4th Paradigm of Science

Pune, Saturday, 24 March 2018 | 8.00am - 5.30pm

This year, Thoughtworks’ Engineering for Research organized the first Computational Science and Engineering Symposium. The forum hosted scientists and researchers from across scientific disciplines, alongside engineers and technologists to discuss and design solutions for computation challenges. We see this as the beginning of a computational-science community building exercise in Indian context.

The Symposium delved into the three important trends that are disrupting the field of computational science: Data Deluge, Artificial Intelligence, and Complex Modeling and Simulation.


8.00 AM - 9.00 AMRegistration and Breakfast
9.00 AM - 9.30 AMWelcome Note, E4R Vision and TWI CommitmentSameer Soman, Managing Director, Thoughtworks India; Harshal Hayatnagarkar, Computer Scientist, Thoughtworks India
9.30 AM - 9.45 AMOpening KeynoteDr. Raghunath Mashelkar, Padma Vibhushan, National Research Professor and Chairman of National Innovation Foundation
9.45 AM - 10.30 AMComputational Astronomy & Astrophysics: Challenges and OpportunitiesDr. Yashwant Gupta, Centre Director, National Centre for Radio Astrophysics - Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Pune
10.30 AM - 10.45 AMTea Break
10.45 AM - 11.30 AMData-driven scientific discovery (4th Paradigm of Science)Dr. Vidyadhar Mudkavi, Director, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research - The CSIR Fourth Paradigm Institute, Bengaluru
11.35 AM - 12.20 PMLarge-volume and Long-term Data ManagementDr. Aparna N, Group Head, Data Centre, National Remote Sensing Centre, Hyderabad
12.20 PM - 1.15 PMLunch Break
1.15 PM - 2.00 PMA small boy and a hammer: Case studies in data-intensive scienceDr. Mihir Arjunwadkar, Director, Centre for Modeling and Simulation, Savitribai Phule Pune University
2.05 PM - 2.50 PMTrends in Data Storage & AnalyticsDr. Milind Bhandarkar, Founder CEO of Ampool Inc.
2.50 PM - 3.05 PMTea Break
3.05 PM - 4.05 PMBreakout sessions2 tracks: Data Engineering (Dr. Neeraj Gupta - Associate Professor, Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics and Dr. Milind Bhandarkar), Data Science + Artifical InteIligence (Dr. Abhijit Kulkarni - Lead Scientist, Principal Financial Group and Devangana Khokhar - Senior Data Scientist, Thoughtworks)
4.05 PM - 4.35 PMVote of ThanksUnmesh Joshi, Head of Technology, Thoughtworks India
4.35 PM - 5.30 PMOpen ForumQ & A and Networking


Dr. Raghunath A Mashelkar

Dr. Raghunath A Mashelkar

PadmaVibhushan, National Research Professor, and Chairman of National Innovation Foundation

A chemical engineer from UDCT (now Institute of Chemical Technology), Mumbai, Dr. Mashelkar was also the President of Indian National Science Academy and the President of Institution of Chemical Engineers, UK.

In 1998, he received the J.R.D. Tata Corporate Leadership Award, and elected Fellow of Royal Society. Dr. Mashelkar is on the boards of India’s leading companies, from Tatas to Reliance. 38 global universities have bestowed honorary doctorates upon him, which includes Universities of London, Salford, Pretoria, Wisconsin and Delhi.

As its leader, Dr. Mashelkar transformed CSIR, the world’s largest chain of laboratories, heralded as one of the top ten achievements of Indian Science & Technology in the 20th century. He is the President of Global Research Alliance which has over 60,000 memberships across the world.

He was awarded Padma Vibhushan in 2014, Padma Bhushan in 2005 and Star of Asia Award in 2005.

Dr. Yashwant Gupta

Dr. Yashwant Gupta

Centre Director, National Centre for Radio Astrophysics - Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Pune

Dr. Gupta obtained his M.S. and Ph.D. in Radio Astronomy from the University of California, San Diego in 1990, after completing his Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from IIT-Kanpur in 1985.

