Since its inception, SRM University-AP, Andhra Pradesh, has retained its exalted heights of excellence and brilliance. Avid students over the years have brought laurels to the organisation with impressive research work, outstanding academic performance or Guinness World Record for spectacular artistry. Bismark Razak Haruna, a B. Tech Final Year Student at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, is deemed to be bestowed on the highly prestigious Erasmus Mundus scholarship. The globally acclaimed European Union-funded scholarship will help Bismark pursue the joint master’s degree programme in Decentralised Smart Energy Systems (DENSYS) in renowned universities of Europe.

Bismark sets an example by being the first Ghanaian to get into the DENSYS program. He expressed that as part of the mobility scheme of the programme, he would pursue the first year at the University of Lorraine, Nancy, France, and continue the final year at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain. The Erasmus Mundus Scholarship help students enrol into the world’s best universities for masters and doctoral programmes with substantial benefits. Bismark shared his thoughts, “I welcome the opportunity to play an important role in increased electrification in Sub-Saharan Africa through the integration of renewable energy sources for a low carbon society”.

Approximately 392 aspirants applied for the DENSYS program globally, and out of 23 students from 17 countries, Bismark secured his place. Erasmus Mundus Scholarship Programme covers the expenditure involving the tuition fee, insurance, participation in activities such as the lab courses, excursion, research projects, financial support for housing, feeding, transportation and installation fee as well.

While speaking of his success, Bismark expressed his gratitude towards the SRM University-AP for consistently providing him with golden opportunities and resources. “From conceptualising undergraduate research project to studying abroad at UC Berkeley, the University has been a constant support. A special thanks to my motivators and mentors- Dr Prakash Jadav, Dr Satya Pramod Jammy, Dr Sarfaraz Hussain Halkarni, Dr Ram Kuresh Thakur, Dr Srabani Basu, Ms Revathi Balakrishnan for grooming and guiding me throughout the journey. I convey my sincere thanks to my buddies as well for helping me out with the scholarship application”, Bismark added while being ready for exploring the next chapter of his life in the European Union.

Pavan Krishna and S Fahad Kamraan, guided by Dr Priyanka, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, SRM University-AP, Andhra Pradesh, successfully published a research paper titled “Stock market prediction using sentimental analysis” in the Scopus indexed “International Journal of Advanced Research Engineering and Technology (IJARET)” on March 2021. Being the students of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, both researchers have apt knowledge on the sentimental analysis commonly known as opinion mining or emotion AI led to the successful execution of the research project.

Sentimental analysis is used to help find patterns in textual data, to understand people’s emotions and sentiments in a much deeper and holistic way. It is used to find the polarity of the information and to classify it under different emotion/ sentiment radar all the way from sad to happy or too excited.

The key title takes a dig into a study involving a new method of predicting stocks by performing sentimental analysis on the financial data. A sentiment is analysed on the subjectivity and polarity index by classifying it into positive and negative news. Here, to predict the real-time stock price, sentiment analysis measures the polarity or subjectivity score, respectively.

“While pursuing my minor in Business Management, I gained Financial Literacy and eventually found an interest in the Stock Market & its behaviour. At the same time, we noticed how social media plays a crucial role in deciding stock prices. Fahad and I were so intrigued that we decided to take up a Project on Predicting Stock Market Prices based on Sentimental Analysis of statement – News & Tweets”, informed Pavan.

Fahad further acknowledged that the project was a big step for undergraduate students, and it could not have been possible without the guidance and motivation of Dr Priyanka, their mentor. “Dr Priyanka was the constant support and path-bearer for us as she showed immense faith until the goal is achieved”, said Fahad.

The duo was excited after receiving high praises and acclaims for their research project. They look forward to coming up with more research ideas that can benefit society.

Won prestigious i-Hack Alpha with a cash prize of $2300

Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering rejoices in the exhilarating success of Harsha and Mahesh, the winners at iHack Alpha Hackathon. iHack Alpha was an AI-Hackathon, where developers from all backgrounds were invited to solve real-world problems with innovative AI solutions powered by sentient.io AI and Data platform. Unlike the usual hackathons, it was conducted over three weeks, starting from December 2, 2020, and finished on December 27, 2020, and participants were supposed to present a full-fledged application. Four themes were given to participants to work on in the hackathon- 1) Use of AI in retail 2) Use of AI in Customer service 3) Use of AI in media 4) Use of AI in Accessibility.

Harsha and Mahesh chose to work on the use of AI in the Accessibility theme, where they were asked to build an AI – solution using the sentient.io services. The whole hackathon was divided into three phases 1.) Ideation Phase 2) Build Phase 3) Finals.
Around 1083 teams participated across countries such as India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Singapore.

