IIIT-B, My Alma Mater

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It says it all !

Two years have passed ! Yes, two awesome years 🙂 It seems like yesterday when i had applied for masters at IIIT-B. It seemed to be perfect to me in every way. The news of being shortlisted for interviews … The preparation for interview … And then my first visit to Bangalore, which became my favourite since day one and then IIIT-B ! The campus just wooed my heart. It is a small cozy place. I distinctly remember sitting for my turn for the admission interviews and looking outside of the windows to the huge trees which lined the entrance, that’s when i had thought that i just want to be in this place. Interviews were good and i had a nice quick trip. And then the acceptance letter sent me on cloud nine 🙂 I was sooo happy !

Our Main Block

Our Main Block

Joined IIIT-B on July 13th, 2012. Met people from all over India. Its always a bit difficult for me to make  friends, however somehow we just all got together ! I had the coolest gang of gals here 🙂 Initially everything felt a bit new, somewhat different. But since i have already stayed in hostel during my undergrad days, i could gel in soon. New place, new friends, new weather, new food, new languages and thus overall a new life 🙂

Initially for around one and half months we had prep semester, where we studied the basics and got ourselves adjusted to the new life. I still remember the Linux installations and system crashes 😛 The seniors were all very helping and ready to guide their “juniors”. Our 2nd floor hostel corridors used to be packed sometimes when we all were listening to seniors’ advice. It was just the beginning of the life ahead. During this time, learnt and practiced basic programming and mathematics.

Very soon it was time to begin the first semester. The SAC elections, the campaigning both online and off-line. The freshers party! And then the serious stuff started. Four subjects, random project team allocations, whole night project meetings, coding, numerous demos and vivas by TAs, quizzes, mid-sem and finals. Sometimes it all seemed too difficult. But then we had seniors as our inspiration. They had been through this and so we felt that we could do it as well !

But it was not all that hard ! There was always preparation going on for some festival. Had a great time celebrating so many Indian festival with friends from all over India. Enjoyed the matki-fod Janamashtami, awesome Diwali with firecrackers, beautiful flower rangolis on Onam, one day Ganesh puja, Republic day and Independence day and many more. These special events added spice in daily life and made it more colorful. And then there were Ravali calls every now and then on birthdays 😉

Second semester started and it was time to choose the specialization. Time to choose two electives. Time to be part of a lab. For some it was easy, while for others it was very difficult to choose. However very soon things fell into place. Everyone was busy again doing some awesome projects in courses and labs. Second semester is awesome for two reasons:  SPANDAN – It is the time for all IIIT-B students and alumni to meet and enjoy playing and watching sports for three days. You ask any IIITBian and they will say that Spandan is perhaps the best time and it seems as though we are in a different world altogether ! And the second special event of the second semester is Open House. This is the time when we present our work to the outside world. Had a great time giving demos and presentations and got some amazing feedback and suggestions. And then very soon, again its time for final project submissions, demos and exams.

Then we had a mini semester called the summer sem. During this time, we studied some management lessons and technical communication. Being tech guys, management lessons were somewhat difficult for us to grasp initially. Had a great time in TC presentations, movie and book reviews and most of all the Mad-ads 🙂 Our group’s product was an umbrella, and i must say it was a really cool multipurpose umbrella 😉

Third semester started and it was time to be ready for placements! Oh those days! It was difficult to handle both studies and placements. Those group studies. Those intense problem solving sessions. Karumanchi, the hottest book on campus during placements. It was so much in demand that it was out of stock on every online portal. Some amazing KSMs by our classmates. It was all very stressful but finally worth it ! The placement week. The written rounds. The coding rounds. A few rejections … This is the time when “real friends” supported and motivated. And then sweet success 🙂

At IIIT-B, one does regular coursework+projects for three semesters and the last semester is for either internship or thesis. In these three semesters i studied some amazing subjects, taught by some of the most awesome profs i have ever met. They were always there to guide and support and to clarify doubts if any. I was a member of OSL lab and got to do some cool projects. Experienced some fantastic unconventional ways of teaching and learning. The projects taught us to get our hands dirty, work on some real problems and to work in teams and manage the group. Overall it was awesome experience.

