Sunday, April 02, 2006

How IIIT is different

Dr. Abhijeet Mitra's speech during the Farewell, expressed something that has been in my mind for quite some time but never came on this blog. Its is in regards to How IIIT is a different institute. There have been some opposing thoughts shared by many ppl so I take the opportunity to clear some confussions.

His speech started with very basic thought that if anyone things makes lot of sense, I can't quote it totally but here is the gist : IIIT is not trying to be like any particular college in the country, We are trying to have something different here which has not been tried by anyone in the country. We are doing it in a kind of learning and doing mode rather than emulating some other college. IIIT is going to be brand in itself. (OT: During our Open House representative from a college in Delhi informed that they take IIIT Hyderbad as the role model for their new institute).

In his speech he didn't emphasize specifically the difference IIIT means in terms of education. I should try to add it from my point of view. IIIT's faculty are very determined to make the institute a leading research institute and fulfill the growing needs of researchers in the country, which other colleges have been ignoring all this while, which includes the IITs across the country.

Yesterday evening while talking to Dr. PJN we learnt that making a research institute is our institutes' goal but it does require lot of prework. It does require a solid UG course and curriculum so that the undergrads are ready for taking up research or even any other high end work in the industry. UG is also the right time to get the student interested in to research. This is why institute boast of research at UG level.

Isn't it very true that most of the students who do their UG studies in other good colleges do not get motivated for higher studies (whether within the college or outside). This is different from ppl who do their UG in not so good colleges(as in quality of education, infrastructure) who are kinda forced to do PG to get the good university brand name in their resumé. This includes ppl with big funds who go abroad joining any university (even rank > 100). Most ppl I knew in my town used to write GATE for the sole reason of either coming in to the CS field from some other field or getting a PG from IIT so they can get a good job. This is just a generalization. In exception there must be many truly motivated ppl who do PG in IIT too, infact I have met quite a few of such ppl in recent past (at ACCV and soon). Isn't it strange that almost no one takes a MTech or MS in IIT after doing a B.Tech there (unless ofcourse they are in dual degree from the beginning).

When I joined IIIT, I had no idea that I would be doing my Master's here. Not even that I wud be doing Honours. It just so happens that the curriculum gets you interested in to higher studies. I am now very positive about coming back and doing a Ph.D after 2-3 years of industry experience. Yesterday Sharat kumar from BTech 2k2 batch shared similar experience over his PhD admissions in to top notch colleges. "Sir (prof PJN), I never though in my second year that I would even consider doing a Ph.D ...". So is the situation of many ppl who are doing MS in India or abroad.

The important factor here is that the MS or PhD is not motivated by monitory benefits. After going through such highly motivating and interesting courses. You are tempted to try higher education instead of taking up a job very early. Sharath also shared how the flexibility in coming out of dual degree programme and going abroad for higher education helps ppl. Prof PJN remarked that flexibility is to ensure that students interested in higher education can remain motivated in that rather than getting distracted by the whole placement/campus bussiness, ..."by taking entering in to dual degree programme students are commiting to higher education not to higher education in IIIT"

When it comes to jobs, many ppl get it wrong that our college doesn't care about them. It is understood by faculty that everone has his own goals and needs. According to Prof PJN, Firstly monitory needs might require you to join a Job and secondly a proper Job which you like instead of research may be the right thing to do for you. In the first case you can anytime come back for higher education if that interests you., or you can take up part time courses like MS and PhD and in second case you can use your excellent skill to shine in the industry. (As a matter of fact many of my friends in jobs are comtemplating higher education).

Sorry for the huge post :)


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  2. Sure. IIIT is different. And should continue its path to become a premier IT research institute. WIth focus on applied research! IN my view, one aspect that really sets apart IIIT from the erst, is that many of its PG students are those that graduated from IIIT itself. And continued onto PG. This is very different from most colleges/universities- even IITs- where students prefer to go the next level league of schools for PG.

    (More on the Hyderabad technology Blog-