‘Web research and cloud computing’

Hari Vasu, Yahoo India R&D and IIT MadrasHari Vasu tells Sangeeta Yadav that there is a lot on offer to the students under the collaboration between Yahoo India R&D and IIT Madras

  • What is the main agenda behind this collaboration?

Supporting the academic community is a top priority at Yahoo. And we achieve this through scientific leadership, new research, business collaborations, online products and employment opportunities. Our collaboration with IIT – Madras is an example of Yahoo’s global commitment to leveraging industry-academia relationships to deliver breakthrough technology and innovations. We have been working closely for the last three years and our collaboration has now reached a milestone in the form of the Yahoo! grid computing lab launch which aims to spur research in big data problems in areas such as search, personalisation and digital advertising.

  • What is Yahoo! Grid Computing Lab all about?

Under this partnership, IIT-Madras researchers will have access to web-scale data and conduct research in the area of distributed computing, cloud computing, machine learning and big data. The grid computing infrastructure consists of 30 high end servers and is already operational. Unlike many other Hadoop clusters donated earlier by Yahoo to IITs, which were used to do problems on top of Hadoop, this is a first of its kind experimentation cluster by Yahoo which will allow research on core systems and help discover some new paradigms in the area of large scale distributed computing.

  • How will this benefit the students of IIT?

This cluster of high-end servers at the lab will allow students and researchers to access web-scale data and conduct research on big data and cloud computing systems. The partnership will support researchers at IIT-Madras to process and analyse huge volumes of structured and unstructured data which, to date, has been limited due to significant cost barriers in getting large computing systems operational.

We will supplement this with invaluable data access and promote awareness of hard technical challenges through ‘tech talks’ by some of the best minds at Yahoo. Our hope is to catalyse and align research agenda at these premier institutes by providing a level playing field to co-invent next generation web technologies.

  • Is there any fee or eligibility required to enroll under this programme?

The lab is absolutely free and any student or researcher interested in pursuing research on Grid Computing at the IIT-Madras can access the lab.

  • What are the other projects Yahoo India has launched to facilitate cloud computing?

We previously established a Hadoop Cluster lab at the IIT Bombay campus. The lab is helping students, researchers and faculty in the domain of Web-scale data research including web search, text mining, data management and natural language processing.

With this facility, students, faculty and researchers are getting exposure to cloud computing environment and are supporting research study of advance searching and ranking techniques.

  • How does this open up a new arena of exciting opportunities for the students?

Yahoo’s collaboration with premier institutes like the IITs will provide some of the brightest minds in India and the world to access raw computing power, web-scale software technology and rich data sets. It’s a win-win situation for all of us. For the students it is now easy to play around with web scale data and get exposure to some real world scientific challenges.

For Yahoo, the research that goes in academic institutions like IIT Bombay directly benefits Yahoo who depends on such critical innovation and cannot do everything by itself.




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