Opening Mood: Chillout and relaxed. NZ cruising along against Canada.
Opening Song: Dooba Dooba – Silk Route
Time: 9:15 P.M, 22nd March 2007.
I visited Indian Institute Of Information Technology Bangalore (IIITB) today to deliver a lecture on “Kernel Synchronization Primitives”. This being my first official technical lecture, I was quite anxious asto how it would turn out. Turned out to be pretty good. But more on that later.
The IIITB campus is situated in Electronics City, a prominent IT tech-park in Bangalore. That’s quite a distance from the place where I stay. So I had to start pretty early in the morning. I travelled to Madivala Bus stand, where I boarded the 8 A.M 356C Volvo bus. I thought it might take me an hour or so to reach Electronic City through the busy and dusty Hosur Road. But to my surprise, the volvo reached Electronic City at 8:30. That was pretty early since my lecture was scheduled at 10.AM. So much for all the cautious advice given by my office folks.
Anyway, IIITB is just a ten minute walk from the main entrance to Electronic City. As I entered the campus, the security guard stopped me. I guess he mistook me for a student without an ID! Gah! I had to explain, that I was here to deliver a lecture and not to attend one 🙂
At the reception I found Babita, a 2nd Semester student was waiting for me. I was led into a conference room, where I spent some time checking my mails and chatting with the students. Surprisingly, even IIITB has the static IP scheme. I don’t realize why universities prefer static IP addresses instead of opting for DHCP. First at NITK and now IIITB.
I was escorted to the lecture hall at 9:45. And I must admit, I am very much impressed with the design of the hall. Around 120 students can be accomodated in the lecture hall. They have a control room from which all the projectors and the microphones can be controlled. There were five screens in total. Two of them were projecting my Thinkpad screen. There was a SmartBoard which really impressed me. Hats off to the inventor, whoever it is.
It’s nothing more tha a big touchscreen board connected to a laptop using a USB cable. The laptop has to run the Smartnotes software, whose image was projected on the touch screen. So you write anything on the touch screen, it transmits the points of contact over the USB cable into the laptop, and the SmartNotes software maps the point of contact onto the laptop screen, thereby actually “drawing” what you drew on the touchscreen. And that’s projected back on the touchscreen, giving the effect that you’re actually drawing something on the touchscreen! A very neat concept if you ask me. There’s more to it. You need not erase everytime you have filled up the screen. You just click to go to a new page! The students don’t need to take down the notes as each of “pages” on the screen can be saved as a jpeg/pdf file and mailed to the students. That’s one smart use of technology as a teaching aid.
I started the talk at 10:00 A.M sharp and the hall was pretty much filled up. I hope it wasn’t due to the attendence constraints because of which I used to attend most of the seminars in my college days! At 11, we took a 10 minute break and the second part of the lecture went upto 12:15. I know, I know, I overshot but this is Synchronization – a topic on which I can go on and on for hours. I could find quite a few interested faces among the crowd. And there were a few interesting queries as well.
I am extremely glad that Dr.Shrisha Rao, my host at IIITB is organising talks by the industry folks on the subjects which the students are currently studying. This would definitely give them an insight into the relavence of what they learn in computer science theory.
By the way, after the lecture got over, the students gave me a cool IIITB T-shirt as a memento. Now, how cool is that?!
I am looking forward to more such opportunities. After all, as the great VishwaKnuth once said, “Kutching is my birthright” 😉
Closing Song: O Sanam – Lucky Ali.
Closing Mood: NZ could have done better. But not bad.