Visit to BITS-Pilani, Goa

Naveen Asrani and myself arrived in Goa at 4:00 PM 24-Feb 2006. We were looking forward to the Sun University Day scheduled on the 25th at BITS, Pilani's Goa campus. The BITS campus, a ten minute drive from the airport, is blessed with a beautiful view of the Zuari river meeting Arabian Sea. Its beauty is accentuated by the well kept lawns and newly built facilities. Some really lucky students study here. BITS, Pilani one of India's foremost institutes, has been in service for more than 77 years. The Goan campus was instituted three years back to extend its legacy.

Prof. Bharath Deshpande met me at the guest house to discuss the campus engagements and Sun India University Initiative. Soon we were joined by Harsha, Vignesh, and Roshan Sumbaly – these students are working on setting up a grid across the Pilani and the Goa campuses. I was very impressed with the fact that students are involved with creating and maintaining all of the college's IT facilities. We went on the tour of the mighty 195 acre campus. With an Auditorium with seating capacity of 2500, a library that occupies three floors, a large sports facility, and air-conditioned classrooms and labs, the campus is truly state-of-the-art. The evening ended with a spectacular view of the sunset. After having dinner at Abhiksha, Vasco, we headed straight back to campus to catch the movie of the day played at the Auditorium organised by the BITS-Pilani Goa movie club.

Naveen, Peter Kaarlson, Simon Ritter and me arrived at the venue well before the scheduled time to get ready for the session. The crowd slowly flowed in, with students from colleges all over Goa in attendance the crowd was estimated at around 800. We met the director Dr. T.C. Goel and Prof. Venkatesh Kamath (HOD, CS dept Goa Universtiy) just before the session, and talked briefly about Sun technologies to some of the faculty. Dr.T.C. Goel gave a brief keynote before Naveen talked about Sun academic initiative and the introduction of the speakers were made. Simon started off the session with a presentation of Sun and the future of technology, with included a superb demo of Sun Spot technology. The demo generated a lot of interest from the students. Peter Kaarlson followed it up with a very informative presentation on OpenSolaris and the features of Solaris 10. I made a presentation on Grid Computing that included a demo on Grid Engine. There were some interesting question s asked. Simon Ritter engaged the audience in yet another demo on J2ME and webservices. He created two applications, one mobile application, and another mobile application that interacted with a web service. All of this done using NetBeans and writing only a single line of code. Super. Simon spent quite some time answering students' questions on J2ME, RFID, and Sun Spot. Many SDN forms were signed.

The lunch was served at the guest house. We left the campus with a renewed determination to build a strong and friutful relationship with BITS-Pilani, Goa Campus.

Link to some of the pictures
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