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Old 20th July 2011, 09:31   #211
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@NetFreakBombay & Vina. TIFR is not a university in the true sense. It has a PhD programme, but not much else.

Also, TIFR has quit a bit of involvement in work of DAE. I know you will understand what I am driving at.
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Old 29th August 2011, 20:19   #212
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TIFR and BARC are a part of research and result analysis at CERN, Geneva. India is a observer nation and does take active part in the particle research happening. Infact, around 30-50 scientist can be found in CERN at any time of the year. Though we are not having any such equipments/research facilities inhouse, its a good feeling to see atleast the govt./labs promoting people to participate in international programmes. Moreover, the rest of the world respects us for our intectual and morality.(We do not reverse engineer and sell products in the market).
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Old 23rd May 2012, 18:19   #213
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Ahaa, it is that time again...

Remember this book? Amazon.com: How Would You Move Mount Fuji? Microsoft's Cult of the Puzzle - How the World's Smartest Company Selects the Most Creative Thinkers (9780316919166): William Poundstone: Books

Anyway, the situation is lot simpler for me. I just ask when is 20th century and more than half the candidates flunk that question.

Today I had a candidate who had good academic score. She had 88% in 10th grade, 75% in 12th grade and 76% in BE. And I actually made her write the answer on the white board, hoping she might see the light when she wrote it down. Alas...

Name:  TxVideoConf Windows 5232012 40211 PM.jpg
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In other words, I was born in the late 16th century. Damn, I feel old.

Last edited by Samurai : 23rd May 2012 at 18:27.
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Old 24th May 2012, 08:49   #214
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@AkphaKilo; Morality - I have my doubts. With all these scams I am not too sure. We are great in lecturing others.

@Samurai; You asked her to use a commodity, her brain, which she had never used! I am aghast - she does not even understand the word Century, maybe she thinks that is a cricketing term.

Now the quality (or rather lack of it) is even more obvious NASSCOM has started a test to check them out.

Thank God mushrooming colleges have now started shutting down! Hope the damage is not permanent. With eight new IITs with no teachers to find I expect we will join the masses - socialism.
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Old 24th May 2012, 12:11   #215
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@Samurai; You asked her to use a commodity, her brain, which she had never used! I am aghast - she does not even understand the word Century, maybe she thinks that is a cricketing term.
What I found very shocking is the inability to think. For example, her project work was on encrypting 2D image files, where each byte is modified using a random number. It was plain after her explanation that the algorithm could be used on any kind of file. Since she developed that program, it should be plain to her too. So I asked...

Me: What if it is a 3D image file?
She: Then we will have to modify the algorithm.
Me: How will you modify it?
She: Um, hmm, ugh, er...

I am not stunned, not any more since I have been seeing this for a while now.

Let me go back an incident that happened 15 years back in USA. My wife and I were shopping for linens at a superstore, think it was Macy's. The place was so big, we couldn't find the linens section. So we approached a sales staff, he was probably 17-18 years old.

Me: Excuse me, where can I find linens?
He: A what?
Me: LINEN <worried my accent is at fault>
He: LINEN? <he pronounced it correctly though>

He started laughing and turned to an elderly sales staff (60+)

He: They want Linen, what the hell is a Linen!

The older man simply turned to us and said "2nd floor, on the left side".

As we moved on, I turned and saw the old man giving his piece of mind to the youngster.

Not only the young man was ignorant, he was very confident. If I heard a new word, I would be humble enough ask for the meaning. However, this fellow decided that if he doesn't know, it doesn't exist. My wife and I decided that this was an American trait, result of the self-esteem movement.

Fifteen years later I am shocked to find the same trait in most Indian kids, including my son. With all the exposure from TV/Internet, today's kids are supposed to be lot smarter. But I find it otherwise. They know lots of useless popular stuff, but lot less useful stuff when compared to kids from pre-Internet or pre-TV era. When I compare these graduates to my classmates, I realise my classmates in the late 80s were lot more smarter.

BTW, I asked the same century question my 11 year old son today. This was his answer.

