The different types of Group Mates at IIM-A

A study group is perhaps the second most important thing you need to get right at IIM-A (the first being your balance sheet in the
Financial Reporting and Analysis exam). While the PGP Office forms your study group for the first trimester, for the next two trimester you have to form your own group, which is in itself a highly contentious process that often generates heart burn. Your choice of group directly affects your grades in group assignments and there are plenty of them and would also indirectly affect your grades in individual assignments if you happen to have a group full of free riders who leave everything on you. So yes, your peace of mind depends on your group. So, what are the typical group mates?  Continue reading

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Random thought about acads

I have heard a lot of my friends saying that one needs to finish ones studies all in one go because your desire and capacity to study goes down once you start working. I disagree. I think I have studied for far too long. All those things that I only read and never implemented. All those crazy ideas that I don’t yet know if they will succeed. No, I really need to get out there, do some work, real work, and see how it feels. I am sure I will get bored in a few years and be itching to get back to academic life. I will take the plunge back to academics, study with a renewed vigour, have fun, enjoy.
Disclaimer: Exams round the corner. Hence such thoughts 🙂

Will this give me a JOB?

Before getting any further, let me clarify that I am not really an expert at getting jobs. With my 6.14 CGPA, I haven’t been eligible for the campus placement process at any of the companies I fancied and I wasn’t interested in any of the companies where I was eligible. So basically, my experience of the whole interview and selection process is zilch. And I very much hate wearing formals to an interview, I mean I will code just as awesomely whether I wear jeans, formals or bermudas. Nevertheless, I have solved the technical questions in the mock test papers for many of my friends who were eligible and I also answered last minute phone queries on various technical stuff (oye difference between C++ and Java? Polymorphism ka definition bata? etc) right before my friends were about to face the interviewing panel (And I can proudly say that most of them are now happily placed).

Now lets back to the topic. As you are aware, Sun Tech Days 2010- Hyderabad is on March 24th and 25h. I had a blast last year at Tech Days and will go again. So I sent text messages, tweets and status updates to see if anyone is interested in going with me. And yes, a few people were interested in coming along. But almost everyone has the same query, “How is it useful? Will Sun give me a job if I go there? Will it look good on my CV?”. I then politely inform them that TechDays (or any developer conference for that matter) is about learning new technologies, meeting up the developers of that technology first hand, expanding your horizon and yes, networking with other developers. But none of these can directly lead to a JOB. Any company, be it Sun, Microsoft, Google or Oracle or any other, does not do these event to recruit, they do these to popularize their products, get developers excited about them so that these developers would go back and use some of these products in their own projects, but never to find potential employees. Yes you could, potentially, meet up the company people, and really impress them with some cool idea and they might refer you; but that’s just as unlikely as me beginning my preparations for any exam more than 14 hours in advance. Very very rare.

And when I say this, it dampens their spirits to no end. The response is somewhat like, “Ummm..Well…Its 1000 bucks plus travel and stay…good event..but I don’t know any of those stuff….I will be lost..still I will think…”

Well I am sorry but I hate this attitude. First realize that no company will ever recruit people from a developer event. If say Sun were to recruit everyone who came to Tech Days Hyderabad, it would directly double their present employee count. So that ain’t happening. Secondly, why is that you expect that almost everything that you do has to directly enable you to get a JOB? If you are good at what you do, you will get a job (provided you haven’t messed up your academics like me and your university has got a competent Placement Division). The goal of your engineering studies should not be to get a job, it should be to learn how to develop software (or electronic circuits,buildings, bridges, cars, chemicals etc but I will stick to my field here) that are awesome and flawless, near perfect. It should be to develop a deep, almost fanatic, interest in your field (or a sub field or sub sub field). It should be about experimenting, making mistakes and screwing up, and yet gearing up for the next adventure.

As Rancho puts it in 3 Idiots, “Chase excellence, success will follow”.

Last year when I attended Tech Days 2009, I had just become a Campus Ambassador for Sun. I was still not much into CA activities and my only contact was my co-ordinator Ajay Kumar. I had heard about Ganesh Hiregoudar, the APAC Manager of the CA program and my boss, but I had never met him. His name drew up visions of some burly, short haired, short tempered, pointed haired boss images in my mind. No one other than Ajay knew I would be at Tech Days and I too had no idea that anything special regarding CA activities would happen at Tech Days. My first day went well and I met one CA, I was wondering if anyone else had arrived. The next day, in the morning, I ventured to the OpenSolaris installation area tucked at a corner of the HICC. Actually I did not go there for OpenSolaris but rather for the Sun SPOT demo by Jay Mahadeokar and Vasusen Patil, I was very excited about it and hadn’t received my kit yet, in fact I did not know that I was supposed to get a kit. Unknown to me, a lot of CAs, Ganesh Hiregoudar and other people associated with the CA program were all there near the OpenSolaris corner. They identified me because of my orange Sun bag. A few confusing moments followed by introductions with a lot of awesome people and I was put to help out people install OpenSolaris and also register for OSUM . And yeah I got to finally meet Ganesh Hiregoudar and all my fears turned out completely false. He was anything but burly, didn’t have short hair and was did not frighten you at all. He was the most polite boss one can ever have, the most awesomest boss. I also met Rajesh Umashankar and Kumar Abhishek. The whole CA gang went out for dinner in the evening, sponsored by Sun.

Before I had gone to Tech Days, I was an unknown CA, just an employee ID, an email address. Once their, I met these people, was able to impress them (though I have to admit it wasn’t intentional). Now they knew me and liked me. After a few weeks, I was offered internship at Sun,I applied and was selected. Not every CA gets to do an internship at IEC but I made it. And it was due to that internship that I was able to work with the Sun HPC Team at Singapore. And now I am doing another project with them. And all of this happened because I went to Tech Days. I did not go to announce my presence to my bosses there, I went there to learn about Sun technologies. I hadn’t even hoped to meet any of my bosses, Ajay too was not coming. But that visit really worked wonders.

