An update on my academic semester Jan -June 2021
Officially, I completed my classes for the Jan -June 2021 semester classes yesterday. Have been thinking for long time about to update my technical blog, so caught up with this stuff today!. It has been a wonderful teaching-learning journey as usual. Taught Artificial Intelligence (AI)for B.Tech 3rd years and Machine Learning for PhD course work students. Was teaching AI for the first time but AI being the superset encompassing the subsets, Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning that I had already taught, it was quiet interesting to teach. Came to know that the breadth first, depth first algorithms that I used to teach in data structures and algorithms has a connect with AI as well. There lies a beauty in looking at the connect between the subjects, the real time applications and the research aspects. Stitching them rightly gives a complete new and a wide perception of the subject itself.
On the other side, these online classes are actually demanding for students. Nevertheless, I could see many students progressing well utilizing this opportunity. Much time is saved as they don't travel, spend time on Malls etc.. Many students took independent projects with me out of their schedules and went ahead till publication.
Last year we completed a project for Samsung Research Institute, Bangalore, on "Handwriting Recognition for Indian Languages" and it was awarded "the Project of Excellence". The complete credit goes to the student team and the Samsung mentor, Ms.Pragya. I was bit diffident on deep learning concepts then and that lead me to dig more on Deep learning . Same time, many trusted me and invited me to take hands on session on Deep learning. So now gained good amount of confidence on Deep learning:). Yes you learn a lot through teaching :) Followed by that we are again working with Samsung for four worklets (actually they get clubbed into two) and this time, I guess I have more clarity. Thanks to my first Samsung team. You guys taught me a lot!
Handling 6 PhD scholars is very interesting as well as very demanding, as four of them are due to complete their thesis this 2021. Excessive use of laptops in the wrong postures for the past 1 and half years, hurt my neck very badly and visiting hospital daily for those physiotherapy treatments during this pandemic time was very scary:) . I learnt that health takes the top priority and I am spending at least 40 mins daily to do some walking and other exercises to keep me up and running.
Apart from this, I got collaborations with good people around the globe, regarding Tamil NLP. Happy that Tamil NLP is gaining importance. So far so good. Academia has been my dream and I got a lot from my dream. For some reason, I am unable to see myself claiming up the ladder in the long run in academia. No blaming here but it is just my vision on my future. I like teaching but I don't wish to be seeing myself in heading positions in academia. SRM is a wonderful place and if I had not landed her, I am sure I would have lost the track. Still I cherish my first day of joining SRM on 29.06.2015:).At the same time, I do like evolving but I am not at present clear of how to and what direction I should choose. Should dig in more and should learn more to make sure that my passions, visions and yes my policies, all get aligned in the same direction. Let us see how it goes. Good luck to me and yeah good luck to you too:)
Thanks so much for reading