Prof. Gerard Huet, Emeritus, Inria, Paris delivered a Distinguished Lecture at the University of Hyderabad on the 7th November 2019 on ‘Panini’s Machine”.
Panini wrote a grammar for Sanskrit named Astadhyayi in the form of Sutras. This grammar has been a source of inspiration for the Western linguists since ages. In his talk Prof. Huet claimed that Panini was not only a foremost linguist but also a pioneer in informatics or computer science. He further elaborated that 25 centuries before the investigations of recursive function theory in mathematical logic and the advent of electronic computers, Panini made important contributions to informatics & information theory. He called Panini an Adiganka, the foremost informatician and highlighted some of his contributions viz use of meta-liguistic markers, record notation encoding, hierarchical scope, formal string rewriting, selection by pattern matching, conflict-resolution, object-oriented descriptions, compaction by sharing and his awareness to information theory.
The program was presided over by Prof. B. Raja Shekhar, Pro-VC, University of Hyderabad.
The program started with the shanti patha rendering by Abir and Malay doctoral students of the Department of Sanskrit Studies, followed by a welcome speech by the Incharge Dean of School of Humanities Prof. V. Krishna, Prof. Amba Kulkarni, head, Department of Sanskrit Studies introduced the speaker and Prof. K.N. Murthy, Dean School of Information and Computer Science gave the vote of thanks.