So the lesson is, don’t just do things because you are absolutely sure it will give you a JOB, do things because you like to do those. Learn and explore. Opportunities will surely come and you will be at the right place at the right time. Don’t do everything for a “certi”. Most of the certis that you get after working in fests in our college are useless. No employer is really bothered about those. But you might actually end up learning something in the process. There will be no dearth of jobs if you have a passion for your work.

Well, enough free advice for now. Have fun. Hope to see you at Sun Tech Days 2010 at Hyderabad.

Why I don’t want to pursue MS/PhD?

Its the time of the year when the final year students are about to leave. Just a few days more and I will never again meet some really impressive seniors, people who have left a definite impact on my life. Sad, while I am to see them go, I am also envious of them.Many of them have got admissions into some of the finest Universities abroad and will be pursuing research in various fields of computing, like AI, Natural Language Processing, Information Security, Parallel Systems, Distributed Systems to name a few. These are things I am crazy about. There is just so much to learn and explore in computing. I have just touched only a tip of the ice-berg in my three years of undergraduate studies. 

 

Lets say Linux. I really don’t much about Linux internals, kernel hacking.But  its my dream to contribute some kernel patch some day. Also Parallel Computing and distributed computing are such exciting topics. So it seems natural that I should pursue a career in research like my seniors. But alas, I dont wanna do that. I am preparing for an MBA and wanna go to a B-school. Given below are some of the reasons why I wanna do that

 

1. I am worried that I will never be able to complete a decent PhD thesis. I mean I don’t know what new I am gonna write about. I really never have some huge revolutionary idea that I can convert into a thesis. Its not that I don’t have ideas.Most of the time I am able to think out of the box on certain things(related to computing) but a research idea is not one of them. I can’t think like…say Sunayana. Sometimes, it appears that everything that had to be discovered and invented has already been invented. In fact I had this worry since childhood (I wanted to be scientist since I was a kid). I used to grumble about the same with my parents. 🙂

2. Somehow it appears that the life of a researcher is slow and laid back. Yes they do cool stuff but its not all that fast paced. But I like to live at breakneck speed and live a risky life which border around a mental breakdown . That way MBA is better. You get to have a 16 -18 hour work day and are responsible for billions of dollars and your decision have profound effect. There is risk and fast pace (with no time to rest) in such a career. So I am worried that I may get bored of the life of a researcher.

3. I probably dont have that kind of patience to work on something for years. However, this is disputable as I have shown evidence to the contrary.

4. My research will be at the mercy of some Management guy(bean counter) who does not have a clue about research. That I dont like.

5. Which decent University admission panel in its right mind would allow someone with my CPGA into a MS/PhD program? Compared to that, in CAT they mainly look at your CAT score.

So I sum up my reasons. I may be wrong in the above assumptions. But then this is MY opinion.

$nz…In view of the immense contribution made to my earlier theory by Dr. Nirzaree Vadgama

Prologue:The minor errors in this theory have been corrected. The credit goes to Dr.Nirzaree Vadgama. Nirzaree has been awarded PhD in FFAM (Fully Faltoo Applied Mathematics) by Dr. Sandip Dev (Ignobel Laureate in FFAM) under whom she conducted the worthy research. hence $n is now $nz

After years of research(more than 17 years to be precise) and severe head-aching brainstorming sessions,I have found out a new number.Its called the Nirzaree and Sandip’s Number, denoted by $nz (it was earlier known as $n or Sandip’ number as the original idea belonged to the great 21st century mathematician, hacker and self-confessed flirt and physco Sandip Dev).

Definition:Nirzaree and Sandip’s Number($nz) denotes the average time is minutes in which a student gets seriously bored by the lecture given by the teacher/professor.
$nz is directly proportional to the cgpa/grades of the student,say g
$nz is inversely proportional to the IQ of the student, say q ,this statement follows from the general observation that a student with good IQ(mind it, I say IQ not grades,and the reason for this is left as an exercise for the reader) soon realizes that the teacher is an in-competent fool, listening to whose lecture is an exercise in futility, a grand waste of precious time which can be better spent in gossiping with mates, checking out the girls or by simply dozing off

$nz is inversely proportional to the time of the day in 24hr format,T
$nz is directly proportional to the competency of the teacher, but it can never be infinite,c
Therefore from the above postulates we can say that :
$nz=gc/qt +k where k is a constant(between -1000 to +1000) for a particular teacher and it depends on factors like whether the teacher is male or female, attractive or repulsive,and the general appearance of the teacher

Further research on the possible values of k are underway.

To find the overall competence of a teacher,denoted by rms(c) :
1.find all the values of $nz for each member of the class
2.Now rms(c)=(Sum($nz^2)/n)1/2 , the root mean sqaure of all the values of $nz

Readers are requested to evaluate the theory ,however most of the postulates have been found to be true and have survived years of research.

Oops…i did it again…..

Well screwed CO as well….Some people were reduced to tears after the exam….But I was quite happy…Reason: well I believe my department will soon award me a PhD after going through my answer script. Why? Because everything that I wrote in the paper is purely original research done within the 2 hrs stipulated duration for the exam. Trust me, everything that I wrote has nothing to do with what is written in the book, any resemblance with Stallings or Tanenbaum is unintentional and purely co-incidental and highly regretted..

Asst Prof Sandip Dev, Computer Engineering Department, NIT-Surat