ACM Eugene L. Lawler Award for Prof. M. Balakrishnan, April 2019

The CSE department is extremely proud that Prof. M. Balakrishnan has been awarded the 2018 ACM Eugene L. Lawler Award for Humanitarian Contributions within Computer Science and Informatics for "research, development, and deployment of cost-effective embedded-system and software solutions addressing mobility and education challenges of the visually impaired in the developing world". This award honours his work over more than a decade in founding and leading the ASSISTECH group, which develops affordable assistive devices to address the mobility and education challenges of the visually impaired in India. Many congratulations!

Watch the ACM's video about his award:

Watch the video of his acceptance speech at the ACM Awards Banquet in San Francisco on 15 June, 2019:

Prof. Balakrishnan is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering at IIT Delhi. He obtained his B.E.(Hons.) in Electronics & Electrical Engineering from BITS Pilani with I rank in 1977 and Ph.D. from EE Dept. IIT Delhi in 1985. He worked as a Scientist in CARE, IIT Delhi from 1977 to 1985 where he was involved in designing and implementing real-time DSP systems. For the last 22 years, he is involved in teaching and research in the areas of digital systems design, electronic design automation and embedded systems. He has supervised 10 Ph.D. students, more than hundred B.Tech. and M.Tech students and published nearly 100 conference and journal papers. Further, he has held visiting positions in University of Guelph (Canada), University of Syracuse (USA), University of Kiel (Germany) and University of Dortmund (Germany). At IIT Delhi he has held many administrative positions including Head (CSE department) (2002-2005), Dean(Post Graduate Studies & Research)(2006-2009) and Deputy Director (Faculty) (2009-2012). He has been on the board of several companies and active in ACM and VLSI Society of India. More recently the focus of his work has been in development of affordable assistive devices for visually impaired. He is involved in a number of projects that can enhance safe mobility as well as assist in education. SmartCane is the first product from the ASSISTECH group that has been launched as a product.

ASSISTECH is an inter-disciplinary group of faculty, research staff and students, which is engaged in using modern technology for finding affordable solutions for the visually impaired. Their focus is on mobility and education which we consider are fundamental to enable any person to live independently and with dignity. Apart from working on specific solutions based on needs identified by the users themselves, they are creating an eco-system that helps sensitize and ignite a number of young minds towards real day-to-day challenges of the differently abled.

Photos from the ACM Awards Banquet (click for full size):

Photos from the departmental get together on 29 April, 2019 to honour Prof. Balakrishnan:

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