“I am confident that the future of open source is bright and by using open-source technologies, we can take Pakistan on a fast track towards development and prosperity” says Governor Punjab, Chaudhary Muhammad Sarwar at the 15th ICOSST 2021.”
Al-Khawarizmi Institute of Computer Science (KICS), UET, Lahore took the initiative 14 years back to organize International Conference on Open-Source Systems and Technologies (ICOSST). ICOSST is a signature event of KICS happening successfully at the institute since 2006. Like all previous conferences, the 15th edition was also massively successful and unique in its features inspiring researchers, academics, Industrial experts, public sector, and private organizations not only from across the country but also from around the world to witness quality research papers, invited talks, panel discussion and virtual exposition. Keeping the COVID perspective, this is the second consecutive year that the conference is being organized virtually using CISCO-powered online conferencing tool i.e., WebEx. The 2-day international conference was organized by Al-Khawarizmi Institute of Computer Science (KICS), University of Engineering & Technology Lahore in technically co-sponsorship by IEEE USA.
The Federal Minister of Science and Technology, H.E. Shibli Faraz graced the opening ceremony of ICOSST-2021 with his presence as a Chief Guest. Minister for Higher Education, Government of Punjab, H.E. Raja Yasir Humayun Sarfraz, Vice Chairman, PM Task Force on Knowledge Economy & Chairman, PM Task Force on Science & Technology, Prof. Dr. Atta Ur Rehman, Chair IEEE Lahore Section, Dr. Amjad Hussain, and CTO Huawei, Mr. Shahzad Rasheed, were invited as Distinguished Guests. The Federal Minister of Science and Technology congratulated the organizers and participants of ICOSST 2021. He said, “Almost everything nowadays requires open-source software, including communications networks, inventory, accounting, personal productivity tools, contact management, and operating systems”. Vice-Chancellor UET Lahore, Prof. Dr. Syed Mansoor Sarwar welcomed the honorable guests, invited speakers, industrial experts, and public and private institutes on their participation and also appreciated Dr. Waqar Mahmood and his team for putting their efforts in making the conference a success.
Collectively 243 researchers submitted their manuscripts from various countries including Pakistan, China, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia; only a handful top quality papers were accepted by the Technical Evaluation Committee qualifying the merit-based criteria. Speakers were invited from prestigious universities of Pakistan and other countries like Canada, Malaysia, Estonia, USA, Qatar, China to deliver talks in the areas of Artificial Intelligence, Cyber Security, Big data & Cloud computing, Robotics, Blockchain, and the Internet of Things (lot). A panel discussion was also held as a module of the conference themed ‘Future of Knowledge-based Economy in Pakistan’ moderated by Dr. Ali Hammad from the Computer Science Department, UET Lahore. The distinguished panel comprised Dr. Waqar Mahmood, Dr. Muhammad Tahir, Mr. Irfan Zafar, CEO Arham Soft, Mr. Ahmed Muzammil, CEO Gaper, Mr. Shahzeb Rathore, CEO Advanced Systems.
Director KICS, Prof. Dr. Waqar Mahmood shared the modules of the conference with the participants and also highlighted the history of the International Conference on Open-Source Systems & Technologies at the opening ceremony. A virtual exposition was also designed where products from different research labs of KICS were displayed in a 3D environment. More than 20 industries showcased their products in the exposition. Participating industries include ArhamSoft Pvt.Ltd, CosmoSoft Buisness Solutions Pvt. Ltd, ZoxCell, Jolta Technologies, Global Technologies, ArbiSoft Pvt. Ltd, Techverx Pvt. Ltd, Desol Int, Tower Technologies, TechHive Pvt. Ltd, Ebryx, Xebex, Repairwala.Pk, Technology Systems, Silicon St.
A students-based competition “BRAINIAC’21” was also organized by IEEE UET Lahore in collaboration with IEEE Lahore Section and KICS where students from various institutes participated in different modules including project Video, Full Stack Functional Website, Code Camp, Design.com, Circuit Genie, Math Gauge, League of Your Own with the price money of up to Rs. 100,000.
The closing ceremony of the conference took place on the second day of the conference. Governor Punjab, H.E. Chaudhary Muhammad Sarwar participated as a Chief Guest through a video message. “Today more than 80% of all software developers worldwide are using some level of open source one way or the other. I am confident that the future of open source is bright and by using open-source technologies, we can take Pakistan on a fast track towards development and prosperity” said Governor Punjab at the closing ceremony of ICOSST 2021. Director KICS, Dr. Waqar described briefly the 2-day event along with the recommendations made at the panel discussion. Vice Chancellor UET, Prof. Dr. Syed Mansoor Sarwar praised Dr. Waqar and his team for conducting the 15th in its series conference successfully. The conference ended up with the certificate distribution to the participants and organizers. The winners of the students’ competitions were also announced and given the prizes.