A look at CEG under the Microscope
Prashanth Mohan recently posted on the recent “raids” and the “rules” that have come into affect in the recent past. He has clearly done all the raving and ranting i wanted to do, so lets dig a little deeper beyond the problems of today and analyse on what’s wrong and what’s right with our college.
Let’s start with the easy part,
- We have THE best admission system in India, the TNEA coupled with the TNPCEE, exluding the State Board Exams, ofcourse!
- We have one of the best faculty in India. (at least some of them are 🙂 ).
- We also have an excellent alumni network, which IMHO is largely responsible for the amazing levels of placement opportunities.
- And every year more and more of that smart ones of the state join our college. Guys who work hard to ‘score’ marks at the very least
Now for the hard part.
A lot of things. A lot of them aren’t critical in the sense that they aren’t going to disrupt the status quo of things as they are. BUT, they are the biggest barriers, that prevents a CEGian from realizing his true potential.
The way we approach learning:
Ok, with a CGPA that’s hovering just above 7.5, I might not be the most qualified person to talk about this, but after three years of ‘trying to score’, i have learnt a thing or two. The main problems with our approach towards learning stems from the fact that our selection process which is very heavily biased towards the State board syllabus, which inturn favours student who have the abillity to ‘mug up’ text from the text books. This is not to say that guys who make it on the top are not smart, it just means that they did not become smart because of the system, they were able to do it inspite of it 🙂 .
Most of the students i’ve seen in college lack the real zest for what they study. Hey, you don’t have to be Donald Knuth to appreciate the beauty in recursion. And yet. they simply go make it through the course without it having any impact on them. The only thing i’ve seen them care about is assessments, Grades and Cumulative grades. I’m saddened to see many of my fellow students still haven’t discovered the pleasure of coding, the pride you get in creating something that ‘comes alive’ on completion. Everything we study is abstract in a way and yet, you can ‘see’ it work. A rare perk that we Computer Science engineers alone are blessed with.
It is only when Placements come knocking on our doors that a few of us wake up, but before you know it, It’s too late for you to ‘prepare’. The concept of ‘preparing’ for placements is on that irks me the most. By meaning to prepare, they start looking at the general algorithms, data structures that…hold your breath….will be asked in the interview question papers! Never do we look beyond the interviews and really think about what we’ll be doing after we get that job.
The worst of this lot happen to be the hostellers. Back when i was a hosteller, I tried real hard to get an internet connection going with a couple of my fellow class mates and start working on sites like MIPT to get some coding practise. They simply weren’t interested(not to mention the problems with my hostel office, but more on that below). I put in the part of that effort to a few day-scholars during a summer job at MIT, chrompet and they, on the other hand caught on like wild fire. ALL of them now, have job offers with 6+ annual salaries. Pardon me for making a cruel discrimination against the hostellers, but this is the hard truth.
The attitude of the administration:
Inspite of being one of the best Colleges in Tamil Nadu, the way the Administration(mind you, NOT the people who teach) work is well, shocking! It is only when you see the administration that you’re reminded that CEG is after all, a government run institution. The admin is the typical stuff slow, bureaucratic Govt. offices are made of.Take for instance, the Hostel Office. There is only one word that can describe them fully – “Primitive”.
In a time when private colleges offer a 4 mbps internet connection that you can straight away access from the LAN, My college has none of these(not even a LAN) and the worst part is that we once shelled out our own money and tried to put up a LAN and a really slow internet connection through a reliance WLL phone, and the Hostel office wouldn’t even let us do that. It was apparently termed “Misusing the computer” Within Hostel premises. Even before we actually got to use it!
Personally, i don’t think i knew shit before quitting the hostel. (and thank god for the divine intervention 🙂 ). To tell you the importance of the internet connection to a CS undergrad is another post by itself. Suffice to say, its like a Formula one team without a pit crew. Our college will gladly ape the ban on vehicles inside the campus from IITs but they wont even think about the possibility of vital facilities like these, which are commonplace in most good colleges. Instead they would ask us to use the Ramanujam computing centre, a lab filed with sun sparcs that had nothing except Netscape navigator 4.7(the last time i checked). I’m not even going to talk about state of the hardware that is there. Although, they will still demand Rs. 500 if you fail to return their card(a piece of paper, that) when passing out of college.
I frankly can’t figure out the problems that the College admin have. It might be because they’re scared to make changes. Or it simply could be their lack of interest. What ever it is, It’s seriously hurting us.