Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Internet Safari - Awareness Program

Internet Safari is an awareness project jointly conducted by the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) and the International School of Information Management (ISiM), University of Mysore. The project aims to spread awareness about the internet and its usage among the faculty and students of Government schools, particularly those wherein the penetration of the internet is least. The objective of the project is to introduce the children to the internet technology and its tools and thus enable them to harness the unlimited possibilities beyond.
The project started with compiling a courseware that could be taught to the primary school children. I was decided to develop a courseware from scratch and present it using multimedia technology replete with animations. After a lot of effort the courseware was ready and a plan to implement the project was drawn. A total of 17 students of ISiM volunteered to teach the children.
The first leg of the project was scheduled on 12-13 April 2010 at the International School of Information Management (ISiM). The students were drawn from four schools.
1. Government School, Vontikoppal, Mysore
2. SaiBaba School, Jayalakshmipuram, Mysore
3. Mathrumandali School, Near Kalidasa Road, Mysore
4. Lalitha Convent, Vontikoppal, Mysore
The classroom was decorated with plants so as to lend a lively ambience to the proceedings. The schedule for each day was divided into 3 sessions. Two theory sessions of 45 mins each were held in the morning with a break in between. The afternoon session included 3 hours of hands-on practice that included real time Internet usage.
The program began with the lighting of the lamp by 4 children, each representing a school that participated in the event. Mr. Ashish Ray gave an introduction to internet technologies and a brief insight into the curriculum of the course. Mr. Chidananda K and Ms. Bhagyalakshmi then taught the students about the basics of internet technologies like, Connecting to the Web, Browsers, Forms, Searching, Email, E-Governance & Online Communities. Each topic was elaboraly explained with powerpoint presentations. Other relate topics like ISP, Basic components required to connect to the internet, how to choose internet connection etc were also covered.
Ms. Sukrita also presented the topic of GMAIL as an example of email account. Ms. Kavitha complimented her effort with teaching the basic of internet messaging using yahoo messenger as an example. Ms. Samatha then, covered the topics of social networks specially dedicated for kids. Ms. Bhagyalakshmi covered the topics concerning video hosting on internet using Youtube as an example.
The participating students were provided with lunch on both the days. They were also given ice creams during the session breaks.
A group of 17 volunteers handled the program effectively by dividing themselves into various sub-groups to delegate the responsibilities. The ‘Training group’ was responsible for tutoring. The ‘Target group’ identified set of schools and co-ordinated with them to get the students to attend the program. The ‘Management group’ coordinated with the other teams to arrange the logistics and handle the overall supervision of the activities.
The team comprised of,
Ashish Ray
Chidananda K
Ram Prabhakaran
Sunil Kumar B A
Dun YunQuing
Wu Lijuan

On completion of the course (theory and practical sessions), an Online Quiz was organized. The quiz comprised of 50 objective type questions for a total 100 marks. Of all the students who took up the test, best 5 performers were selected for a prize.
The five winners were,
Varsha Urs C
Keerthi Kumar

Feedback forms were circulated among the participants. The filled up forms were collected from them to know their opinion about the course and the way it was handled. Prof. Shalini R. Urs, Executive Director, ISiM presented the prizes to the five winners of the quiz. She also handed over the participation certificates and the courseware (interactive multimedia disk) to each of the participant. She invited couple of participants to speak about their opinion of the event. In the end, all the participants and the coordinators of the event posed for a group photograph.  


Other pictures taken during the event

To know more about the event/project, write to office@isim.ac.in

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

NVI Awareness Program

An event Report of
4-6 PM, 27-Apr-2010, ISiM, University of Mysore

‘The New Ventures India’ is a joint initiative of the CII - Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre, Hyderabad and the World Resources Institute, Washington DC. The initiative was established and supported by USAID under the Global Development Alliance. The mission of the organization is to match scalable green business opportunities with skills, talent, technology, markets and money. The program identifies companies within its portfolio and facilitates the funding for these projects.

An awareness program was organized on 27-Apr-2010 in Mysore at ISiM with an objective to sensitize various stakeholders about green business opportunities and what NVI is doing to assist the development and growth of green businesses by facilitating fruitful interaction between entrepreneurs, mentors, business advisors and potential investors. The event was aimed at attracting emerging entrepreneurs who are currently running green business enterprise and are looking to scale up. The service providers, investors, successful entrepreneurs, policy makers were also targeted.

The program started at 4PM with Prof. Shalini R. Urs, Executive Director, ISiM  introducing the guests to the audience. Mr. Hemant Nitturkar, New Ventures India was the first person to speak. He introduced NVI as a business accelerator that supports environmentally- and socially-responsible enterprises in emerging economies. He also said that they identify small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) with high-growth potential that generate strong social and environmental benefits and provide then them with business advisory services and access to capital. Additionally, they facilitate with local and international investment communities and networks to help further develop capital resources available to these enterprises. He proudly said that NVI operates a global network of six centers of sustainable entrepreneurship in Brazil, Mexico, China, Colombia, Indonesia and India. He also spoke about the emerging opportunities in the Green Business Space.

Ms. Nandini Vaidyanathan, CARMa Ventures Services was the next speaker. She addressed the gathering on the topic of ‘Things to watch out for while growing your Business’. She started her talk by addressing the basic issues like what it takes to become an entrepreneur in the first place. She then explained with examples the various nuances that make a difference in the business plan. She advised the entrepreneurs to revisit their business model often, put in place the processes and people among other things.

The final presentation was by Mr. Indus Khaitan, The Morpheus. He spoke about ‘What do investors look for before investing in a company’. He spoke in particular about the 5 main ingredients that any investor will look for in a start-up before investing in it.

