ICOSST is a flagship event of Al- Khawarizmi Institute of Computer Science (KICS), UET Lahore that has been happening successfully at the institute since 2006. Like every year, this year’s conference was unique in its features that inspired researchers, academics, Industrial experts, Public sector and private organizations not only from across the country but also from across the globe to witness quality research papers, invited talks, panel discussion and 3D modeled virtual exposition. This year’s conference was somehow different in COVID’19 perspective, to keep face to face interaction minimal it was organized virtually using CISCO powered online conferencing tool i.e., WebEx. The option to attend from home and ease of access led to a surge in participation. This year’s conference brought another good news as on the same day KICS, UET Lahore was announced as a Resource Centre for the Islamic world in the ICT domain by Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Islamic Development Bank (IDB). Launching event for the report on ‘Mapping Pakistan’s resources centers” happened online where the President of Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), H.E Dr. Bandar Hajjar, Minister of Economic Affairs, Pakistan (IsDB Governor), H.E Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar and Executive Director, Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, Dr.Shaista Sohail graced the occasion with their welcoming remarks. Representatives from various resource centers in Agriculture, Agro-based industries, Pharmaceuticals, Information, and communication technologies participated zealously in their respective sessions. Director KICS, Prof. Dr. Waqar Mahmood presented what KICS has been doing in the area of ICT that enabled the center to achieve excellence.
The Governor Punjab, H.E. Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar graced the opening ceremony of ICOSST-2020 with his presence as a Chief Guest. Minister for Higher Education, Government of Punjab, H.E. Raja Yasir Humayon Sarfraz and Chairman Punjab Higher Education Commission, Prof. Dr. Fazal Ahmad Khalid were invited as Distinguished Guests. 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 up a great show. Out of 176 research papers submitted from various countries including Pakistan,
India, China, Italy, Lebanon, USA, Bulgaria, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Philippine, and Nigeria, the Technical Evaluation Committee accepted 35 papers qualifying the merit-based criteria. Speakers were invited from prestigious universities of Pakistan and other countries like Italy, the United States, Amsterdam, Germany, and China to deliver talks in the areas of Network Security and IoT, Software and System, Cloud Computing and Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and COVID’19 pandemic. One of the prominent agendas of this year’s conference was to put forward strategies and innovative solutions to fight COVID’19 and based on this idea a panel discussion themed “Fighting COVID’19 through innovation’ was part of the ICOSST-2020. The distinguished panel comprised Dr. Adnan Jabbar, Mr. Meer Anwar, Mr. Omer Ghani, Dr. Hammad, and Dr. Zartash Uzmi.
“Showcasing industrial and academic projects in a digital environment was a challenging task” Dr. Waqar Mahmood, Director KICS, said while talking to the media officials. A virtual exposition was designed in a 3D environment where products from different research labs of KICS were displayed in such a manner that visitors could have live demos experience in a Virtual reality-based environment. The unique exposition organized using VR based technology not only attracted visitors but also set an example of organizing expositions in Pandemic. More than a dozen industries showcased their products in the exposition. Participating industries include ArhamSoft Pvt.Ltd, TechHive Solutions, Jolta Electric, Zoxcell, Desollnt. Pvt. Ltd, Silicon st, Grandeur Tech, Ebryx, Tower Technologies, Xeber, Repairwala.Pk, Tranchulas, ComSoft Solutions, ArbiSoft, Techverx, Global Technologies.