About Wadhwani School of Data Science and AI (WSAI)

IIT Madras has been at the forefront of AI research for several years now, focusing on building AI as an interdisciplinary research area. Founded in 2024, the Wadhwani School of Data Science and AI (WSAI) brings together several faculty with expertise in various areas of Data Science and AI to work together on impactful problems of direct relevance to society. The school is home to the 18th and newest department (Department of Data Science and AI) at IIT Madras. The department will start with fifteen full-time faculty members, making it the largest AI department across all 23 IITs.

The WSAI aims to bring all the ongoing efforts in AI at IIT Madras under one umbrella. The WSAI has several affiliated research centres and a vibrant research ecosystem, with interest groups focussing on exciting areas. Some of these centres are:

  • RBCDSAI: The Robert Bosch Centre for Data Science and AI (RBCDSAI) was set up in 2017 and is the pre-eminent interdisciplinary research centre for Data Science and AI in India. It has one of the country’s largest active groups in network analytics, reinforcement learning groups, natural language processing and deep learning. This centre has grown to encompass over 14 IIT Madras departments doing both foundational and applied work in AI. RBCDSAI has been a critical precursor to the development of WSAI.

  • AI4Bharat: AI4Bharat is a research lab at IIT Madras that develops open-source applications for Indian languages. Over the past few years, the lab has done cutting-edge work in Indian language technology, which has been published in top conferences worldwide.

  • CeRAI: The Centre for Responsible AI (CeRAI) is an interdisciplinary research centre for research in the domains of Ethical and Responsible AI and is fast becoming the standard body in the country to recommend guidelines and policies to make deployable AI models/ systems more accountable, explainable and responsible.

“We really needed people not to wear AI as a second hat, but wear Data Science and AI as their primary hat”, emphasised Prof. Ravindran, the head of WSAI. The school will also offer a BTech in AI & Data Analytics, an MTech in Data Science and AI, and multiple programmes for international students. Students from the WSAI department will be able to pursue a wide range of various job opportunities, from foundational research at top firms like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft to applied sectors like manufacturing and healthcare. Do check this out for more information regarding the programmes offered by the WSAI.