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The Greyer Side of Indian PhD programs

As of the time of writing this post, I have completed more than a year at IISc. This post tries to sum up what I have seen, known and (somewhat) understood about the culture here at IISc and in Indian academia in general. Do bear in mind that this note is a reflection of my views as a first year PhD student. My opinion is probably coloured by t...

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Should you join a PhD Program?

Often, I get emails from juniors (final year undergrads mostly) asking about Computational Materials Science or about joining a PhD program in India. And I am always happy to share my thoughts because when I was making a decision during my final year of bachelors program at NIFFT, I was confused too and did not have anyone with whom I could disc...

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T-Shirt Designs for IISc's Materials Engineering Department

Every year, the department of Materials Engineering at IISc hosts the Students Symposium. This year, the organisers introduced a T-shirt design contest. I submitted these two designs. If you wish to use any of these designs and need the original files, do drop me an email. I will probably make these designs available on a Creative Commons Licen...

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Margin Notes from a Boring Class: Coursework in a PhD program

Disclaimer: In my entire time of high school/college i.e. post class 10th and till date, I have never been a topper or in other words I have no track record of being great at coursework. I have been an average student for most of the part. Why am I telling you this? Because, cognitive biases, that’s why! As a part of the PhD coursework, I have ...

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Automating my PhD

When you read “automating” if you envisioned this idea as clicking a button and then never having to bother about your PhD until you are called to collect your degree - sorry to disappoint you but this is not happening (yet). But yes, over the last few months, I spent a significant amount of time trying to automate repetitive tasks with the hop...

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Complexity of Gauss Elimination vs. Cramer's Rule

As a part of my Numerical Methods course, I wrote a short MATLAB script that compares the number of computations required for solving a randomly generated N size matrix by both Gaussian Elimination and by Cramer’s rule. As per this note on Complexity by P. Danziger: When we implement an algorithm on a computer, one of the first questions we...

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The case for teaching Scientific Temper

As per this wikipedia article, Nehru was the first person to use the phrase “scientific temper”. The article says: The Scientific temper is a way of life (defined in this context as an individual and social process of thinking and acting) which uses the scientific method and which may, consequently, include questioning, observing physical re...

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