After working hard for the last few months along with the fellow organizers including INFITT Chair Dr Kalyanasundaram, Prof Ulrike Niklas, Mr Kavi Arasan, Dr Vasu Renganathan & others, I am happy to participate today in the inauguration of TIC 2009 in the campus of University of Cologne, Germany.
The Eighth Tamil Internet Conference TIC 2009 and the first one in Europe was inaugurated a few hours back with the august presence of Prof Dr Bongartz (Dean of Philosophical Faculty of Universität zu Köln) & Prof M Anandakrishnan (Chair, Tamil Nadu government delegation & the former VC of Anna University). The 3-day conference is being hosted by the Institute of Indology and Tamil Studies of the University of Cologne in Germany; it is being held from October 23-25, 2009.
The conference got underway with the address of the co-chairs of the event Dr Kalyanasundram (INFITT) and Prof Ulrike Niklas (Institute of Indology and Tamil Studies-IITS). Prof Urlike highlighted that IITS hosts the largest Tamil books collection of over 60,000 which is the largest outside Tamil Nadu.
Dr Kalyanasundram recalled the founding of INFITT in 2000, the objectives and the past seven conferences held around the world (Singapore, Chennai, Malaysia, USA) and the outcomes.
In the plenary session talks, Mr Muthu Nedumaran (Malaysia, Former Chair INFITT) to the excitement of the audience demonstrated Tamil enabling 3G Mobile devices such as iPhone, Android, Nokia for News applications.
Prof A G Ramakrishnan (Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru) demonstrated a major technical breakthrough of live changing implications for the blind and illiterate through IT. The audience were spell bound when Prof Ramakrishnan’s computer read out a text from a Tamil book (Text to Speech) and then recognized his handwriting on the screen.
Prof Thomas Malten (IITS) showed the various online Sanskrit, Tamil Dictionaries made available by IITS, the University of Cologne has made available the tools used to prepare these texts.
INFITT (International Forum for Information Technology in Tamil) is a global, non-governmental, non-profit organization registered in California, USA. In Tamil known as “உத்தமம்” (உலகத் தகவல் தொழில்நுட்ப மன்றம்). Its main objective is to promote Tamil computing worldwide by bringing together professionals working in the area of Tamil IT, Tamil IT enthusiasts, Tamil Research Scholars, and ordinary Tamils so that Tamils can enjoy the benefits of all IT developments natively in the Tamil environment. To meet this objective, INFITT maintains several working groups on key technical areas of Tamil IT and organizes annually Tamil Internet Conferences in various parts of the world. More details at www.infitt.org