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Monday, June 19, 2006

It's the IISc kid

I saw somebody ask for my intro, so I'll start off with that. My name is Arun Tejasvi Chaganty (call me arun), and I'm studying in 12th (along with most guys here i think), in FIITJEE (curses, lighting and gasps). Very very luckily, this place isn't as coaching centre-ish as i feared it would be, and I still have time for my on stuff (more like i don't really care for their work (not after the summer camp atleast)). As you would have seen, I like nested brackets a lot, so I'm sorry if that causes inconvinience to any one. I joined KVPY this very year, and along with most of the people down south (I'm located in Hyderabad), we got to go to the IISC campus.

I think this part is what more people are interested in, so I'll elaborate quite a bit. All the SP, SB and south-zone SA students had their centre in IISc. Please pardon me to mention that IISc is THE most prestigious campus in India (I don't think anyone can object here), and basically I'd like to rub that in your face. The only way you'll be able to counter is if you post a review of the campus where you went (This is an elaborate ploy to get you to do the same).

Ok the fact that there were students of varying graduation levels was good in a sense, and bad too. In most of the labs we visited, the explanations were never very satisfying for both of us at the same time. On the other hand, these guys are really great guys to interact with (not all of them, but a lot of them). A large number were from the IIT's and BITS.

I'll kind of give an overview of what we did. We mainly attended a lot of great (and a few not so great) lectures by great professors. These lectures were mainly on common ground, topics that were entirely out of stream so that both the SA and the SB+SP guys could understand whats going on. I'll give a list later. Then we had a lot of lab visits. We saw a lot, but I can't say we did too much. It was interesting, and exciting at times, but it's rather inconvinient when you have like 20 people stuffed into a small room with a lot of expensive equipment (You won't believe how seemingly disorganised some of the breakthrough research labs are). That was pretty much it. We were allowed to roam around the campus at our free will, and visit the library (heaven on earth).

The campus was just beautiful. Perhaps it was the real heaven, and the library was just a teaser. Either way, there were a lot of trees, and a lot of crows, and a lot of white patches on the roads (I hope you can put 2 and 2 together). The wild life and greener there made it a great place for the ecologists there, who were doing some really interesting experiments with social bug behaviour. A group also actively worked in a nearby (or not so nearby I haven't a clue), national park monitoring elephant populations and battling poaching. There was a huge library, a lot of departments and a supercomputing research lab (obviously the low of our lab visits. They can't show you much more than a LOT of computer terminals), an NMR research centre, a nano-research lab, and a cryogenics facilities. THe other high end equipment was in the departments. A bunch of spectrometers, sputtering devices, atomic force microscopes, electron microscopes, blah blah blah (the average guy would be watering by about now, but I'm sure youa'll have see this stuff too).

We were also taken to the Raman Research Institute, which is another amazing place. The most remarkable thing there was the laser-cooling lab, where they slow down electrons to nanoK temperatures. I'd suggest you read this stuff up.
As I said I'll list most of the lectures (everything I can recall):

Evolution of Social Behaviour: Do we form social groups just to ensure our genetic make up goes on? This professor (Prof. Nanjudaih V) was just brilliant, and mentioned quite somethings about chaos theory also.

The Many Forms of Carbon: As you guessed, it was lame lecture. The plus point was that the lecturer presented a new form of carbon which was researched in the campus: Super Carbon: an conducting amorphous form of carbon. It was interesting in how it was made using logical assumptions (better than fullerene which was a fluke)

Protiens and how the Work: A great lecture, though highly technical about how protiens are made.

Chemisty in Life: About how molecules work in life (to a lesser degree). It wasn't a very enlightening lecture, but the lecturer:Prof. Uday Maitra, was just mindblowingly good, so I guess we all fell in love with him, rather than what he was teaching

***Black Holes: This was undoubtedly the BEST lecture I've EVER EVER had (which isn't many, but still) by a professor from the Raman Research Institute, Prof. Srinivasan G. It explained in a very good technical manner about black holes. Great lecture again

Variations from the DNA Helix: A good lecture, but perhaps not great

Colours In Chemistry: Interesting demonstrations showing different reactions producing flourescent colours, interesting colours blah blah.

Virtual Experiments: Again by Prof. Uday Maitra. He showed a number of experiments performed somewhere else recorded on "tape" (nobody uses tape anymore). He did a good walkthrough through all the experiements. Again most amazing professor I've seen.

There were four more lectures which I missed because of a 103 degree fever (weeping hesterically). I wish I could have attended them, but bad luck I guess. I'll just have to pray that somebody posts a good explaination of these lectures. (they were the last four lectures).

Now if you haven't gotten sick of me, and the length of my post, I'll continue, but as I know that's not the case. Beam me up scotty (Star Trek anyone?)



Gr81 said...

Gr8 post Arun! Well till now our group meant only those who were in Kolkata, but now we hav some contacts in the IISc group too! Nice!
I think you must have had an amazing time with the SP and SB guys (Bhaiyas!) and seems like you had a lot of fun in the campus too!
Though we had a bit "easier" lectures coz we were just SA ppl, but still atleast u got a chance to interact with the other ppl too! We had similar lab visits (but I think ours was a very calm and cool camp - coz we had loads of fun too - even saw 2 movies!!)
Plz do invite some of your other friends (and bade bhaiyas too!) Do read the old archives - hope u'll like them!

saurya_time_travel said...

Gr8(not u rash) post Arun ... By the way i am 'Time' ..

Arun Chaganty said...

thanks for the review. We too got to see two movies, one on two great indian scientists (Raychaudri, and one other) and one on the flight of birds (a bbc presentation). Unfortunately, I don't have any seniors conacts, so I can't help there. Of the three guys from SA that I do have proper contact with, neither of them is responding. I'll keep trying though.

bravura said...

Hey Arun,
Rash didn't mean those movies yaar. He meant real commercial cinema. We were also forced to sit through a rubbish bio documentary.

Gr81 said...

lol yeah I remember dozing off during the movie on Transpiration... Xylem etc.. and a few more (But I remember the dome one - on Seasons.. man It was cool!)
One of your pals had also mailed me. I hav sent him an invitaion (hope he joins soon!)
Keep Posting!

Arun Chaganty said...

great. the docs weren't really boring at all, but i guess you guys did have it easier. We had logistical problems with 70+ people. I think your group must have been about 30 ppl.

jd said...

wow, like u coulda written a book on the camp...and just by the way, i am on ,buddy..

jd said...

and if ur wondering jus who the -(unprintable expletive)- heck this is,... dinesh.

Arun Chaganty said...

Like I couldn't tell? Either way, it's your duty (karma) to write that part on the last day. You had better do it in detail too, cause I really feel bad I had to miss it. You can go over the top for the flowing water and vectors one. Great to have you here.

TwIsTeR said...

Hii Arun

This is Twish, admin of this blog. Nice to see you here mate.Me not been able to be in touch with the blog since long ... IIT reasons yaar.

Gr8 2 c u here !

T c

~ Twish ~

zinx said...

Hi ARUN. Nice to see in the blog. Seems like u had gr8 time at IISC. In case ur wondering as to who this is. Well I'am ZINX.