Life@IITD

I am leading the so called “normal” life now – yeah, you guessed it right ” The Job Life”!! The one where people work like crazy on weekdays and sleep/go out for adventure activities/movie/shopping/relax with a book/eat after browsing on Zomato /read a blog like this:P, etc. Β on weekends – depending on interests. The happy moment for most of us is when we get a message from your respective banks at month end; the contents of which contain a word “credited” πŸ˜› Its a routine life, monotonous – you have to live with it. Some people like it ; but then some people also like Justin Bieber’s BabyΒ  πŸ˜‰ Β ( On that note, I just found out a couple of days ago that the second highest viewed song on YouTube is nowΒ See You AgainΒ – actually a good idea to listen to it while writing πŸ˜‰ ). OK, coming to the point .. this post is due for almost four months now ( yeah, four months since I finished my Masters in Computer technology at IIT Delhi). Just wanted to write an account of my crazy experiences @IITD….okay all right, had not written a blog post since a long time Β and got no other topic in my mind ( why does this SugarΒ song always starts playing after See You Again)

In case you need a background on how I landed into doing Masters @IITD , you can have a look at my series of postsΒ here. I am going to divide this post into sections each describing one aspect of my life at Indian Institute of Technology Delhi ( yeah..we should use the full name too sometimes πŸ™‚

