Student Projects…

The other day some students wrote to one of my colleagues, and I thought of giving it a shot again (usual experience with student projects has been poor for me, so far). And I needed some purpose in life at least in the short run… (!).

So, one day they came and met me. Alpha and Beta. I assumed both are from computer background. When they introduced themselves, I found out they are from electronics. My hopes crashed like the roof a CWG stadium. And then I thought about accessibility – I thought of seeing if these kids can build some interesting devices for working with computers in innovative ways. I gave them some examples and told them its social impact, and the like. I could see the big glow in Alpha’s eyes, and felt happy. They are seriously interested. I told them to explore on these lines and send me some ideas. The college wants them to give the synopsis by the next day. I asked them to talk to the guide and see if a couple of days extension is possible.

2 days later, they wrote to me. I felt happy – because 60% of cases, the project ends with the first meeting itself. They did give some ideas – we had a 30 min telecon to discuss the ideas. The college had given time for 2-3 more days (another surprise!). The kids wanted to do lip-reading to speech recognition; it is just tooooo complex for a BE project, and so moderated to use of lip-movement for mouse control. They were ok with that, and offered to work on drafting a synopsis.

Today I got a mail with the draft synopsis, and saying, the college guide wants them to do speech recognition from lip-reading. I said “tata” – no point in wasting time further. Given their current level and the complexity, they wont get anywhere with a task like that. No point in my sandwiching them between my thoughts and the guide’s thoughts. So the project plan ends here… R.I.P.

The other day, I had a faculty member trying to work on cloud security for PhD appear for interview at a well known institute for registration. One panel member asked her: cloud computing is a management topic, what computer science work is there to do there? I was amused! Cant people keep to their own area of expertise?

…. 2 days later…..

They came back. Their teacher agreed to the proposed idea. And we had a very good discussion. There was so much exctement on their face, it was a nice experience talking to them. I hope the excitement translates to some good deliverable and a learning experience for them.

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