To E(CE) or not to….

Before you start googling in right earnest for the placement opportunities available for the ECE stream at IIIT-H, there are a few interesting bits you should know about IIIT-H. It’s what sets this institute apart from the rest of the traditional educational institutions.

Research Centres Not Departments

For instance, did you know that there is no formal ECE department or a CS department at IIIT-H? In fact there are no departments at all that you would typically expect in an educational institute. IIIT-H is organized based on research centres or labs.  The unique trans-disciplinary nature of the programs that IIIT-H offers allows you to join any research centre regardless of the program you are enrolled in. Hence, it’s not surprising to find students from CS stream working on topics such as Distributed storage, artificial neural networks and IoT in Signal Processing and Communications Research Centers, which is traditionally ECE oriented. Similarly, you can find some ECE students working in CS oriented centers such as computer vision or machine learning . One of the features that stands out is the access to opportunities for research at the undergraduate level. Ever fancied presenting a paper at an international conference while still at the UG level? You’re in the right place at PaperWritings!

The First Year

If you’re inwardly groaning at the prospect of having to study common traditional subjects in the first year such as engineering drawing, engineering mechanics, chemistry, engineering workshop, well, you can stop that whine right there. IIIT-H is probably only one of its kind where, in the first year, ECE students get a solid foundation in programming by studying  courses such as computer programming, data structures, IT workshop, computer organization.

The main labs related to ECE are Speech Signal Processing, Robotics Research Centre, Signal Processing and Communications Research Centre, Centre for VLSI and Embedded Systems and Digital Image Processing (under Centre for Visual Information Technology).

Cross-Pollination of Ideas

Remember the term ‘trans-disciplinary’? You’ll encounter it often enough here. There is no rigidity in the course structure of the CS and ECE streams. For example, in the third and fourth year, ECE students can opt for popular CS electives such as Statistical Methods in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Computer Vision, Artificial Neural and Networks (ANN), and Speech technology. The maximum number of students from India who were selected for GSoc 2017 came from IIIT-H with no distinction being made to the streams they originally came from.

Exceptional Gurus

Great things can happen with great guidance. And this is where the top-notch faculty comes into play. Hand-picked from across industry and research areas, ECE faculty plays a pivotal role in students’ exposure to cutting-edge science, both at the institute as well as outside. It is not uncommon to find faculty working in areas that straddle both the CS and ECE streams.  For instance, a professor with a background in CS works in the area of communication networks and more specifically vehicular networks, bringing unique perspectives to the classroom.  There are even more exciting times ahead with dynamic, new faculty coming on board in the next few months in the areas of Flexible Electronics and telecommunications respectively.

Look Where They’ve Gone

For ECE success stories, one doesn’t have to look too far. The unique ‘blending’ nature of the program gives you the flexibility and unlimited scope for whatever excites you in the job market – from product development, to hardware, coding, and to hardcore research. All ECE-core companies such as Honeywell, Intel, ScanDisk, Broadcom, Qualcomm as well as Japanese companies have been making their presence felt lately during campus placements. And it’s a well-known fact that tech giants Google and Apple make a beeline here too.

Not too recently, one of our ECE students, Vanya Jauhal,  who was on the Dean’s list of academic excellence for 3 consecutive years made national news with her placement at Google’s Sydney office.  Attributing her success to the institute’s research-focussed approach and unique curriculum, Vanya is glad to be “part of the strong message that IIIT sends to all its students about gender equality and inclusiveness”and hopes to inspire other talented women in tech.

Another student whose career graph is worth following is that of Kiran T Nath. Graduating (BTech) with honours in VLSI and embedded systems in 2007, he was selected (among 12 others) from across the globe as a Samsung Global Scholar. From an R&D Engineer in the Future Product Research Team to now being personally handpicked by the President and CEO of Samsung Electronics to develop the “What’s Next” business of Samsung Networks, this former ECE student is going places!

For a perfect example of the flexibility you get with a BTech or Dual Degree in ECE, let’s track Rahul Namdev. A former ECE-gold medallist from here, Rahul went on to pursue his MS in CS at MIT where his contribution to the field of Braille Literacy won him the ‘Touch of Genius Prize for Innovation- April 2015”. His path-breaking work was also recognized at PETRA 2015 in Greece. Interestingly enough, Rahul currently has co-founded a start-up in Bangalore where they are building “the world’s largest AI-based partner prediction engine based on past data of millions of married couples”!

A Wholesome Education

If you thought a degree and a good placement at the end of it was all the institute has to offer, you’ll be forced to think again. With its emphasis on core human values that are so integral to a wholesome education, IIIT-H makes it mandatory to take courses in Human Values. In fact overall student development ranks high on the priority list here. Hence it is not uncommon to find students opting for Philosophy, Economics, Indian Analytical Traditions, and even Theories of Music, Dance and Drama! Think well-rounded personality. Well, that is the goal.

 

 

Sarita Chebbi is a minimalist runner, practising yogi and baker of all things whole-wheat, and sugar-free. Currently re-learning her ABC’s…the one that goes: A for algorithm, B for Bayesian, C for convolutional (neural network)….

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Comments(1)

  1. I wonder if anyone can have more passion than me to join this course, I am just crazy… I’m appearing for JEE this year and working round the clock to just insure my place in my dreamland, IIIT Hyderabad!

    Abhyanand says:

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