  1. Academics: Computer Technology was the most worked up branch for Masters when we joined ( though some friends in Power Electronics may have a different opinion :P). I am saying was because the curriculum has changed drastically starting from the batch which followed. The number of credits are reduced, labs have become optional, etc. Though I still think, we were the winners in terms of learning and also putting up more points on our CV during placements.
    • Assignments and Term-Projects: We spent our entire one year doing assignments, projects and classes.The main reason why all of us felt the “load” was that in our BTech we were not used to doing assignments like this. Most of the assignments ( in our college at least ) were written assignments where we just had to copy from two or three sites ( mainly Wikipedia πŸ˜‰ ). I remember going to the Digital Electronics lab and seeing the Google Doc for the first assignment on screen which was to design a microwave controller. I had no clue how am I gonna do it…Initially, all of us thought it is impossible to do it in one day but at the end of the day all of us did submit it after completion :); such is the pressure ( or miracle ) of IIT. And yeah, I forgot to mention the most important point: you can’t copy from anywhere ..yes anywhere included Internet, your friends, your seniors submissions. Though some people in our batch thought of outsmarting the software ( and some succeed rarely ) , but I will strongly advise not to copy because if you get caught by MOSSΒ (plagiarism detection software) you will suffer a lot. All these situations forced you to actually think and do assignments on your OWN and that is what has contributed the most to my learning curve. I especially loved doing Computer Vision and Β System Software assignments. Being a person with ECE background, I was pretty apprehensive about my abilities to do programming , but I have realized of late Β that their is no escape from programming anywhere. Its a tool to implement your ideas and love it or not you have to do it..you will eventually start loving it. I was just amazed with the idea that me with my laptop can do so many wonderful things and actually see its effect unlike in ECE where I used to just imagine Electromagnetic Waves and obviously, getting access and working on a chip was very difficult.
    • Courses, MTP and Professors:Β I enjoyed all the subjects which I studied as part of my curriculum (core courses as well as the electives which I took). My personal favorites being OS, Neural Networks, Computer Vision and Deep Learning for Vision. DBMS was also fun but for a different reason ;). The professors are good but not exceptional. It was absolute pleasure for me to attend the lectures of some professors while in others it became difficult not to yawn on the face of the professor. I always believe you do require a learning instinct and interest within yourself first rather than expecting the professor to somehow magically implant the “learning beans” inside you which will grow automatically to somehow make you love the subject and you being ‘pro’ at it. The choice of electives is mostly based on interests to the difficulty level of the course, i.e., if you want to improve your CGPA ( especially before placements ) you tend to go to a subject which will fetch you higher grades without much effort. Though personally I always prefer a subject which I am interested in more than a subject which will get me an A ( all good courses are actually difficult – but you will learn a lot from them ). Your 4th sem will go entirely in your MTech project (MTP). Again a lot of factors come into play here which primarily include your dedication and your supervisor’s impression on you. You might get frustrated at some (okay many ) occasions when you think you are doing your best still somehow not getting the desired results/ credit for your work – but that is what is research my dear πŸ™‚download
    • TA duties:Β Well, there is a lot of variation in the amount and the extend of TA duties which you can get, even within the same branch.I remember having to check about 400 exam scripts of Basic Electrical Engg. as our only TA duty in the first sem ( got pizzas in the end though :P). For me, the final sem was most loaded in terms of TA duty as I had to mentor projects and take assignment vivas for two courses. Though I was liberal in marking , but its always fun to question BTech people and confuse them with the looks even if they answer a question correctly πŸ˜‰
  2. Hostel :Β Living in hostel is always filled with pleasant memories. The late night assignments till 4 am and then rushing to classes at 8 am, finishing your browsing quota (the famous ” You are Squished ” message ), planned measures to open or download all necessary items before 1 am ( yeah the net stops working in IITD hostels after 1 am ; though WiFi in the main insti area and net in labs work 24 hours), necessary ritual to avoid Saturday lunch and endless gossiping laying in each other’s rooms were a delight. The mess food was bad/tolerable/good depending on days of the week. Staying in 3rd floor and climbing the stairs (no lift in Kailash 😦 ) especially in Delhi summer was horrible ; though coolers are now allowed inside the hostel rooms after the surprise visit by our Honourable HRD minister. You can find cats eating with you in the mess and scaring you on stairs, dogs successfully bringing down the tall dustbins kept on the hostel lobbies and shitting in your bathrooms, washing machine kept on every washroom just for display and the only laundry room in the hostel being utterly crowded so eventually you have to wash them with your own hands or else find an odd timing when you can expect to find a washing machine actually empty !! But nevertheless, how much I complain about the hostel, the fact is I like living there πŸ™‚
  3. The Campus: The IITD campusΒ is very small as compared to other IITs but the main advantage is its location. It is located just in the right place !! – the airport, railway station, all cool places to hangout are nearby ( yeah , with Metro everything is approachable unlike in Bangalore). The hanging spots and the birthday celebration spot ( if you don’t have lab keys) inside the campus being the WindT, CCD ..( yeah that’s all :P). Always remember that the Shani Mandir gate is more near to PVR Saket but then you don’t get autos there very often πŸ™‚
  4. Placements:Β Seriously, I hated going to CSC for those tests..but now I am so happy its over :).To be honest, I am not the best person to advice you on this topic as I was not so serious about it, but yeah I always enjoying giving “gyan” to people. Just few important things to keep in mind.You will feel very bad especially in the month of November and it will seem that you will not get placed anywhere and all your tests will be screwed up, you will be able to solve just 1 question of of the 3 questions in the coding round..etc ( you know all that stuff). But just hang in there. You will definitely get placed somewhere and in a good company if you are an average student. I won’t be giving preparation tips here because the already long post will become the length of Lord of the Rings πŸ˜› ( yeah, I crack lame jokes ).Just keep yourself physically and mentally fit during placement season and do not get affected by performance of others.
  5. Dilli-the city:Β Well people say a lot about Delhi being unsafe for girls and the extreme climate, but for me I love Delhi more than Bangalore. May be the reason is that I spent my beautiful college days here and may be if I worked there I would have loathed it. But irrespective of all this, Delhi is a beautiful place. There are historic monuments, malls, good food outlets, shopping paradises for girls ;), HKV, CP. The stretch from Rashtrapati Bhavan – India Gate and Bangla Sahib were one of my favorite destinations.
  6. Fun times: I can’t even start describing the fun times here because it in itself needs a separate post.So, stay tuned for that πŸ˜‰

Many people ask me why do companies pay so much to IITans? Why are the companies biased? What is so special in them? Well what I feel is that the competitive environment changes the mental attitude of the person a lot.You somehow learn to take risks and are more open to new challenges. You know you will figure out a way to do an assignment in Java even if you don’t know Java :P. So, basically the job gets done at the end of the day. As pointed out by Prof. CNR Rao ( our Convocation chief Guest), IIT’s are truely the only Indian Brand which need to be preserved and cherished. On that note I will conclude my post saying Jai Ho IITD and Jai Kailash !! πŸ˜›

