The unique positioning of our department in a liberal arts environment in India engenders opportunities to apply computational thinking to the sciences and the social sciences, as well as take advantage of the cross-pollination of ideas from other disciplines to generate and define problems in CS.
We are actively doing impactful research towards disciplinary questions in CS as well as bringing CS methods into the natural and social sciences.
In particular, the department is actively engaged in digitisation and data questions in health, education and welfare; cryptography, privacy and security; data science and AI for public good; epidemiology and modelling; molecular and systems biology; quantum computing; psychology; environment; elections and politics.
The department has ambitious plans to develop exciting multidisciplinary CS+X programmes, both for research and teaching.
Prof. Sudheendra Hangal’s thoughts on CS at Ashoka
Traditionally, in India, CS has been a part of engineering schools which tend to emphasize general engineering knowledge such as mechanics, electrical systems, manufacturing processes, chemistry, etc.
At Ashoka, our general curriculum has a much broader emphasis as reflected in the foundation courses and writing requirements.
The curriculum for the CS major is similar to what is being taught in, say, the IITs; taken together with CS electives, we fully expect that our students will be ready to take on graduate studies in any of the top universities in the world, if they would like to.
Courses typically have a project component to them and enough hands-on experience is provided to the students.
CS today is no longer just a technical discipline. We believe that the education needed to thrive and lead in areas such as social networks, mobile phones, e-commerce, e-governance, cyber-warfare, etc. goes well beyond what is covered by engineering alone.
Examples like Facebook and Twitter show us the power of combining tech with insight into the human world. We’d like to enable our students to have similarly impactful ideas.