Update 1: I am NOT trying to say that X, Y and Z college are not good. All I’m saying is that this is how life at IIIT-D is and if this is the kind of life you’re excited to have, it’s the place for you. Otherwise, it still might be the place for you, but you’re likely to enjoy it less.
I’m not going to fool around with you. This isn’t some glowing biased feel-good review of my own college. It’s all true.
I’ll put it as simply as I can. If you’re into computers, your first (non-IIT) choice should be IIIT-H, then possibly IIIT-A and then IIIT-D. Unfortunately, most people I know don’t really care about which course they get as long as it’s a ‘good’ college, and a fraction of these people want a course badly enough to choose a worse college to get their course. What I’m trying to say is forget the college. It’s the course you want, it’s the course that will determine whether you’re doing something you love for the rest of your life or you’re a corporate ass sitting at a desk making mindless presentations that you really don’t care about. If you’re even a little bit convinced by my arguments, IIIT-D is probably a good bet as long as the course you want is CS/IT(we’ll discuss CS vs. IT later). If you’re in the majority, however, IIIT-D might be for you.
When the director of an institute discourages people from joining the institute at the counseling, you know there’s a point being made.
Please do not join this institute if you’re not ready to really frickin’ study.
-Dr. Jalote (the director in question)
Well, that’s not exactly what he said, but trust me it is very, very close. And he’s not talking about the kind of stuff that kids do at colleges like DCE or NSIT- use proxies to make up attendance, sail though midsems and cram a week before the endsems to get a 75% on their transcripts. At IIIT-D, that’s not studying, and it definitely won’t get you good grades.
When IIITians say study, they mean it. Submit TOC homework every week, upload a DSA assignment every fortnight, have homework in RM that will require twenty hours of work (I’m not making this up, it’s written on the top of the PDF), be prepared for quizzes, exams, lab demos, project submissions. And just in case you were thinking of copying that code from a friend, don’t. Because the professor will run ALL your classmates submissions through Stanford’s MOSS program to check for similarity in code.
And though the administration at IIIT-D will repeatedly tell you that it is primarily an academic institution, and your main objective is to learn, you learn much more than programming. This is not some airy-fairy IT course that messes up by glossing over theory and systems and teaching you programming. It’s a CS course with application. Because having a CS degree without application is like having a degree in English. It’s useless in the non-academic world. And the administration has given the course a great deal of thought. Everybody else in the country will teach you non-relevant nonsense in the first year. Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics isn’t going to help you in an IT or CS course, especially when it overlaps with what you’ve already done in the last two years of school. What will help is that you can take advanced science and humanities courses like Biology and Perspectives on Knowledge(horrifically abstract, by the way) and then apply IT to them. And this, by the way, is what a career in IT is all about. Everything is multi-disciplinary, and almost everything is about applying IT to verticals like banking, biotech and telecom. You can’t build the next DNA computer if you don’t know how to apply IT to biology.
And apart from academics, you’re in for a treat. Other colleges will give you basic facilities for sports and cultural stuff, but IIIT-D will better that. You want to start a band? Here’s a music room, and guitars, and uh.. an amplifier, oh and bongos and a congo(what’s that?). Want to organize a football tournament? Do it. And don’t forget to give the participants refreshments at half-time. Want to redesign the logo? OK. Instead of having a competition within the college, let’s open it up to the best design schools in the country. And, as motivation, give away Rs. 20,000 as cash prize to the winner. And for the two runners-up, Rs. 10,000 each. Whoa!
Then there’s the amazing faculty, which maybe five to six technical institutes in the country can come close to in terms of sheer qualification. The entrance requirement is a Ph. D. from a top school, and 6 out of 16 professors did their graduation from an IIT. We have faculty from Carnegie Mellon, BU, North Carolina, UIUC, West Virginia and IISc. There’s really nothing more that I can say about the faculty as their qualifications say it all.
And then there’s the philosophy that holds it all together. The fact that you can simply walk into a faculty member’s office and expect them to be amazingly helpful at any time of the day is unbelievably liberating. Then there is the fact that unlike any large college with gazillions of students, IIIT is a small community where everybody knows your name (including the faculty) and is amazingly friendly. It’s the kind of place where interesting people from NASSCOM, IBM, TCS R&D Labs and IIIT-H hold seminars. It’s the kind of place where these companies offer you internships in the first year.
I don’t know about you, but just saying all this stuff excites me. That’s the kind of stuff we do at IIIT-D. If it sounds exciting to you, please do apply. But if not, this is the kind of life you’re going to have, so be prepared.