Sorry for the long post, but the memories were also 2 years long. Stay blessed and chillax !! πŸ™‚ And as my friend pointed out, do not take out more than two tissue papers for wiping your hands as you never need more than two πŸ˜› So, save paper..save trees and save environment ( inspired by recent smog in Delhi ) πŸ™‚

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IIT Delhi Interview Experience

Within a week of returning from IIT Kanpur (click here to see more), I had to rush to IIT Delhi.I had applied in the below specializations at IITD:

  • MTech in EE Dept – 1) Integrated Electronics & Circuits 2) Communications 3) Computer Technology 4) Control & Automation
  • Interdisciplinary MTech in VDTT ( VLSI Design Tools & Technology )
  • Interdisciplinary MTech in JTM ( Bharti School of Telecom Technology & Management )

I did not get a call from IEC and Communications at IIT Delhi as the cutoff for interviews was very high( 910 & 860 respectively ) compared to previous years.Slightly disappointed by this, I reached IIT Delhi one day before the interviews ( 14th May ).

VDTT (15th May):

After verification of our documents ( the only IIT where our documents were actually verified πŸ˜› ), I was the first one to be called for the interviews.First and last ones to go are always at disadvantage. I had heard this before, but I realized it only after I entered the room.It was a one-to-one interview.The professor asked me what was my GATE score and whether I was a University Topper.Then he started with the questions.Much to my relief, I answered all of them pretty well but luck had just turned its face away from me. Suddenly this prof. had to go in an urgent meeting; he was replaced by two other profs.Unfortunately, the first prof took his laptop and with it the Excel Sheet which recorded my performance till now.This chain of events distracted me a bit. I was not able to answer the remaining questions with confidence and hence failed to satisfy them.The questions asked by them were:

  • A long network of R,L,C elements was given and I was asked to find the voltages at each node and currents in all the branches at steady state and switching instant of a step input.
  • Write a program to find the maximum and second maximum in an array of elements along with their array indices.
  • Realization of given driving point impedance function, Z(s) = (s+3)/(s+2).I realized it using R and L; asked me to do the same with R & C. Then he asked if this function can be realized by L & C elements. If not, why?
  • Draw the basic CE amplifier and explain the role of each capacitance in the circuit. How will you choose a suitable value for the emitter capacitor ( bypass capacitor ) practically? Give a formula.
  • What is a phase locked loop? Draw its circuit.
  • Circuit for CMOS inverter and its VTC.
  • If input and output of a CMOS inverter are shorted what will happen? Show it graphically on the VTC.

My interview lasted for about 1 hour and it was the longest for any candidate.But, I failed to qualify for the next round of sponsor’s interview.

JTM(15th May):

At about 6 pm on the same day, I had my second interview.Each of the candidates was supposed to fill his/her primary and secondary areas of interest in a form before the interview.I filled Wireless Communication as my primary and Computer Networks as my secondary areas of interest.The questions I faced were:

  • What is a fading channel? Explain.
  • What is multiplicative noise ? Explain with the help of equation and diagram. How is it different from additive noise?
  • Draw the constellation diagram of 8-PAM.They gave an alternative diagram to the one I drew and asked me which one is better and why?
  • Draw the constellation diagram of 8- QAM and 16-QAM. What are the merits and demerits of both?
  • Calculate the energy required to transmit for both the constellation diagrams.
  • What is the condition for orthogonality in case of M-FSK? Write mathematical equation and explain.

My interview lasted for about 30 mins.The interviewers were very kind and co-operative.I would also like to appraise the wonderful job done by the coordinators in conducting the interviews in a very systematic and organized manner.I think my experience of working in a telecom company came to my advantage here and I was not surprised when I saw my name in the list of selected candidates πŸ™‚

Computer Technology ( 16th May ):

While applying I haven’t even seen what this course was about and hence hadn’t prepared a least bit related to its interview.So,on the night before the interview, I decided to take a glance at its home page to know about it.The more I learnt about it ; the more I started liking it and the more I repented of not preparing for the interview and missing out such a golden chance.Computer Technology is a specialization which takes 50% of the students from CS and the rest from EC/EE. Being an EC student one tends to get away from coding related questions as much as possible; leaving that front for the CS guys to score.So, the competition was more here and my anxiety was growing with every passing moment.Anyhow,when my turn came, I got up with a positive attitude and decided to give my best shot.

