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IIT-M to conduct 57th convocation using virtual reality

CHENNAI: The 57th convocaion of IIT Madras on Sunday will be held in a ‘mixed reality’ mode with the help of virtual reality technology where animated avatars of students would receive medals and degrees from dignitaries. For the first time, the institute released a teaser of the new mode of the ceremony scheduled to begin at 6pm.
“For the first time in the history of the institute, convocation will be held virtually in aunique ‘mixed reality’ mode, ensuring the safety of all amidst the global pandemic and at the same time enabling our graduating students to have a memorable convocation,” IIT Madras said in an announcement. The unique mode combines the aspects of both real world as well as the virtual world to create a new environment. It will see the interaction of physical and digital objects, it further said.
“In every convocation since 1964, everyone looked forward eagerly to the award of the President of India gold medal. It would indeed be very disappointing if the awardee is not present here with us for the first time,” institute director Bhaskar Ramamurthi says in the teaser video released on Friday. The video concludes with an animated avatar of a gold medalist appearing on stage indicating that such avatars of students would receive medals and awards.
Nobel laureate David J Gross from University of California will be the chief guest.
In a communication to students, the institute announced that it had dispatched degree certificates. It also said the convocation would be a short event with only the major prizes being awarded. The department degree distribution programmes will showcase all graduates receiving their degrees and provide a conferencing platform to greet each other and the teachers.
IIT-M asked students to take videos of them receiving degrees from parents or grandparents or spouse or persons of choice. The video will be broadcast when the students name announced in the department degree distribution programme.