May 2018 - April 2019
Shaastra is IIT Madras' four day annual technical festival. Almost entirely student run, it encompasses a number of educational events and competitions for the technically inclined, lectures on a myriad of topics ranging from neuroscience and AI to policy and art for those seeking knowledge and four evening shows that are simply superb spectacles.
Evolve is a team within Shaastra that traditionally has three departments- Spotlight which organizes lectures, Summit which generally focuses on one or two themes and puts together conference style events and related competitions and a third department that does something unique every year.
Spotlight organizes lectures- both live and virtual- starting in August and right until the end of Shaastra. Speakers are invited from across the world to deliver a lecture at IIT Madras via emails, calls and using a number of other networking strategies. Spotlight often collaborates with other organizations and conferences such as Center for Computational Brain Research and the Indian Science Congress. Over the course of the four days of Shaastra, Spotlight sees an audience of about four thousand at IIT Madras and even more online. As a Head of the Spotlight Team, I led a team of 15 to put together 13 lectures throughout the course of my tenure. The following is a list of speakers who spoke at Shaastra 2019.
Apart from these lectures, Spotlight also hosted two remote lectures by Dr. Peter Norvig and Dr. Jaap Haartsen and also organized ShaastraX. With the theme being the rapidly evolving technology of Blockchain, this TEDx style event catered exclusively to working professionals.
As a Head, my work involved building the team and equipping the members with the right set of skills, making financial choices regarding logistics (travel and accommodation for speakers, props and equipment and so forth), coordinating with external organizations such as CCBR, assigning duties to different members ( coordinators) of the team and seeing them through.
Working with Evolve 2019 was one of the most defining experiences of my undergraduate life and has not only given my invaluable skills but also helped me make indelible memories that cherish and hold very dear!