3rd ICMG Inauguration: Emerging Interfaces in Materials Genome

ICMGThe third chapter of the biennial International Conference on Materials Genome (ICMG) was inaugurated at SRM University-AP, India on February 22, 2024, in the august presence of Prof G P Das, Research Institute for Sustainable Energy, India, Prof Yoshiyuki Kawazoe, Tohoku University, Japan, Prof Puru Jena, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA, Prof Jer Lai Kuo, Dr R Premkumar, Registrar, SRM University AP, Prof Ranjit Thapa, Dean-Research, Dr Pranab Mandal, Associate Professor & Head of the Department, Physics, Dr Mahesh Ravva, Associate Professor, Chemistry, Dr Pradyut Kumar Sanki, Associate Professor, Electronics and Communication Engineering and 150+ dignitaries across the world.

ICMG is set up to nurture and promote research and development activities in computational materials in association with Asian Consortium on Computational Materials Science (ACCMS), Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore (JNCASR), National Chemical Laboratory, Pune (NCL), Virginia Commonwealth University, USA, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M), Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B), TCG-Crest, Kolkata.

In his inaugural speech, Dr R Premkumar delved into the vision of SRM University-AP as a new-age research-centric university. Within 7 years of inception, SRM University-AP proudly harbours 20 departments across 3 schools, providing education to 8500 students. The university aspires to bring quality education to 15000 students in the near future. The research environment of the university is no less than excellent. The university strives to contribute to society through outstanding research activities. The premier faculty pool of the university with 100% PhD and international academic and industry exposure and the zeal to do quality research makes it a chosen haven for achievers. SRM University-AP supports its faculty and students in research by providing Seed Funding, Research Grants, Financial Assistance for Publications and Patents, Conference Aids and state-of-the-art research facilities. “The university’s mission is to create a newer generation who could substantially contribute to the academia and industry. Hence, we encourage our students with equal importance to take entrepreneurship, higher studies and/or Placement support as their future endeavours”, said Dr R Premkumar.

In his keynote speech, Prof. G P Das congratulated the University for the successful arrangement of the 3rd International Conference on Materials Genome. In the year 2000, the Asian consortium was born from a tea table discussion and has come a long way since. This consortium has become 25 years old, and they have been utilizing human as well as computational resources in different countries in the Asian region. The year 2024 marks the 60th year of the two most important milestone developments in the field of materials simulation – (i) Density Functional Theory by Walter Kohn and (ii) the landmark paper by Aneesur Rahman who is considered the founding father of computer simulation and molecular dynamics. It is exciting to note how the research in this domain has evolved in the years between. “One of the most recent additions to this is the marriage between materials science and computer science. This is also termed materials informatics or materials genomics. Big data, deep neural networks, reinforcement learning etc. are becoming more and more familiar tools for materials physicists and chemists. An increasingly large number of papers are appearing in the most prestigious peer-reviewed journals on the data-centric approach to discover as well as predict novel energy materials, catalytic materials, magnetic & spintronic materials, various kinds of functional materials and more recently topological materials,” asserted Prof Das.

Prof. Das further emphasised that there are a large number of areas that are being investigated with the aid of modern technologies like AI-ML. For example, the space group of a complex geological sample can be predicted just by looking at its X-ray or Neutron diffraction data using deep neural networks which was conventionally used to be done by Rietveld analysis, but now such inverse problems can be dealt with AI-ML. Such data-centric pattern-recognition approaches and their triumphs in predicting the behaviour of hitherto unknown areas e.g. cryptography, agriculture, and even criminology open up a bright new future ahead of us. Prof. Das concluded his speech by reminding us that we are now far ahead of our conventional ways of studying. The emerging ‘interface areas’ between disciplines such as biology and physics, economics & physics, metallurgy & physics, electronics & physics, mathematics & statistics, and many other suggests an enormous leap in computational approaches with advances in experimental measurements.

The Sub-themes of the conference for this year are Quantum Mechanics/Machine Learning Approach, High-throughput Computation and Machine Learning aided discovery of Materials, on which 6 keynote speeches and 46 invited lectures will be delivered in the coming 3 days. It is indeed heartening to see the conglomeration of so many stalwarts covering broad areas in Physics, Chemistry and Materials Science.

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