This year, the Society of Women Engineers, Cummins College of Engineering for Women (SWE CCEW) Global Affiliate took student development and research to a whole new level with their first flagship event, The Incube Conference with the theme, “Inspiration, Innovation, and Inclusion” on October 12th, 2019 attended by 100 participants. The conference had eminent speakers from Cummins India Limited, John Deere, and student speakers from Cummins College of Engineering speaking about various research topics that they had been working on. The conference started off with a felicitation of the speakers for the day by Dr. Madhuri Khambete, Director of MKSSS’s Cummins College of Engineering, after which Ram Ottikkutti, the CTO of Cummins India gave the opening keynote speech. He touched upon the theme of the conference “Inspiration, Innovation and Inclusion” with respect to Leadership and gave us anecdotal examples from his own life. He talked about leaders that he had encountered in his own career who, with the principles of Inspiration, Innovation and Inclusion, broadened the impact that they had had on their company and people surrounding them. After the keynote session, talks were going to be held in two locations in the college simultaneously and students could attend the sessions whose topics appealed to them.
Neema Nair and Sameer Samudra gave a talk on Leading Inclusion about Women in Technology and LGBTQ+ Inclusion in traditionally cis, heterosexual male spaces. They talked about the importance of including people from marginalized groups, giving the principle argument that they were, above all else, human and should not be made to feel different on the basis of who they were. They also talked about privilege and their own journeys navigating these spaces as well as helping others navigate the corporate space as well.
Then, Shivani Kamtikar gave a talk on Computational Neuroscience, and spoke about the work that she had done as a part of a summer research internship in the University of Notre Dame. She gave the audience a preliminary introduction to Computational Neuroscience and then spoke about human relationships and computational representations of human relationships, since the research project she had worked on analyzed human relationships with various features like smoking, etc. She also talked about how the data for the project was collected, how it was represented, how the analysis was done, and how the results were verified.
Poorva Bhalerao then gave a talk on Algorithms in Astronomy, starting off with the importance of scheduling algorithms in Astronomy. She then talked about various approaches to the dynamic scheduling algorithm problem with an analysis of each approach. She touched upon a brute-force approach, a dynamic programming approach, a greedy approach and the use of Reinforcement Learning in this problem statement. She had employed a greedy approach in her project.
Musfera Javed, an employee of Cummins India Pvt. Ltd. shed light on the topic of Data Analytics. She talked about the basics that are required in the corporate world of data analysis and their importance in the industry today. She was followed by a student speaker Anagha Deogankar whose chosen topic was ‘Automatic Velocity Control’ and spoke about what role she played in the Robocon team of CCOEW in the same field. Then, we had Ritvi Mishra talk to us about the implementation of LiFi. She told us about how this new technology provides cable free communication and uses light as a carrier of signals. After this talk, we paused for lunch and resumed with the sessions in an hour.
Shalvika Patil spoke about Bias in human relationships and how to navigate other people’s bias and recognize your own. She spoke about bias as an evolutionary instinct, developed over years, and how we might be hindering ourselves if we rely or give too much importance to our biases. She illustrated these concepts through various stories that helped the audience understand about perception (both, our own and that of others) and the importance of assuming good intent.
Tripti Chanda then spoke of Soft Robotics where she spoke about the need for developing materials that further the advancement of soft robots and the importance of soft robotics various fields. She also showed us examples of robots that had been built using these ‘soft’ materials, including a robot octopus that could navigate the ocean currents and a heart that emulated the pumping of the heart and could provide support to patients. Stueti Gupta talked to us about Women in Leadership and how women are just as capable as men to be leaders, if not more. She cited various examples of women leadership in various fields and told us that there is no limit to what we can achieve if we try hard enough. Tanya Jojy spoke on the topic of Software Bots. She told us about the different applications of these bots and how they can affect us in our everyday lives. She also talked about the technology that is required and the current work going on around it. After this, Samruddhi Deode talked about Blockchain technology. She told us about how it is the base of cryptocurrency and its wide range industry application in Bitcoin as well as other fields such as real estate and health.
All in all, it was an extremely enriching experience for each and everyone who attended the SWE CCEW Conference and took back with them not only a lot of new knowledge but also a new perspective.
Enjoy this gallery of pictures from the Incube Conference.