Harsha and Mahesh found their inspiration in the story of Helen Keller and decided to build an app with ease of accessibility for the blind and deaf persons. As Annie Sullivan used to help Helen in her communication, Harsha and Mahesh thought, why can’t they create an app which can be installed on the mobile phone and will do the same! The duo turned this crazy idea into reality by developing Artificial Voice- a communication app for the blind and deaf. Artificial Voice is a bidirectional communication app for the deaf and blind to send and receive messages with the help of AI-based technology such as Automatic Speech recognition, Text to speech converter, Audio format converter.

The whole Hackathon was broadcasted online. Harsha and Mahesh’s presentation on Artificial Voice received high praise and acclaims from the judges, and the Team SRMAP(aka Team Square) secured first place in the prestigious i-Hack Alpha hackathon with a grand cash prize of $2300. Harsha is currently pursuing his 3rd year B. Tech Studies whereas Mahesh is in the 2nd year of his undergraduate studies at the Department of Electronics and Communications Engineering. “This success at i-Hack Alpha hackathon has boosted our confidence. We are working on better versions of the app and some other projects that can contribute to society,” said Harsha.

Khushboo Sharma is one of the brightest gems in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. She is currently pursuing her third year in undergraduate studies. She has recently bagged an envious summer internship offer at one of the most reputed companies- Adobe India, a multinational software company. Through their women-only hiring challenge “SheCodes”, Khushboo not only bagged an internship offer but she may also have an opportunity of a Pre Placement Offer, upon successful review after this internship with attractive pay package. She will be joining Adobe India in May 2021 for the internship of 10-12 weeks with a stipend of 1 lakh rupees per month.

Mr Vivekanandan, Assistant General Manager, Department of Corporate Relations and Career Services (CR&CS), says “It is a proud moment for the university. SRM University-AP is full of bright students with huge potential. It is our sincere responsibility to bring out the best in them and help them find the right place in the industry.” Khusboo asserted that the training process in the Department of CR&CS was rigorous. Be it attitude development or interview preparations, the CR&CS department has extended continuous guidance and support along with mock sessions. Mr Vivekanandan further informed that the training programmes of SRM University-AP are designed by the experts to make students prepare for every challenge that they might face in a competitive world. They even organise some training sessions that are company-specific. Needless to say, that the placement department is not ready to leave any stone unturned when it comes to the future of its students. The placement team thoroughly guided Khushboo in the four-month-long hiring process in Adobe.

Khushboo expressed her gratitude, saying that it would not have been possible for her to crack this challenge without the continuous guidance and support provided by her teachers and the placement team. The modernised industry-oriented curriculum helped her gain the necessary in-depth knowledge to excel in her studies. Khushboo is also a part of tech-based clubs of SRM university-AP and always strives to think something out of the box. Her zeal towards scaling new heights and perseverance her made her achieve this offer.

Monochromatic painting of Mahatma Gandhi won hearts and the first prize at the inter-department competition.

Painting of GandhiThe Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering is very proud of its student Ms Vyshnavi Tanikonda for securing the first prize in the Independence Day Painting Competition. Ms Vyshnavi painted a beautiful monochromatic painting of Mahatma Gandhi, the ‘Father of the Nation’ who fought for the independence and sovereignty of the country till his last breath. Ms Vyshnavi, a 2nd-year student, successfully captured the true essence of the great patriot in her painting which brought her the top prize in the inter-departmental competition. The Department of ECE heartily congratulates its daughter for bringing this honour to the department.

During the unprecedented crisis, when the world is slowly falling into despair, the talented students of SRM University- AP are using the time for brainstorming and innovation. Attesting the signs of a true researcher, P. Mohan Aditya, a 2nd – year Mechanical Engineering student, represents the future generation well by developing a highly useful face shield that costs less than a plate of snacks.

Aditya with his ‘Face Shield 2.0’Mr Aditya has named it “Face Shield 2.0”. The face shield is very lightweight, easy to wear, comfortable yet durable. It protects a person’s entire face from hazards with a thin layer of transparent plastic film that serves as an outer defence. It is a protective equipment to guard the face against exposure to the potentially infectious materials. This face shield is biodegradable as the headband is made of cardboard(paper) which is 100% degradable material and the plastic can be reused. The Face Shield comes only at a price of INR 15.

The Face Shield 2.0 was manufactured using the CNC (Computer Numerical Controlled) machine through which Aditya designed a headband, and the shape of the transparent plastic film was created using CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software. “I gave this CAD model as an input to the CNC machine. Now the CNC machine software analysed the CAD model and started to cut the cardboard and transparent sheet according to the drawing provided as an input. Thus, I managed to bring down the production time for manufacturing and assembling the Face shield in less than 2minutes,” explained Aditya. A 3 Ply Corrugated Cardboard Sheet had been used in making the headband so that the headband becomes durable, comfortable and lightweight. The Bursting Strength of the Cardboard sheet is 16kg/sq.cm. A thick 175-micron transparent plastic sheet has been placed over the headband to protect the person against the virus. This also forms a barrier that keeps people from easily touching their faces. The transparent film also helps in allowing the visibility of facial expressions and lip movements for speech perception.

