After the Tashkent Agreement, it was decided to develop a school of automation focusing on control and computers at IISc. Following a visit to the Russian Institutes by prominent scientists, the School of Automation was established in 1969 as an independent, multi disciplinary R & D centre.
Flight Simulation Lab
The school subsequently charted out an independent course for its teaching and research focus, under Prof I G Sharma. Some areas of interest initiated by him were flight control simulation, guidance of aerospace vehicles, digital hardware and circuits, etc.
Image Processing and Remote Sensing
At around the same time, Prof. B.L. Deekshatulu started the areas of Remote Sensing and Image Processing. Notable work during his time include the development of an inhouse drum scanner and flyspot scanner. Some of the people who were involved in this, namely Mr T.Shankar and Mr Mega Vennan, are still with us.
Shifting Research Focus
The next year saw several young faculty initiated into the School and the focus then slowly shifted from control systems to Computer Science and engineering. A 2 year ME program was also instituted in the same year.
Hybrid Computing Lab
After the acquisition of a PDP-11 digital computer and AD-5 analog computer, the school established a Hybrid Computing Laboratory headed by Prof. D.K Subramanian. Prof L.M. Patnaik made use of this laboratory to carry out simulation of complex real time systems.
1975-85:Towards Core Computer Sciences
As the School matured, the late 70s and the early 80s saw the focus of research shifting towards mainstream computer science. Compilers headed by Prof. Priti Shankar and theoretical computer science headed by Prof. C.E.Veni Madhavan emerged as strong areas of research.
Wipro-Infotech’s First Project housed in School of Automation
A not-so-well-known fact about the School of Automation is its association with Wipro-Infotech. In 1979, Victor Jayakaran, an ME student along with his colleague from Electrical engineering worked on the first project of Wipro Infotech in one of the labs of the School.
School of Automation becomes Computer Science & Automation
In the year 1985, the School of Automation was renamed as the department of Computer Science and Automation. In the same year an ME program in system sciences was started in conjunction with the Electrical Department.
The 90’s: Growing in strength
In the 90s, under the chairmanship of Prof. N. Vishwanadham, modern facilities like email and networks were set up.
The 90’s: Growing in strength
The era also witnessed some high impact work from the databases lab under Jayant Haritsa and some path-breaking work on Support Vector machines by Sathiya Keerthi.
1993: Department completes 25 glorious years
The Department celebrated its Silver Jubilee in 1993. A workshop was organized wherein eminent researchers from India and abroad presented their work.
2000: First Academic Entrepreneurial venture in India
A fact that drew attention of the whole country in 2000 was the Simputer – a powerful handheld computer – developed by faculty from the department. This led to the establishment of Picopeta Simputers and Strand Genomics – the first academic entrepreneurial venture in India.