Second Semester at IITB


I had decided that I will devote this semester. to inculcate the difficult art called discipline. Unfortunately for me the courses on offer this semester were not of my interest. I ended up taking courses that are generally considered light weight and most of the students take them for improving a grades or as load balancers.

Software Architecture

Many students dropped this course after attending the first lecture. In the end there were only 20 students who took up the course. The course is difficult in the sense, it shows several hidden sides of software development. We study formal representation of common architectural problems and then solving them. Architectural descriptions languages, Architectural patterns , Process Calculus, Design patterns and so on.

With a small class its very interactive. Being a good programmer has nothing to do with writing beautiful solutions. This course is a good learning experience.

Information Technology Project Management

An old man, a person who held high positions in various big companies including TCS, a person with 30+ experience in IT industry comes to teach this course. The only “no nonsense tolerated” professor I have seen here at IIT.

From his body language to his choice of words it shows that this man is very methodical and systematic. The way project managers are supposed to be.

I regret taking this class because there is nothing intellectually stimulating here. I enjoy his lectures just the way we enjoy any popular lecture series. His teach style is full of practical knowledge, real life issues that he faces and several parables. He puts so many stories in his lecture that in the end we will be able to compile a “Project Management Panchatantra”.

The syllabus of the course is exactly the same as PMP certification and I hope the book I have purchased (written by the same prof.) will be useful that time.

Philosophy of Education

Education has always been very close to my heart. I took this course not because it will help me improve my grades but so that I will get deeper insights into what exactly is education.

I was really stunned by the work of various philosophers. Especially Plato. His “allegory of cave” has impressed me a lot. I always thought that I had good aptitude for humanities, my reading on the various subjects helped me deliver a good presentation on “Educating the Poor”.

Our Prof. is very humble and well read. We often get into debates in class where we discuss almost all the aspects of education. Many times we debated reservations, government interference, secularism, different kind of education, purpose of education and so on.

I would rate this as one extremely useful course. Not often people in my field get an opportunity to systematically study philosophical aspects of education.

Seminar

When we worked in industry searching “regular expression for validating email” on google was termed as “R&D”. But here in this institution the word “research” has more sex appeal than industry.

In the 4 credit seminar I was supposed to survey the existing work done in the field of “virtual displays”. Virtual displays for Automobiles, airplanes , medicine etc come in the category of Real Time Safety Critical systems which means a mistake in design can cost a lot of money and life.

Virtual Displays is relatively a new field and I am expected to figure out research problems in this field and summarize them and in the end present it before a panel of experts and they will eventually bombard me with questions.

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