In my final semester, i choose to do thesis as i was highly interested in an area and had an amazing Prof. as my guide. And i am very proud to say that it has been one of the best decision of my life. These six months have been perhaps the best days of my life till now. I have never been so happy 🙂 I did some cool experiments and simulations. Had numerous brain storming sessions and discussions to crystallize the ideas and generate appropriate results. Time just flew when i did my work. It was not work but play for me, as i enjoyed doing it. During this time, I realized that sometimes, its difficult to understand the implications of one’s own work! In such scenario, one needs a guide who has wisdom to see the bigger picture and who can connect the dots. I also understood that academic writing is very different from regular writing. It needs to be a lot more diligent and precise.  This semester showed me my area of interest, my potential and what all i can do ahead ! Also i have completed a full circle at IIIT-B. Gave my M.Tech thesis defense in the same classroom where i waited for my turn for admission interview!

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View from my window 🙂

Some random pointers of IIIT-B – the green lawns, the mini pond, ducks and rabbits, lots of squirrels, the orange tree (African tulip tree) in front of my window, awesome independent room, MCR, smart boards, colorful canteen, mid-night Maggie, sandwiches and fruit juice, walks around the campus, small terrace on the 2nd floor, the musical fountain, the basketball court, table-tennis games, Spic Macay programs, Philosophy Club meetings, Movie sessions, i guess i can go on and on 🙂  There are so many things that flash in my mind when i think of IIIT-B.

And now time ticks by. Earlier i used to wait for the convocation day but now i want time to slow down … Very soon it will be time to throw the graduation caps high in the sky. To be there, together,  for the group pic. And then to wave good byes. I know its going to be difficult. Very difficult. IIIT-B has been like heaven for me. I have realized my potential here. I have understood what i am capable of doing. I am ready to face life ahead. It gave me some close friends for lifetime. It showed me, my area of interest for which my brain jumps with excitement and interest. I was lucky to study and work under the guidance of some of the most amazing profs here who are experts in their field. IIIT-B thanks for making me what i am today ! When i see myself now and myself two years earlier, i can clearly see a transformed myself. Adieu to MT2012 batch ! Had a great time with all of you. Its the memories which will be cherished forever ! And finally, IIIT-B, my Alma mater, thanks for everything.

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Batch of 2012

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IIIT-B made us and we made IIIT-B 🙂

 

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Exams end, Happiness begins

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Learning is fun, but exams are not !

Today is the day which i will remember throughout my life. I gave the last exam (Geographic Information System) of 20 years of academics from Nursery to M.Tech 🙂 In future if i do a PhD, may be i will give more exams but as of now this is the last one.

Assuming there are 10 subjects to study each year. 4 exams every year – 2 tests, a half yearly and a final. This means 40 exams every year for 20 years. OMG i have given around 800 exams till now !!! Even i can’t believe it 😉 But even after giving so many exams i always had exam stress. That’s because i am a perfectionist. And since 100% perfection is impossible to achieve, i was never 100% satisfied with my preparation for exams. Till the last moment i felt i could do something more. I know grades are not everything, its our attitude and work that defines the direction in which we move ahead in life. But still i was always worried. The stress, the tension, the anxiety OMG !!! I am sure exams are the biggest stress causing agents in a student’s life. Anyways the exams have ended for me for now. And i am very very happy 🙂

Seriously, can’t a better technique be devised to test one’s understanding of a subject. Are exams the only way out ? Is it right to study only for doing well in exams ? (Most do that !) What about the stress which sometimes degrades our performance in exams ? And also are we not limited by the syllabus of the exam ? (Who has time to study something extra, right!) I was lucky to take two courses which are graded differently. Its called Mandate oriented learning, a technique devised by Prof. Srinath. Click here to know more. I liked it a lot as it gave me the freedom to study topics as per my choice and style. It aims that the class as a whole has a collective understanding of the subject and thus we got a platform to share what we understood with one another.

Life itself is an exam and every day is a new challenge. I am sure after giving ~ 1000 exams i am ready to face the exam of life ! It is probably the most difficult exam as the syllabus is unknown, it is a surprise test, you cannot copy from anyone, no one can teach it, it can only be learnt by one-self, others can only share their wisdom. But however hard it may be, bring it on !!! I am ready 🙂

On a lighter note, i would like to share my happiness with all of you with this video. Enjoy!!!