CNC Machine

The other innovative features of the face shield are – a cushioning type of structure has been attached to the headband so that the person wearing it for a long time does not get strained. This structure helps the person to wear the face shield comfortably. By providing the elastic band to this face shield, any person with different head circumferences can wear it easily.

Wearing this ‘Face Shield 2.0’ will help the police, medical personnel, municipal workers, people working in sanitizing department, people working in the essential goods sector by not getting infected by the virus. It can also be used by virus-infected patients so that the chance of spreading the virus to a healthy person can be decreased. Moreover, several lakhs of students of schools, colleges and universities could use the Face Shield 2.0 when they come back to the educational institutions after the lockdown is lifted.

Machine processing a cardboard Mohan Aditya always wanted to make a difference. So, when he read in many articles and newspapers that there is a huge shortage of the PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) in the world, the idea of making a face shield crossed his mind. “I thought to make a face shield which is 100% biodegradable, low in cost and also gives protection to the facial area and associated mucous membranes (Eyes, Nose, Mouth) which are the possible entries for a virus to infect people,” said Aditya.

Mohan Aditya wants to be a successful engineer in life. He is very passionate about making useful gadgets. His previous endeavour with his team successfully ended up in making an Electric bicycle by using a 24V 250Watt DC motor powered a 12V and 12Ah battery. At present, they are working on the retrofit of an old IC Bike into brand new Electric Bike. Our young engineer P. Mohan Aditya truly one of those people whom the future world can rely upon.

The unstoppable team of Next-Tech Lab of SRM University- AP, has again brought laurels to the University by winning three hackathons in a row. During this lockdown while some devoted their time to newfound hobbies, our young researchers successfully developed a fresh multiplayer virtual reality game – ‘Whack A Mole’ and a cloud-based multiplayer FPS in Virtual Reality- ‘Desert Shooter’. The three-member team has successfully bagged the second prize in the International / Professional Award at SKYHacks2020; Best echoAR Hack at Silicon Valley Hacks; and Best AR/VR hack at HackNow, organized by Cal Hacks, a non-profit organization at the University of Berkeley, California.

Karthik, Koushik & Khushboo (Clockwise)

When asked how the idea of making such a game crossed their minds, Epperla Karthik, a 2nd Year student of Computer science and Engineering and a member of the team, said, “My family loves attending Tradeshows, every time we attend one my dad and I challenge each other to win a game of Whack A Mole. But, due to strict quarantine that my family is following, it’s been a while now for such challenges. My teammates and I, being gaming and virtual reality enthusiasts, decided to develop a VR version of ‘Whack A Mole.’”

‘Whack A Mole’ is a multiplayer virtual reality game that allows users to play against the computer or their families or both! One can use it on iOS or Android. It is built on Unity3D, on top of Photon PUN and GoogleVR SDK. It is also integrated with Google Firebase. “This was the very first time we were working on the development of virtual reality games and networking. As we had to run the game on our phone to record the gameplay, the output video on YouTube is a bit blurry,” explained Khushboo Sharma, another member of the team and a 2nd-year student of Computer Science and Engineering. “We completed the development of the game in only 20hrs, starting from scratch. We developed a few of our own UI elements and game assets. I feel the User-Interface of the app and the effects are pretty cool. VR development is real FUN! Moreover, there are a lot of API and SDK that unity supports,” exclaimed Koushik Bhargav, a 3rd-Year student of Computer Science and Engineering and the third member of the team.

‘Desert Shooter’ is another multiplayer virtual reality game developed by the team that allows users to play against the computer or their families or both. You can connect with your friends and play together. The game consists of a swarm of robot ships moving towards you and you have to protect yourself from them. “The interesting part is that all of this happens in Mixed Reality which makes the game immersive. We built it on Unity3D, on top of Photon PUN and GoogleVR SDK, Echoar. It is also integrated with Google Firebase and the assets are stored in echoar cloud. This project won the best AR/VR hack at “Hack: Now” which is organized by the University of California Berkeley,” said Epperla Karthik.

The team has plans to make this game to be a cross-platform game. Therefore, their next plan of action is to make the web version of it. The team is also planning to release it to production so that users can have an immersive experience of modern gaming techniques.

It is again proved that pure talent can never be put in quarantine. It will always find a way to express itself to the world. Our young developers have brilliantly used the ample time and opportunity to put their brains in best use and to bring recognitions from nationally and globally acclaimed competitions.

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