IT Industry and Employability of Technical Graduates-dhruv_century.jpg

Needless to say, I was so relieved.

PS: For the 21st century, he first wrote "after 2000". Then I asked him to define the end too, then he added "to 2100".
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Old 24th May 2012, 16:13   #216
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Ahaa, it is that time again...
....

Today I had a candidate who had good academic score. She had 88% in 10th grade, 75% in 12th grade and 76% in BE.
The marks are merely a reflection of eat-vomit-relieved syndrome now wide-spread in the Indian education context. We are unfortunately looking only at marks as the criteria of success in education.
I do remember words of a wise man "Common sense is not common anymore"
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Old 24th May 2012, 16:48   #217
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An interesting article that was trending on Facebook among my friends
An Open Letter to India's Graduating Classes - NYTimes.com
Personally I think the article appears to be the result of a generation gap. The comments felt more insightful than the article itself
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Old 24th May 2012, 17:08   #218
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I have a couple of people to whom I go whenever something is needed urgently.
I have always pondered on what separates them from others. Mostly its the attitude and not skills. There are too many passive people around.

In interviews, it helps to make them comfortable. I have seen some good guys getting nervous which affects their thinking.
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Old 24th May 2012, 18:50   #219
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I think the article hits the nil on the head. In a way the IITs can take a lot of the blame. I remember quite some time ago, the daughter of a friend joined a well known coaching. On some thing she inquired that the matter is not clear. The teacher responded right now your job is to qualify,then you have four years to clear your concepts.

We are doing a Pavlovian job in the coaching, and who can be blamed for their start.
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Old 24th May 2012, 19:24   #220
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We are unfortunately looking only at marks as the criteria of success in education.
I don't look at marks, so you can leave me out of that WE.

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
Personally I think the article appears to be the result of a generation gap. The comments felt more insightful than the article itself
I agree, the comments really reveal how clueless people have become. Despite author's clear description of the problem, they are blaming him for the problem. Amazing...

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In interviews, it helps to make them comfortable. I have seen some good guys getting nervous which affects their thinking.
I have been conducting interviewing since the 90s, so I know all about that. I keep the whole process very relaxed. The above was not the result of any nervousness. I ain't Siddartha Basu running Quiz Time.
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Old 24th May 2012, 23:04   #221
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Clearly, there are many reasons why a large number of our graduates with good to excellent exam scores have sub par knowledge base. One important factor is the lack of exposure with good textbooks. The time spent by a student in learing a topic is getting lesser and lesser. Rather than sitting down in the library for hours together to study a book thorougly, a student would collect previous year's class notes from his/her senior and memorise them. The role of some teachers in this aspect is deplorable too. One very popular professor of my workplace, on being asked by a student to name a good book on his topic, shot back saying that no book was better than his class notes!

Another very personal opinion of mine is that the semester system does not allow the development of insight and hence long term proficiency in a particular topic suffers. Looking back at my own experience, I was very unhappy during my masters degree, having to appear in an exam and immediately forgetting the topic, just when I would develop an interest and start having some grasp on it. I would always prefer to study eight topics in a year rather than four in six months and four more immediately afterwards in another six months.
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Old 24th May 2012, 23:12   #222
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...

Another very personal opinion of mine is that the semester system does not allow the development of insight and hence long term proficiency in a particular topic suffers. Looking back at my own experience, I was very unhappy during my masters degree, having to appear in an exam and immediately forgetting the topic, just when I would develop an interest and start having some grasp on it. I would always prefer to study eight topics in a year rather than four in six months and four more immediately afterwards in another six months.
I had semester system in my college, and 12 years out of college I still remember quite a few things taught in the very first year (i.e. 16 year old stuff) even though quite a bit of that is not what I do for a living.

I must ask you what prevented you from pursuing the stuff in which you "would develop and interest and start having some grasp" after the exams were done? And what level of interest was it that you vomited it in the exam and forgot it like a bad dish.



