Archive for October, 2009

research students’ feedback.

Oct 22, 2009

Some months ago, there was a students’ protest in campus. The demands included hostel problems, fees issues and longer PhD duration. As a repurcussion, some (I am not sure whether all) departments were asked by the director to conduct meetings with students to get their feedback. The feedback was to include department specific as well as the institute related concerns, which would be tackled by the appropriate authorities.

CSA research students (MSc+PhD) were asked to attend a meeting with emphasis on “compulsory to attend”. The meeting was held on Apr 04, 2009 in CEDT Conference Hall where students cribbed and gave suggestions for improvement. They were promised that each of the grievances would be answered within six months.

Post-meeting, some student and faculty committees were formed to take care of certain departmental issues, like increasing library timings, etc. However I am not aware what happened next. One observation is that students are very good at cribbing, but when it comes to taking a responsibility for a task, hardly anybody comes forward.

If my calculations are correct, six months ended on Oct 04, 2009 and if CSA mail server is working fine, then I haven’t received any mail regarding an answer.

Here is the complete list of feedback items.

Update: Some improvements happening. The toilets in CSA are under renovation. There is a divisional workshop organized. CSA wiki is up, although not functional. Some more efforts are underway.

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phd fullforms.

Oct 5, 2009

In response to iisc fullforms, one reader, Subhash, sent me the following PhD fullforms. Thanks Subhash.


Patiently hoping for a Degree
Piled higher and Deeper
Professorship? hah! Dream on!
Please hire. Desperate.
Physiologically Deficient
Pour him (or her) a Drink
Philosophically Disturbed
Probably headed for Divorce
Pathetically hopeless Dweeb
Probably heavily in Debt
Parents have Doubts
Professors had Doubts
Pheromone Deprived
Probably hard to Describe
Patiently headed Downhill…
Permanent head Damage
Pulsating heaving Disaster?
Pretty homely Dork
Potential heavy Drinker
Professional hamburger Dispenser
Post hole Digger
Professional hair Dresser
Progressive heart Doctor
Professional humidity Detector
Piano hauling Done
Pro at hurling Darts
Professional hugger of Dames
Private house Detective
Pizza hut Driver
Pretty heavily Depressed
Prozac handouts Desired
Pretty heavy Diploma
Pathetic homeless Dreamer
Please hold Dangerous
Permanently held Dear
Proudly half Dead
Promised hell Down-the-road
Precisely helping Deadheads
Processed here, Dammit
Probably heavenly Death

phd glossary.

Oct 5, 2009

interview: An event similar to the one before marriage where a boy and his family visits a girl’s house to judge her. The only difference is that in case of PhD interview, the interviewee has to visit the interviewers’ room to get judged.

admission: A program specially designed to get rid of obesity. Losing weight is a prerequisite for doing research and this program ensures it by the following means.

  • The hostels and the departments are positioned as far apart in campus as possible.
  • Candidates are encouraged to visit various centers (like health, library, SERC, main building, etc.) to ensure conformance with the longest path algorithm.
  • When asked for directions to a department, candidates are directed exactly in the opposite direction by the seniors.
  • Hostel Office personnel increase the amount of time and the number of times they visit Kabini.
  • Entry to the mess is done only after the registration, i.e., after completing the longest tour in campus.

advisor/guide:

  • A person who is ready to share the trash you create.
  • A person who, by paying for your coffee, holds the right to stop your income for the next 5 years.
  • A person who is responsible for your maximum happiness by going on vacation.

co-guide: One side of the game Beench ka bandar (a monkey in the middle).

rtp: Research Training Program. A formal way to waste a semester.

assignment: A program especially designed for promoting open source movement.

course project: A phenomenon that allows an instructor to believe that students have not opted for any other course.

semester: Four months of rigorous imprisonment.

summer holidays: Time of the academic year when advisor goes on leave giving 50 research papers to the student for reading with a goodbye note, “Happy Holidays.”.

internship: A way to make money during PhD.

literature survey: Selection of less unreadable research papers from the more unreadable ones. This phenomenon is empirically found to create the most conducive environment for sleeping.

perspective seminar: A wake up call for advisor and student.

comprehensive examination:

  • A legal way for not doing research for over a month.
  • A promotion that increases your income by Rs.1000.

conference: A trash can.

journal: A material that adds elasticity to your PhD and extends its duration.

program committee: The poor souls who sort out a better trash from the good one.

research paper: Outcome of the ingeniousness of transforming 2 pages into 10.

call for papers: A phenomenon that triggers most of the research in the world.

abstract submission: A reminder to start writing a research paper.

submission deadline:

  • An end to the demands of the advisor.
  • An end to the cheating.

title: An interplay of the heaviest keywords cleverly adapted from the literature with the guarantee of being unique.

abstract: Well, abstract.

introduction: A section of the research paper to increase expectations of the reader without meeting them.

background/preliminaries: A methodical way to meet page requirement.

related work: A section where researchers write in detail about the remotely similar ideas and briefly mention or thoughtfully miss the closest ones. The section also offers a platform for taking a shot at your research rival.

conclusion: Table of content in past tense.

future work: It constitutes of two aspects: (i) suggesting ideas not implemented by you that you are sure of not implementing in the future, and (ii) not talking about the ideas you are actually going to implement next.

bibliography: A space provided to improve your own h-index.

paper submission: A false belief carried for next two months of having done work.

rebuttal period: Time when you, the accused, is brought to the court for trial.

paper rejection: Prevailing of reality that triggers your self say, “I could not fool them.”.

paper acceptance: A drug to boost your morale triggering you to think of normal human activities like girl-friend, marriage, kids, job, etc.

citation: A legal way to show the place where you performed the robbery.

colloquium: An institutional method to ask around how to beautify the trash you have created.

thesis: An act of violence against trees.

defense: A formal way for the advisor to say to his student, “I can’t take you anymore.”.

convocation: A function that marks starting of your explanation, “No, I am not a medical doctor.”.

phd: Doctor of Philosophy. A degree that only you and your parents care about. It is also used by girls’ parents to decide whom not to let their daughters get married.