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Vidya Academy of Science & Technology

A unit of Vidya International Charitable Trust

Vidya Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Research




V-CAIR (Vidya Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Research) has been formed to promote the Vidya Zonal Lead Partership with which is a nation-wide initiative on AI Skilling and Research with an object of Transforming India Next revolution in providing AI man power to the world.

Progress through research and education in Artificial Intelligence and thereby transforming the nation.

To promote research and innovation in Artificial Intelligence and to foster collaboration with Academia, Industries & Start-ups.
To develop the skills of next generation in Artificial Intelligence for the betterment of society.



  1. Er. G Mohanachandran - Executive Director, VICT
  2. Mr. Suresh Lal - Finance Director, VICT
  3. Mr. Gireesh Kumar - Secretary, VICT


Advisors and Reviewers

  1. Dr. Agnisarman - Dean-PG Studies
  2. Dr. Sudha Balagopalan - Prof. & Dean-Academics
  3. Dr T N Padmanabhan Nambiar - Sr Professor (PG)


Research Group

  1. Dr. Saji C B - Principal, VAST
  2. Dr. Ramani Bai V - Head of V-CAIR
  3. Mr. Ravisankar S - Member V-CAIR
  4. Mr. Suraj Rajappan - Member V-CAIR
  5. Mr.Sreekanth R Shekar - Member V-CAIR
  6. Mr. Nakulraj K R - Member V-CAIR


Faculty club

  1. Ms. Nirmala Krishnan - Assistant Professor, CE
  2. Ms. Mahalakshmi A - Assistant Professor, CSE
  3. Ms. Jasna S B - Assistant Professor, EEE
  4. Mr. Ramesh C R - Assistant Professor, ECE
  5. Mr. Vibin Antony P - Assistant Professor, ME
  6. Dr. Ramadas T - Assistant Professor, PE
  7. Mr. Manesh D - Assistant Professor, MCA
  8. Ms. Nisha A B - Associate Professor, AS
  9. Dr. Siju K C - Assistant Professor, AS
  10. Dr. A P Sobha - Associate Professor, AS



   VCAIR hosts Datix Machine Learning Hackathon

VCAIR (Vidya Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Research) is hosting a Hackathon on Machine Learning (ML) exclusively for the students of Vidya, in collaboration with Datix Analytics, a US based company. The Hackathon challenge has been well taken by the Vidya students and they have found it to be a rich learning experience.

The background
Mr Travis Nixon
Mr Nidhin Kadavil

Mr Travis Nixon, Data Scientist and AI consultant and Mr Nidhin Kadavil, Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing Lead, Datix Analytics, are the main sources of this collaboration. The sole purpose of this collaboration is to enhance skill sets of members of Vidya academic community in the field of ML and provide opportunities for students to “earn while they learn”. The idea of conducting the Machine Leaning Hackathon has been evolved during the interaction of Datix with VCAIR as Datix Analytics wanted to examine the understanding level and the working capacity of the students in ML and Data Science.

The Hackathon was announced during the introductory webinar conducted by Mr. Travis Nixon on 20 March 2019 on the topic ” AI Today and Tomorrow”  which had a participation of 700+ students and faculty members.


The following activities have been completed as part of the Datix Hackathon:

