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To IISc with love July 31, 2007

Posted by Sharath Rao in education, india, KREC, reminisces-2000.

( that’s IISc – for those who may not know )

An quick-and-dirty letter to a friend from January 2003. I will just let you read it, produced here verbatim ( but for protecting identity of the recipient ) and hence you will have to forgive those dots.

I have come to love IISc….its seems like a romantic so far untragic classic. There is so much freedom here man. When I talk of discipline..its not something that is imposed..nobody is bothered about when and how I do things…. I have the keys to the lab….I can use any machine that is free…infact most of the time I am working on the main server…..I can go sit and chat with anyone who’s willing to anytime. I can use the phone without anyones permission as long as it is a local call…..

I spent my new year day in a party called together by some Ph.D guys….that involved professors and other students…it was something different…These are people who are learned ….with achievements in their field and its nice to brush shoulders with them….Some of them are really eccentric…I must agree…I am treated like a human being…a socially and intellectually responsible individual who is doing something serious…..which may not benefit the institution but it does benefit him…Its a true celebration of learning in its most virgin forms….and I havent seen this anywhere…..I dont deny that there may be better places than IISc…(not in India though)…but this is the best I have seen…..

On Jan 10th….I stayed at the IISc lab…just had some enthu….and stayed overnight…..was alone in that building….it was a new experience…just imagine man…this is the amount of faith that they put in you…..

It was great interacting with the students there…the Ph.D the tech guys….some of these are guys with good perspectives…..I actually came to know more about what reserach is like….what kind of effort it entails….perhaps this brought one of the bigger revelations that I have had here…yeah ..just the feeling that I am capable of reserch……that I can hang on long enough….that when you love your work…its not work anymore. I am beginning to feel it in a totally different way…..

Its a fresher mind…..free of most disturbances that would bug us at KREC. Somehow cant imagine being so much at peace with that place…although i will miss KREC once I leave…..it will be because of MY four years life spent there….and a few people i met …not because the [lace itself was great. On second thoughts it may be tough for any UG school to have the atmosphere that a research kind of place like IISc does…primarily because a UG school especially in India consists of any tom dick and harry who had a momentary lapse of reason during the post class XII period…!!….A research oriented place attracts people who are really motivated and believe me….THAT makes all the difference….

I am having thoughts of continuing in IISc as a research assistant for a year from June….if they are paying…Funds are scarce and it could be tough…but I would rather do something in my field ( DSP) that adds to my resume than hang around in Wipro ( VLSI ). Am not very sure ….but yeah……its on top of my mind right now…..

I don’t know if there is much to add to that except some background 🙂

This was in the middle of my month long work in Dec 02-Jan 2003. For those of you who know me, I went back to the same lab for another year ( July 2003-Jun 2004 ) to work with Dr. T.V. Sreenivas at the ECE Department as an honorary research assistant with the explicit purpose of building research credentials. In the meantime I applied for graduate programs in the United States ; my work with Prof. Sreenivas at IISc ( 2 international conference publications ) may have made all the difference in securing admissions and scholarship for graduate studies. And I shall be immensely grateful to the IISc/”Tata Institute” (as its better known, at least among BTC bus conductors 🙂 ) and my professor for the opportunity.



1. DesiPundit » Archives » Straight from the heart - August 1, 2007

[…] Sharath Rao reproduces a ‘quick-and-dirty letter’ he wrote to a friend back in 2003; it is informal. It’s impressionistic. And it’s about IISc. […]

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