Since 1991, he has been working at the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA-TIFR, Pune) of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, where he currently holds the position of Senior Professor. In March 2005, he was appointed to the position of Chief Scientist at the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) -- a world-class instrument built and operated by NCRA-TIFR and located about 80 km from Pune. Since 2010, he holds the position of Dean, GMRT Observatory. 

His research areas are Pulsar searches, timing studies, and emission mechanisms, the Interstellar Medium and Radio Astronomy Instrumentation.

Dr. Vidyadhar Mudkavi

Dr. Vidyadhar Mudkavi

Director, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research – The CSIR Fourth Paradigm Institute, Bengaluru

Outstanding scientist and Head of The CSIR Fourth Paradigm Institute, Bengaluru has a varied experience in the Aerospace domain with National Aerospace Laboratories. During his tenure at NAL, he worked on Aircraft Vortex problem, helicopter wakes vortex breakdown and mesoscale modeling and monsoon related predictions. He was instrumental in setting up 360 Teraflops High Performance Computing System for CSIR- India’s latest supercomputer at the time of commissioning.

In a nutshell, his contributions can be summed up in the 4 areas: Modeling and Simulation, Atmospheric Flows, Flight Related Activities and High Performance Computing Initiatives.

His Contributions to High Performance Computing (HPC) are many. While he has been instrumental in connecting NAL Belur Campus to C-MMACS campus through fiber for first time in 1996, he was also responsible and extensively involved in the implementation of CSIR facility that has resulted in installation of 360 Teraflops (Peak) system, then fastest in the country. He had played a major role in defining the Petascale system for CSIR.

Dr. N. Aparna

Dr. (Mrs) N. Aparna

Group Head, NRSC Data Centre (Scientist Engineer “SG”), National Remote Sensing Centre - Hyderabad

Dr. Aparna joined NRSC in 1992 and has 26 years of experience in the field Remote Sensing. Currently she is in charge of Data dissemination activities along with satellite planning of National and international requirements for all Indian Remote Sensing Satellites.

She is also in charge of handling 32 International Ground Stations. Her key role is formalizing the new requirements for RS satellites and operations of launched satellites.

Apart from regular operational responsibilities, she is faculty and Board Member for Osmania and JNTU Universities.

She has 40 papers and reports published in National and International journals, and is ISRO Award 2013 recipient for her contributions towards Disaster Management.

Dr. Mihir Arjunwadkar

Dr. Mihir Arjunwadkar

Associate Professor, Centre for Modeling and Simulation, Savitribai Phule Pune University

Dr. Mihir has been part of teams which created non-traditional academic programs in modeling and simulation and taught courses on probability theory, statistical inference, advanced data analysis methods, stochastic simulation/ Monte Carlo methods, R statistical computing environment, numerical computing, optimization etc.

Dr. Mihir's approach and outlook is imminently inter/multi-disciplinary, problem-centric and not black-box-ish (i.e. understanding data before analysis and translating conclusions back to the domain are considered essential). His broad research focus is on the development of statistical and computational methodologies for data-intensive science, with focus on astrostatistics. He has also dabbled into genomic sequence analysis. 

Dr. Neeraj Gupta

Dr. Neeraj Gupta

Associate Professor at Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics

Dr. Gupta's research focuses on interstellar medium of galaxies. He is involved in various observational projects with current and upcoming radio telescopes to trace the evolution of cold atomic and molecular gas content of galaxies using absorption lines. He is co-PI of the MeerKAT Absorption Line Survey (MALS) and India-TMT Telescope Control System Lead. He is interested in observational techniques relevant to large blind searches of absorption lines at radio wavelengths. 

Here is the SAO/NASA ADS link to his publications.

Dr. Abhijit Kulkarni

Dr. Abhijit Kulkarni

Lead Scientist, Principal Financial Group

Dr. Abhijit did his PhD in Process Engineering in 2008 from Savitribai Phule Pune University. As a part of his thesis, he solved a fault detection and diagnosis problem in manufacturing processes using various machine learning techniques. Thereafter he has extensively applied machine learning to solve problems such as fraud detection (in automotive, healthcare, and home appliances industries), recommendation systems, revenue forecasting, and optimization in various engagements with organizations such as National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd. (NTPC), Tata Research Development and Design Centre (TRDDC), and SAS Research & Development.