  1. Students Registration at VCAIR (25 March 2019): Students were allowed to register as group of 5 (max) for the Hackathon competition. A preliminary filtration process had to be applied to filter the best 12 teams for Hackathon, out of the 28 team registrations.
  2. Premier and Secondary Hackathons: Mr Tavis Nixon wanted to encourage and provide opportunity to all the registered teams. Hence Datix has generously extended secondary Hackathon for the reset of 16 teams. Six faculty sponsors were identified from the college as faculty sponsors for the Premier and Secondary teams to assist them in this challenge.
  3. Webinar on Datix Hackathon Technology Review (29 March 2019): Mr Nidhin Kadavil introduced Mr Travis Nixon to all the participants and briefed the Datix Hackathon. Mr Travis hosted a webinar on Datix Hackathon Technology Review in which he explored the ML toolkits and Azure platform for carrying out the Hackathan Challenge. The participants were encouraged to ask questions and Mr Travis clarified their doubts regarding this challenge.
  4. Problem Statement & Dataset released, Official beginning of the challenge (1 April 2019): A Premier Machine Learning Hackathon was started for selected 12 teams with a challenge of a world class ML question which is the same as that given in the recruitment process done by Microsoft for recruiting their Data Scientists. A time duration of 2 weeks from April 1 to April 14 was provided for the teams to complete the challenge. In the similar fashion, a secondary hackathon was conducted for the rest of 16 teams who had registered for the challenge with a slighter less hard question during the same duration.
  5. Slack Channels & Interactions: An exclusive slack channel for every individual team inside the forums for Primary and Secondary Hackathons was created by the faculty coordinator Mr Nakulraj K R (AP, CSE Dept) and Mr Travis Nixon, Mr Nidhin Kadavil, Dr Ramani Bai V (Prof and Head, CSE Dept) and Mr  Ravishankar S (AP, CSE Dept) were added in each channel to interact with the team during their progress throughout the challenge. Mr Travis Nixon was carefully observing the communications at very channel, providing possible directions and answering the queries posted by the teams. Mr Ravishankar S was helping the students and assisting them in handling the Azure Accounts and Cloud.
  6. Webinar for Interaction with Datix (8 April 2019): Mr Travis Nixon hosted webinar to answer any questions that participants have. He clarified the doubts and answered questions raised by the participants. During the one hour interaction, students were encouraged to ask any trivial questions which would help them to meet the Hacakathon challenge.
  7. Hands-on Session on Building Machine Learning Models using scikit learn (11 April 2019): During the internal meetings and interactions with the teams participating in Hackathon (especially in the secondary), VCAIR team understood that the need of some teams to get the basic exposure to Machine Learning Techniques and Tools. Mr Ravishankar S has voluntarily offered a three hours hands-on session from 3.30pm to 6.30pm on Building Machine Learning Models using scikit learn through which the students gained the basic concepts and confidence in dealing with the Hackathon challenge.
  8. Submission on April 14, 11:59 PM EST: All teams who have completed their tasks were asked to submit their code in .py file along with the presentation (.ppt file). Datix accepted 10 premier and 3 secondary submissions upto the deadline.
  9. Presentations & Evaluations (April 16 – April 23, 2019): Mr Travis has created an exclusive Zoom meeting id for every individual team and total of 13 presentations were conducted in the Zoom for premier and secondary Hackathon competitions during 16 – 23, April 2019. Mr Travis Nixon, Mr Nidhin Kadavil, Dr Ramani Bai V and Mr Nakulraj K R were present during all the presentation. Mr Travis has shown exceptionally high attention in evaluating each and every presentation. He was also enlightening the students with the concepts and practical perspective of the challenge. Also he was encouraging the students and boosting up their morale during the presentation. Mr Nidhin focused on the business solution offered by the teams over the challenge. The students gained the rich learning experience throughout the exercise which no university can taught.
  10. Datix Webinar and Winners Awarding Ceremony (2 May 2019): The Datix finishing webinar for the Hacakthon competitions and Winners awarding ceremony is conducted on 2 May 2019.

Students showed their hard work and team spirit throughout the challenge and at the same time offered helping hands to the lower ones. Ten teams of premier Hackathon and 3 teams of secondary Hackathon were able to complete the challenge within the deadline. Regardless of their busy academic schedules and exams many teams showed high technical and business skills during the challenge and presentations. Datix team was impressed and gave high appreciations to some teams. Mr Travis stayed positive throughout all the presentations and provided encouraging feedbacks to all teams presented.

