4 Indian tech institutes to start cognitive computing courses fuelled by IBM Watson

New Delhi, October 15 2014: IBM  is to bring the cognitive  computing muscle of its Watson computer to   four leading Indian technology teaching institutions --the  Indian Institute of Technology - Kharagpur, Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay, the Indian Statistical Institute – Kolkata and Birla Institute of Technology and Science - Pilani.
It will help the institutes to  introduce a Cognitive Computing course to empower India's university students to build applications infused with Watson's intelligence.
 In January 2014, IBM made a billion dollar investment to usher in a new era of cognitive computing. Over the past nine months, IBM has made some breakthrough discoveries and met significant milestones with new partners and clients across the world. Watson is a ground-breaking platform that represents a new era of computing based on its ability to interact in natural language, process vast amounts of disparate forms of big data and learn from each interaction.
This first-of-its-kind in India, Cognitive Computing course will help students gain technical knowledge and hands-on expertise in fields such as natural language processing, machine learning and content lifecycle management that is required to develop new cognitive computing applications.Co-designed by the Watson Group and leading academic experts in fields such as Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science, students who take the course will begin by learning through presentations and, discussions about Watson, studying its underlying technologies before switching to hands-on engagement with Watson.
Enrolled students will form a business team and together they will have access to their Watson instance via the Watson Developer Cloud. As a classroom, they will select an industry to focus on, such as retail, travel or healthcare, and work as a team to ingest relevant data into Watson and then train it. Ultimately, the students will break into sub-teams and develop prototype apps and a business plan based on their Watson industry of choice.
Says Prof. Pabitra Mitra, Associate Professor for Computer Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur:“In collaboration with IBM, our goal is to secure a future for a wide range of students including those studying computer science, mathematics, communications and marketing.”
Adds Prof. Pushpak Bhattacharyya, Computer Science and Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay:  "To embrace this growing opportunity, companies today must hire a workforce with a broad range of Cognitive Computing, Big Data and Analytics expertise."
And Dr. Debapriyo Majumdar, Assistant Professor, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata says, “It’s crucial that today’s learning is aligned with the industry and our institute is producing graduates who have knowledge and skills that are in demand both locally and globally."
"Watson is at the forefront of a new era of computing, fueling a new market and ecosystem of clients, partners, developers, venture capitalists, universities and students. IBM India’s partnership with the three universities represents another milestone in IBM's global advancement of Watson”, said Vani Singh, India Leader, IBM Watson Group. “We aim to help participating universities succeed in their vision to turn today’s students into tomorrow’s cognitive computing leaders”

 The IBM Watson Group will provide a range of resources and support, including:Support from IBM experts, including world-class developers and researchers, on course development, materials and implementation; guest lectures from senior IBM executives and thought leaders;  IBM Watson technical mentors who will provide guidance throughout the semester, as students work with Watson and build prototypes of cognitive computing apps and access to IBM Watson through the Watson Developer Cloud.
These Indian universities join a community of more than 30,000 unique partnerships between IBM and higher education professionals to help advance curriculum in additional areas including Big Data and Analytics, Cloud Computing, Security and Social Business.