With an image, video and text in this post, i can also submit this in the Weekly Writing Challenge – Multimedia Storytelling.

My First Blog Anniversary !!!

My Cup of Tea turned 1-year-old on Oct 2nd, 2012. I am so happy. I was busy with my mid-semester exams so i could not post on that day itself. And so i was craving for a Sunday when i could make this post :D. This one year journey has been awesome. I have discovered a new me via my blog. MCT is the first thing i mention as my hobbies (even in interviews) and it feels good to see that most people are interested in it (more so if they themselves are bloggers :)).

This journey has been memorable because of the blogging friends i made all over the world. It feels great to imagine that we live in different parts of the world, have our own very busy lives, we all face challenges on the journey of life, yet we all connect with each other via blogging. Blogging brings me in a completely different world 🙂 Today i would like to thank each one of you who have read my posts, liked them or have been gracious enough to take some time out of their busy lives and commented on a post. By reading my post, you read a part of my life, my experiences, my journey. Each one of you has inspired me to keep going on and post something new and interesting.

I can proudly say that MCT has been one of the best things i have done in my life. Even the thought of MCT brings a spark of happiness in me. Reading back through old posts, sometimes i am surprised how i could have written it 😀 But such things happen and we discover our own potential and capabilities. And so i believe that we have the ability to surprise ourselves 🙂

In one year i posted 45 posts including this one. I had imagined much more. But its ok 🙂 If you ever feel that i have forgotten MCT as i am not posting frequently, then you are wrong. I promise that atleast once in a day a thought of MCT passes my mind. Sometimes on a free day i sit down and read all your posts. My frequency of posting may have decreased due to my busy college life, but i can assure you that MCT will be a part of me, ALWAYS.

I still remember that day very clearly. 2nd October 2011. Since a long time i had been thinking of having a blog. I had done a lot of research on whether to go for blogger or WordPress (finally i picked WordPress, lucky me :)). I just could not decide on a name for my blog. I wanted it to be perfect so that i never feel like changing it again. And so on 2nd October last year a Sunday 🙂 i finally decided to create my blog. When entering the name of blog suddenly it flashed “My Cup of Tea”. And that was it. I just love it soooo much since that day.  Here is the link to my first blog post 🙂 My First Post !

Once again a Very Happy First Blog Anniversary MCT !!!

Happy Engineers’ Day

We have the capability to bring a change,
We have the potential to make this world a better place,
We are the future of tomorrow !
We are the engineers
We rock the world !

Nothing is impossible for us,
We can do things nobody has ever dreamt,
We are the foundation of the world,
We are the engineers
We rock the world !

We are brave enough to accept any challenge,
We can work day and night to meet the deadlines,
We are true of our words,
We are the engineers
We rock the world !

Think twice before challenging us,
Because we are used to doing daunting things,
So most probably we will win 😎
We are the engineers
We rock the world !

We can build bridges between enemies,
Our skyscrapers can reach the stars,
However our thoughts can take us to a different world,
We are the engineers
We rock the world !

We rise with double strength if we fail,
We are brave enough to accept our mistakes,
We are smart enough not to repeat the same ones again 😉
We are the engineers
We rock the world !

We have revolutionary ideas in our minds,
We have a sense of pride in our hearts,
We have peace and serenity in our souls,
We are the engineers
We rock the world !

HAPPY ENGINEERS’ DAY TO ALL !!!

Image Credits – facebook.com

Examssssss

Exams are the biggest stress causing agents in the student life.

Exams have its pros and cons …..

 

Pros

They say exams help in judging the subject grasped.

People can be graded according to their knowledge.

 

Cons

Can exams really judge the potential or subject knowledge ? Well i don’t think so.

Sometimes the best thing which is judged by exams is “learning power”  😀

I have myself seen many who don’t have a good subject knowledge but fair very well in exams. Then there is no difference between a person having actual knowledge and by hearted knowledge.

Sometimes it is easy to understand a topic but it is difficult to write.

Some are not able to perform well due to stress 😦

 

Solution

Its true that there should be some way to judge the knowledge gained on a subject.

But please not examsssssss 😀

Its time that we engineers build a machine which can measure the knowledge gained by a person on a topic.

Thus we can directly measure “actual knowledge”.

Tension free ……….. Exam free life !!!