After the presentations, the panel addresses to some of the queries from the audience. After the Q&A session, the audience and the panel members left for networking over high tea. 

Event Photographs


Thursday, April 15, 2010

ISiM Workshop on SNA

A three day workshop on the social network analysis was organized at the ‘International School of Information Management (ISiM)’, University of Mysore. This document elaborates the details of the 3 day event.

About the workshop/relevance:
Social network analysis as a field of study is growing rapidly and in popularity. It is now evolving into a new paradigm across academia, business, industry, popular culture and folklore. It is both an approach and a tool to uncover and understand the hidden side of connections that drive certain phenomenon involving a network of human players. SNA is the technique of mapping and monitoring the relationships and flow of knowledge between individuals, teams, organizations, electronic devices, URLs and other interconnected entities. With the success of social networking tools like Facebook, Twitter, Myspace and Orkut with the masses, their influence on the group behavior and opinions are being increasingly felt every day. SNA is since being perceived from being a suggestive metaphor to an analytic approach to a paradigm, with its own theoretical statements, methods, social network analysis software, and researchers.

Workshop Objective:
Introduce the audience to the goals and perspectives of network analysis.
o Understanding of network data and issues related to collection, validity, visualization and mathematical/computer representation.
o Methods of detection and description of structural properties such as centrality, cohesion, subgroups, cores, roles etc.

At the end of the course, the participants will be,
o Able to examine data in 'social networks way'
o Identify and formulate network analysis problems
o Solve them using network analysis software and Interpret the obtained results.

About the Faculty:

Kevin Crowston is a Professor of Information Studies at the Syracuse University School of Information Studies since 1996. He received his A.B. (1984) in Applied Mathematics (Computer Science) from Harvard University and a Ph.D. (1991) in Information Technologies from the Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His current research interests include: empirical studies of coordination-intensive processes in human organizations; theoretical characterizations of coordination problems and alternative methods for managing them; and design and empirical evaluation of new kinds of computer systems to support people working together.

Facilities at the workshop:
Accommodation was offered to the outstation participants at a discounted rate at ‘The Fern Residency’. The delegates were handed the workshop kit that included A bag pack, Workshop presentation Material, Workshop CD (Pajek software, Presentation slides, Reference book etc), Notepad and a pen. The participants who were not carrying their own laptops were provided with individual desktops/laptops to be used during the workshop.

Workshop Schedule:
The contents of the workshop were spread over 3 days. The detailed session plan was as mentioned below.

Workshop Participants :
There were 29 participants in all for the workshop. They were drawn from all parts of the country and abroad. The classification of the participants is pictorially represented below.

Day 1 Proceedings:
The workshop started with the introduction of the participants. Each of them explained their objectives behind attending the workshop. The workshop started with running through the basics of graph theory. The distinction between the regular network analysis and the social network analysis was brought out. The participants were then informed about the various social networking relations that can exist between individuals – friendship, Liking, business transactions, information/knowledge sharing, formal relations, biological relations, associations and affiliations being few of them.

After the tea break, issues related to network analysis were taken up. Network was defined as the sum of the graph and its constituent data. The graph itself is constituted of two elements – Nodes and Links. Therefore network can be redefined as the data that resides on the nodes and that which can be interpreted by the links. More concepts were understood such as the size of the network, density of the graph, Average degree, directed network, reciprocity of the network, adjacency matrix, collecting network data and completeness of data.
After the lunch session, the participants were introduced to Pajek – Large Network Analysis tool. The ‘World Trade’ dataset was taken as an example to understand how the tool can be leveraged to understand the network and the social interactions among the nodes.

Day 2 Proceedings:
The day started with the review of previous day’s sessions. ‘Knoke’s Exchange Network’ (KnokBur) was taken as an example to understand some of the concepts of power law networks and degree distribution. After this, the issue of ‘Reachability’ was taken up for discussions. The concepts like ‘Walks’, ‘Paths’, ‘Cycles’, ‘Geodesic distance’ and ‘diameter’ were discussed as applicable to the social network analysis.
More concepts were introduced such as structural holes and Brokerage. These concepts help in identifying the centrality (nodes which are the most important in the network). It was learnt that even the central nodes can have varying degrees of centralization. Prof. Crowston explained further that based on the number of links that a node receives compared to the links that it sends, the ranking of a node can be determined. He also explained how different kinds of networks have to be analyzed differently to assign appropriate rankings to its nodes.

After the lunch break, the participants worked on various datasets/cases to implement their learnings. Some of them even tried to extract fresh network data for the purpose.

Day 3 Proceedings:
The final day’s session mainly concentrated on the concepts of ‘Position and Social Roles’. Positioning refers to identifying the nodes across networks that have similar attributes as defined by the patterns of relations. Social roles refer to the relation and identification of one node with respect to the other. For example, a ‘father’ is defined by the mandatory presence of the ‘child’ node etc.

During the lunch break, the team gathered for a group photograph. And after the lunch session, participants worked with datasets to explore more network concepts using the Pajek software. The workshop concluded with Prof. Kevin Crowston handing over the certificates to the participants.

Pictures taken during the event 

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

To know more, please write to Mr. Jayanth Jagadeesh at (jayanth@isim.ac.in / office@isim.ac.in).

PGDIM Batch 2010 (MIS course)

Back Row (L to R): Kevin, Shajia, Sanil, Ratan, Sourav & Jayanth Jagadeesh
Front Row (L to R): Gulam, Salah Saif, S. Kishore (Faculty), Kunal, Mohd. Hosein, Tabassum & Vidya Priya