Students addressed the Hackathon as a great challenging experience and expressed their gratitude towards Datix team and VCAIR for providing such a world class opportunity.

Prizes for winners

The following prizes will be distributed for Primary Hackathon:

  • 1 st Prize: 14,000 INR
  • Runner Up: 5,000 INR
  • Runner Up: 5,000 INR
  • Most creative Approach: 5,000 INR
  • And 3 prizes total of 5,000 INR

CSE faculty conducts hands-on session on building machine learning models    

As a curtain-raiser for the Datix Hackathon on Machine Learning, Mr Ravishankar S (AP, CSE Dept) organised a hands-on session on Machine Learning (ML) and the software tools for implementing it on 11 April 2019. The session was conducted in the Advanced Computer Lab and as many as 23 students attended the session. The classes started off with an introduction to machine learning and the basic concepts which revolve around it.

The participants were introduced to the different types of ML problems. They were also taught what all software packages were needed for implementing the ML algorithms. Mr Ravishankar demonstrated the usage of the scikit-learn package, a Python based ML library, with examples of linear regression, logistic regression, support vector machine, decision tree, etc models.

US expert holds webinar on “AI Today and Tomorrow” for students and faculty of Vidya

Vidya International Charitable Trust (VICT) has facilitated a greatly valued US Industry Collaboration with VCAIR (Vidya Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Research) on AI & API products through Mr Nidhin Kadavil, Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing Lead, and Mr Travis Nixon, Data Scientist & AI Consultant. Mr Nidhin Kadavil is the initiator and the main source of this collaboration. To introduce the collaborative project works, Mr Travis Nixon offered a webinar on the topic “AI Today and Tomorrow”. VCAIR hosted the webinar live over both the Vidya campuses at Thrissur and Kilimanoor on 20 March 2019 at 4.30pm IST for 700+ participants.

Mr Travis provided a clear introduction about what is AI and areas where it could be enforced which include education, health and business. A polling scheme was included in this session where the participants voted for the answers to questions. Mr Travis was patient enough to answer the students’ enquires about the AI field in today’s world. Also he explained about two case studies  that included NETFLIX and BLOCK BUSTER. His presentation depicted an idea of how fast AI is growing. Those students who are creative and who have good knowledge in AI and Machine Learning can definitely look for AI projects. He has also discussed about a few projects on which they were working.

Mr Travis also highlighted their collaborative handshake with the institution in near future and made the first announcement for a Datix Hackathon contest which would begin on 5  March 2019. The Hackathon contest aims at scrutinizing and finding the best teams that can take the projects from Datix. The winners will be awarded with cash price.

Around 700+ students and faculty members form various departments in both the campuses participated in the interactive webinar. The arrangements were provided for both common display as well as one-on one interaction.  The students were inspired by the clear and informative session of Mr Travis and also motivated to register for the upcoming Hackathon.


VCAIR organizes technical session on self-driving cars

Vidya Center for Artificial Intelligence and Research (VCAIR) organized a technical session on “Self-Driving Cars” by Robotics and Cognitive Systems in TATA Consultancy Services (TCS) on 31 January 2019 at Advanced Computing Lab. Dr Ramani Bai V (Prof and Head, CSE Dept) gave the welcome address. Dr Saji C B (Principal, VAST) delivered the presidential address. Er G Mohanachandran (Executive Director, VICT) officially inaugurated the function by lighting the traditional lamp and delivered the inaugural address. Mr Jaiju Jacob, resource person from TCS who is currently working as a platform architect for TCS Robotics team, offered an introduction about the session. Mr Sarath Peter (AI Club Member, VCAIR) delivered vote of thanks.

The session gave the attendees an insight into the different stages of development involved in self-driving cars. Concepts of robotic operating systems and connected cars were introduced in the session. The session also showed the self-driving projects implemented in Kerala


VCAIR organizes 3-day NVIDIA Workshop on “AI & Deep Learning”