Next Tech Lab: Redefining cross-disciplinary research in India
First Student run Lab of SRM University
Imagine a place where people work on building futuristic prototypes using bleeding edge technology and quickly moving on to cooler tech, avoiding time-sinks to focus on innovative ideas. In the last few weeks, members of the Next Tech Lab have worked on projects spanning Deep Learning (Machine Learning / Artificial Intelligence), Human-Computer Interaction, Computational Biology, Electrical Systems, Cryptocurrency and Internet of Things.
Founded in February of 2016 by Anshuman Pandey and Aditthya Ramakrishnan, the concept came to them while they were on a semester abroad at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on scholarship awarded by SRM University and the US Consulate General Chennai. While working at the MIT Media lab, they were intrigued by the unique anti-disciplinary research culture that peeks years into the future. While the Next Tech Lab doesn’t just ape the Media Lab framework like in Richard Feynman’s anecdotes about “Cargo-Cult Science”, its policies are built to foster innovation. The lab follows no-hierarchical structure and has a 1:1 gender ratio. Diversity is appreciated at the lab and people working at Next Tech Lab are from all corners of the country. They also believe in diversity in academics and thus have students from 8 different fields of engineering.
With advisors from MIT, University of Pittsburgh, IBM to name a few, the lab often has video conferences on the latest technology. The lab located in UB-706 at SRM University is fully automated with their own lock (FREA-K) along with biometric sensors. They are also in the process of assembling a state-of-the-art rig to train their deep neural nets and render complex graphics for their AR/VR projects. The lab members have also demonstrated their projects to world renowned professors. Recently, Prof. Rohan Abeyaratne from MIT, the professor was incredibly impressed with the lab's output and commended the founders of the lab on bringing back the culture of MIT to their home university. He even stated that the enthusiasm and the level of work being done reminded him of his institution. The lab is directly managed by the Director Engg. & Tech. of SRM University and is completely student run. The lab works 24x7 and 365 days of the year. They are currently working on 32 different projects and they need your support to keep the lab running and their legacy alive. After every project they complete, they keep asking themselves “What’s next?” even they don't know what will be the ‘next technology’ they will be working and developing projects on…
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