It is very fashionable blaming the amorphous, invisible "system". For most of their inabilities the students themselves are to blame. their rot starts far before they reach college. Most engineering graduates can't differentiate exp(t) with respect to t, now that you learn in High School, so how is the college system responsible for that?
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Old 25th May 2012, 01:12   #223
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It is very fashionable blaming the amorphous, invisible "system". For most of their inabilities the students themselves are to blame. their rot starts far before they reach college. Most engineering graduates can't differentiate exp(t) with respect to t, now that you learn in High School, so how is the college system responsible for that?
Well, you can't entirely let the system off the hook. Most of us in India grew up in a system where parents/teachers guide us or lead us by the nose all the way until we graduate, and then drop us entirely to fend ourselves. Wait, that is in the absence of campus selections. In case of campus selectees, the lead by nose continues for few more years.

System is not just the college or school. It is everything around you. My brother's daughter (15) didn't have summer vacation this time because the 10th grade private tuition started on April 10th itself. And she managed to qualify (sic) for the tuition class only after her previous marks were scrutinized and found acceptable. The cramming has started. Why not learn it in school? Because the teachers at school won't teach well, as they expect all good students to learn it in private tuition classes. It is a vicious circle.

And these tuition classes are entirely focused on how to score in the exam, and not about understanding or learning. Learning, exploring and creativity takes a back seat, and it is all about how to impress the examiner. Same kind of process continues until the student is spit out of the education system with a first class degree in hand. By this time most students lose their ability to explore and innovate. Those who resist the system and retain their creativity get thoroughly punished by the system. I should know, I was one of them.

About 11 years after my graduation, I took up MBA at an UK university. That was the first time I was exposed to real academic learning. The exams were tough as hell and mostly in essay and case study format. They gave marks only if you demonstrate clear understanding of the topic. Reproducing the material by memory would get you a big zero. And there was no choice, you had to answer every question. It was so refreshing, to see an education system that actually forced you to learn.

When will that happen here? And why can't we have open book tests, where the answers can't be found in the text books? Where only true understanding of the topic can bring out the answer.

No, I am not holding my breath. It won't happen in near future, it is too big a cultural change. In fact, we are going in the reverse direction. We have a culture where whenever a new kind of testing is put in place, people start scrambling for a way to beat that test. Case in point, Kota IIT JEE coaching or NDA coaching or similar coaching for beating corporate recruitment exams.

My college mathematics basics are very weak despite attending a top college in the city. That is because it was taught by lecturers who only focused on rote learning. After studying calculus for two years, I had no idea about the purpose of calculus. But I knew most of the formulas. Same story continued in engineering college, where the mathematics lecturers were all from pure science background (M.Sc) and had no idea about the engineering applications of the same. Thus they made engineering mathematics very dry and boring and meaningless to us. By then I had started selecting my own books for better understanding of electronics. In fact, by the time I graduated, my understanding of electronics was entirely from the physics angle and none from mathematical angle. I understood circuits, but none of the communication theory. I understood AM/FM modulation, but not harmonics. It is pathetic really. That is how I got attracted to programming and switched to software, where I didn't have deal with the mathematics missing link.

We had a handicap then, we didn't have access to world wide web and plethora of educational resources. Today's students don't have that handicap. If they don't understand something, a google search can bring up many educational links where on can learn it instantly. Yet, lot of them don't make the effort. So they can't really blame the system entirely, some of the blame goes to them too.

Last edited by Samurai : 21st June 2012 at 15:04. Reason: typo
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Old 25th May 2012, 06:26   #224
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- she does not even understand the word Century, maybe she thinks that is a cricketing term..
but Sir, even in Cricket, a century is still a 100. The answer the girl gave was with a measure of 10 years.

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Case in point, Kota IIT JEE coaching or NDA coaching or similar coaching for beating corporate recruitment exams.
NDA also ?

Last edited by mobike008 : 25th May 2012 at 13:54. Reason: As requested
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Old 25th May 2012, 07:14   #225
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I was reading this when I was reminded of " not questioning the superior" syndrome.

Unraveling Social Interaction (Part 4) | Reply-MC
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