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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

College Chronicles - Semester Six

What can I say about Semester Six? Well, it began like any other one, where we thought "Oh goody this sem's gonna be more free than the one that just went." Right before the university decided it'd be better if we wasted another day at college each week rather than waste our Saturdays at home. All we could do was fume. Above you'll find the obligatory "This was my odometer reading on Day 1" picture.

A signboard pointed us in the direction of our department (yes it's always been there but I'd never photographed it).

Barely a few days had passed since reopening before the incessant 'Placement preparations' began. The effect it had on us was profound with people scrambling left right and center to get their resumes (it's pronounced Ray-soo-may oh Plebeians) ready, what with our seniors butchering the same with comments all over.

Mock interviews saw some of us, including yours truly, spend an eternity being asked questions that would determine who won the prize money of a million dollars :P whereas others were pushed off quick by the ones who had the power of mock! (you won't get this one unless you visit a very specific website).  Mr. Vigneswaran and me took off on a short sojourn to Coimbatore where we won a paper presentation contest at CIT (Yes, we did present our own paper, not something stolen off the net). Unfortunately, most of our professors were none too keen on giving us attendance even if we missed classes for such an event.

Back at college, our Faculty adviser and class representatives had been hard at work arranging an Industrial visit to Nokia's Special Economic Zone at Sriperumbudur. The sprawling SEZ had Nokia's own factory for Volume phones (ones that sold en masse) alongside several others like Foxconn (yeah, the suicide company), Jabil and Laird that supply Nokia's OEM components. During the pre-floor visit presentation, one of our company of 60 had the bright idea to spout out loud "No one wants" in response to "Who here wants to work for Nokia?". The ex-Navy man HR Manager wasn't taking any crap and he promptly threatened to stop the visit right then and there lest the "coward [sic] had the guts to own up". After some cajoling from our FA, the trip proceeded with all of us attired like we were going into a biological hot-zone.

On the way back another genius threw a bottle out the window of the bus. Said bottle hit a car's windscreen square center and the driver found the Vice Chancellor's number and reported the class. This later resulted in a Industrial visit ban for the remainder of the semester. Not like we really had the time anyway.

The image on the left spells out MITAFEST, that's our college festival. Apparently it looks the same when read from top or bottom. MITAFEST festivities were in full swing. Didn't quite bother helping out with writing the web page stuff this time around because the previous MITAFEST they conveniently forgot yours truly when it came to certificates.

The show got on the road. Literally.

This here would be our college bus. The one whose driver was condemned to drive us around for our industrial visits. I do NOT envy him his job. :D

My friends got me a cake and loads of other stuff and celebrated my birthday in a grand way. My thanks to them. The photo below shows the cake - after it had been savagely ripped into (no, not by me).

While the rest of the world is in pursuit of cleaner, safer, bio-degradable containers, our Rubber and Plastics Department seems confused!

Meanwhile, the "I shall study and never to the fruit thereof" crowd had their first taste of the joy that movies can bring:

The next photo is Chief Guest Pest Viggy during the prize-giving ceremony for... ohwaitaminute.. that's Anupama's birthday. :)

My odometer reading as the end semester exams approached.

Soon enough all the placement classes had been replaced by the oh-so-familiar feeling of "The exams are upon us, our doom is coming". Last minute preparation really gets the adrenaline flowing. And Mr. Cactus gave me company helping to make the late night study a less solitary affair.

 I, however, ended up stretched across the couch with my book on my head in a pose similar to this guy here:

Towards the conclusion of the exams, I received a notice saying I'd been chosen under Dr. David Koilpillai, Professor, EE Department, IIT Madras for IIT's Summer Fellowship Program. Something that I'd been eagerly awaiting. As is evident from the rest of my blog, the Zombie (that's how I looked after 2 weeks of late nights thanks to the tests) took off on a trip to Egypt. Another part of the holidays I'd awaited with ardor.

Check out the navigation links on the left side of the page or throw me a comment if you want a look at photos from that journey.

Found this on the door of the Professor's room when I went over a bit too early. I expected him to come glare at me, but Dr. David is seriously awesome! You'd never think he was the professor and you the student the way he's so friendly with you despite his repertoire of knowledge and vast experience in the area communication.

Discovered this piece of heaven above in Egypt, and brought back quite a few on the way home.

The Fellowship at IIT Madras is indeed an experience that can vary widely according to the professor you're chosen to intern under. For me, it's been a wonderful time, actually doing meaningful research and contributing in a small way under someone as erudite yet down-to earth as Dr. David.

Below you'll find photos of some of the places I worked in - IIT's Central Electronic Centre, the DSP Lab in the EE Building, and the Intel Wireless Lab to name a few - and some bits and pieces of circuits I worked on.

So yeah, I didn't have much in the way of a vacation. Though this is one place where I've thoroughly enjoyed working the whole day. And having a Cafe Coffee Day within the campus made it all the more worthwhile :) .

A week or so before college reopens for the 6th sem, I find a notification from the IEEE saying that a paper I had submitted for an international conference has been accepted. Didn't quite sleep the whole day after seeing the mail, I was that agog! Only in my dreams had I imagined that any paper of mine would be published on IEEE Xplore and in an international IEEE and IET conference's proceedings. Indeed, there's someone up there in the wide blue yonder looking out for me.

Of course, modifying the paper to make it IEEE Xplore Compatible and running it through the IEEE's still remains, not to mention the insanely high registration fee (since this is an event for PhDs, researchers and post grad students, not quite for undergrads). I thank my lucky stars even as I write this little post. There is a bigger hurdle though, the conference dates are smack in the middle of my end semester exam in November. If my university is unaccommodating, it'll be a damn shame if I give a "No Show" in Shanghai, China come November.

So it is with a great deal of apprehension that I end my blog entry, as the class sets forth on a new adventure - the seventh semester.


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