When I entered the room, I was met with a pleasant shock. My panel was the same as the previous interview. The professors identified me immediately and beamed at me. They asked me what will I choose between CTech and JTM. They told me that both the courses are almost the same in content and even most of the faculty members are common for both.The results of JTM were not out yet, so I replied that I would like to be interviewed for CTech also and then decide based on the outcome. They were quite generous to give me a chance and started their questions:

  • What is CSMA-CD and CSMA-CA? Which one is used in GSM?
  • What will the maximum and minimum packet size limit for a CSMA-CA network.Give formula along with proof.
  • What will the maximum length of an IP packet between any two points A and B in the network?
  • What are the different sorting algorithms ? Order of complexity of each.
  • Write a program for merge sort.
  • What is channel coding? Which layer is responsible for that? Justify.

They also asked me the questions which I was not able to answer in the previous interview. Obviously, they figured it out that I was quite lazy to search for the correct answer; that too in a single day and didn’t ask much about them. The interview was good ; but I was skeptical that they would select the same candidate for two courses. I was happily proved wrong when they declared the result πŸ™‚

Control & Automation ( 17th May ):

Well, frankly speaking I went to this interview only to kill my spare time. My flight was in the evening and I had no work to do in the hostel.I was not interested in this course; and so was quite chilled out before the interview.I didn’t even care to do the formality of touching my friend’s book the pages of which she was turning hurriedly.There were four persons in my panel.One of them asked me why I left my job and what will I do if I failed to get admission in an IIT? To this I replied that I am positive that I will do. He was impressed by my determination and started asking questions:

  • What is a homogeneous equation? Questions related to eigen values and eigen vectors.
  • Definition of an LTI system.Give mathematical equations along with examples.How is principle of homogeneity mentioned in my definition related to the homogeneous equation AX=0?
  • Can an LTI system be unstable? If yes , how. If no, how?
  • Draw pole zero plot of lead compensator. what is the difference between lead compensator and PD controller?

The interview was obviously not good, but to my surprise I was placed in the waiting list for admission. πŸ˜‰

Pros:

  • IIT Delhi is the best for placements along with IIT Bombay.
  • It is the chillest IIT in the sense that professors are quite cool and there is not much load ( compared to iitk,b,m ). So, you can enjoy your two years of college fully.
  • For those of you who are aiming for IAS, IES, PSU’s IITD is just the right place for you. Just outside the IIT gate you will find ample coaching institutes for all types of exams and we all know that Delhi is the best place for preparation of Civils and PSU entrance( Note: I highly discourage leaving an MTech program midway to join in somewhere else which leads to wastage of seats in IIT’s)
  • The research work in some courses of IITD is one of the best in India ( e.g. computer vision , image processing, robotics ).So, for people who want to do PhD in these areas you will get lot of resources and good references. Also, VDTT program conducted by IITD is recognized as one of the best in its kind where you get the chance of getting specialized training by the industry people and sponsorship as well.
  • Location of IIT Delhi offers a huge advantage with all historic places, airport,markets and other places to roam around and eat within few radius of the campus πŸ™‚

Cons:

  • The hostels of IIT Delhi ( talking of the girl’s hostel ) are not so good ( compared to iitk,kgp,b).You will have to share room with two other people ; which might be troublesome if you are not used to living like that.
  • The food in the mess of the girls hostel was not good(everyone seconded this opinion ). Though you always have the option of eating in canteens and having yummy mango shakes πŸ™‚
  • IITD pays more weightage to GATE score for shortlisting candidates for admission.This is what I heard and also observed myself.This doesn’t mean that if your GATE score is less you won’t be selected. It just means that you have to be very good in your interview.People with high GATE score, even if you fail to give your best performance you might still expect an admission call.

Phew!! This was a long post. Hope it helped you in some way.Coming next are my experiences at IIT Bombay and BARC. Till then good luck and have a nice day.Keep visiting πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