Recently, he joined Principal Financial Services in Pune to help define analytics strategy to solve few interesting problems in the finance domain. He is interested in machine learning, artificial intelligence, complex systems, and bioinformatics.

Dr. Milind Bhandarkar

Dr. Milind Bhandarkar

Founder, CEO@ Ampool

Dr. Milind was the founding member of the team at Yahoo! that took Apache Hadoop from 20-node prototype to datacenter-scale production system, and has been contributing and working with Hadoop since version 0.1.0. He started the Yahoo! Grid solutions team focused on training, consulting, and supporting hundreds of new migrants to Hadoop. Parallel programming languages and paradigms has been his area of focus for over 20 years.

He has worked at the Center for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), Center for Simulation of Advanced Rockets, Siebel Systems, Pathscale Inc. (acquired by QLogic), Yahoo! and Linkedin, & Greenplum, a Division of EMC.

Most recently, Dr. Bhandarkar was the Chief Scientist at Pivotal, a spinoff from EMC and VMware.

Sameer Soman

Sameer Soman

Managing Director, Thoughtworks India

Sameer has over 2 decades of experience and his time at Thoughtworks has seen him play key roles in crafting the company’s innovative approach that delivers custom software solutions to global enterprises. In his current role as Managing Director for Thoughtworks India, he collaborates with Thoughtworks’ different business groups to develop advanced models of business transformation for clients.

Sameer’s strong experience in both, engineering and management, ensures his proficient managerial skills comes into strong play whether it’s Technology Management, Talent Management, Program/Project Management, Product Delivery or Operations Management.

Unmesh Joshi

Unmesh Joshi

Head of Technology, Thoughtworks India

Unmesh has worked on designing and architecting solutions for wide variety of business applications and enterprise clients. He has experience working with technologies ranging from C++, Java, Ruby to node.js and has successfully applied Agile practices like Evolutionary architecture, Continuous Delivery and TDD in projects using these technologies.

Harshal Hayatnagarkar

Harshal Hayatnagarkar

Lead Computer Scientist, Engineering for Research, Thoughtworks India

Harshal has around fifteen years of experience in industrial and academic research and development. He has worked on various problems such as modeling and simulation of human behaviour, simulation of disaster response, and development of model-driven control systems for large scientific apparatus. His skills include systems thinking, modeling & simulation, domain-specific languages & compiler construction, software engineering, data visualization, knowledge representation, control systems, and distributed computing. 

He believes in holistically approaching a problem, and pursues to connect various silos. In the past, he worked with TCS Research, Verizon Data Services, and Virginia Biocomplexity Institute. He is interested in modellng and simulation of large-scale social dynamics, complex systems, and modern evolutionary synthesis.

Devangana Khokhar

Devangana Khokhar

Senior Data Scientist, Thoughtworks India

Devangana Khokhar serves Thoughtworks with about 4.5 years of experience specializing in building data-driven systems and defining data strategy for various clients. She has worked across multiple domains including media, marketing, retail and social networks.

She has been instrumental in leading and growing Data Practice for Thoughtworks India. With a research background in Theoretical Computer Science, Machine Learning, Information Retrieval and Social Network Analysis, she has authored Gephi Cookbook with Packt Publishing, UK. She's deeply passionate about social, development and humanitarian sectors and the role that data plays in these sectors.

Her current interests include data privacy and security, role of data in humanitarian sector, ethics and responsibilities around data, reinforcement learning and data-driven intelligence in low-resource settings.

Thoughtworks Engineering for Research

Thoughtworks Engineering for Research (E4R) Practice is our initiative to advance research in the fields of radio and optical astronomy, genomics, molecular dynamics and urban sciences. The practice is committed to the 14th Engineering Grand Challenge, for computational problems.

Our approach is built upon over 25 years of hands-on experience, paired with our deep technical expertise in the areas that are core to every enterprise’s technology strategy.

The intention is to build a community, working exclusively with research organizations for building tools for scientific exploration, that will enable us to discovery patterns, frameworks and computer-science of the third horizon.


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