - an important scientific concern that emerges from interactions of parts within a system."

On the pursuit of studying complex systems, Dr. Sanjay Jain, Head of Department of Physics and AstroPhysics, University of Delhi and keynote speaker said, “Complexity is an integral characteristic of several systems that are crucial for human survival. The biosphere, a thin film on the earth’s surface, is one such system. This film harbours several other complex systems and much of what we value: all life, ecosystems, human civilization including societies, intelligence, technology and more. Today, the integrity of these systems and the film is in question, but the tools to understand such complex systems are in their infancy. For our own survival, we need to understand complex systems, and act to preserve, enrich and go beyond this thin film.”


On the partnership with technology companies, he added, “They bring a new kind of focus and energy to the study of complex systems. Tech companies also help build platforms to catalogue and monitor changes in these systems, and transparently integrate disparate data and models.”


To know more about Thoughtworks Engineering for Research initiative, click here.