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THIRAN

Vol:1 Issue: 2


Inside this Issue....

6

How to get in to core engineering jobs?

Introduction to Digital Communication Systems

1

8

Higher Studies - Graduate Studies in USA

0

1 2

Know your Alumnus - Ramakrishnan Jayabalan

1 4

1 5

In Focus - Senthil Ananda Prakash 1 7

My Experiments with Thiran

Know your Domain - Structural Engineering

Asset 87 - Enhancing Thiran

1 9


THIRAN-PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE

ACCET alumni expressed their concern for their alma-matter in various forms, by donating money, rising buildings and writing vociferously in mail groups. It was in 2010, one such mail discussion grew from virtual reality to reality. Thirumalai Nambi (1993) announced a project contest with meager prize money and few like minded folks tagged along. The group, Dr. SivanandaRaja sir and he being our alumnus as well as faculty in ACCET, extended his support. A name THIRAN was given and a mentor process was put through. Around 30 teams contested and only 2 teams finished their projects. The seed was sown. In 2011, when the news was made to spread, few more alumni joined in, and they set out to establish a process. Student organizing committee (OGC) was formed. Participation from both student and alumni increased, and a new culture called Thiran was creeping into ACCET. In 2012, the event got bigger with 130 project registration. Since there were more projects than mentors, a lot of mentors had 2-3 projects to guide. The assigned mentors work with the project team for 3 months and the project submission and evaluation happened in October. Thiran prize distribution became a major event in college calendar, with several alumni and chief guests from industries attending the event. The 2013 season just begun and we need you to make it even bigger and better. You can share your knowledge by mentoring few projects. Our past experience has changed many lives and you can change a few on your own. You can mail to vivbala@gmail.com to get registered in Thiran mail group.


EDITORIAL

Journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. As Thiran had kept its third step, its official newsletter is keeping its second step. Like Thiran, this newsletter is also a result of brainstorming discussion in mail threads. The vision of this newsletter is to serve as two-way communication and discussion forum between alumnus and students. The first edition of newsletter couldn't fully meet the objective, as it was to be published within two weeks from the conception of idea of newsletter. But this edition, the second one, was well planned to meet the objectives. This edition carries 5 new sections. 'Know your domain' section is about recent trends in engineering and cutting edge research areas, written by expert alumnus in the field. ‘In-Focus’ section carries articles about notable alumnus and their contribution to ACCET. 'Know you alumnus' is an interview excerpt with alumnus whom student can look up to. ‘Higher studies’ corner carries articles on different exams and educational institutions across the globe and the way to get into them, written by alumni who are already there. 'My experiments with Thiran' is the section with articles written by students about their project experience with Thiran. There is also a guest article by Mr. Sivakumar, who's a career coach and happiness consultant. To refresh you up in-between, there's also a special section on, "31 things to make the most of your college life" running in-between pages. This edition is all about 'more stuff and less style', so you won't be able to see a lot of colors inside. There are plans to pull in a bigger team for next edition, so we can expect lot more interesting stuff, like bringing out interesting mail conversations happening in Thiran group, out to students, and lot more colors too. We sincerely thank the alumnus and students, who enthusiastically contributed articles and helped to make this happen.

-Editorial team


6

HOW TO GET INTO CORE ENGINEERING JOBS? -SivaKumar Palaniappan Core Engineering Job is a fundamental dream of many fresh engineering graduates today. The craze for IT and Software Engineering jobs have come down considerably among the young engineering students. Thanks to the economic downturn and IT recession. As an individual with great zeal to inspire young graduates to become truly passionate engineers, I am happy with this scenario. Are you an Engineering Graduate or an Engineering Student with great passion to work and build your career in your own field of core engineering? Here are some important inputs for you.

Every time I meet students, go give a talk on my favorite topic “Career Engineering” I am often asked the following questions. How to get a mechanical engineering job?, How to get an electrical engineering job?, How to get an electronics engineering job? So on and so forth.

Thiran

What does it take to get a Core Engineering Job? It simply involves 4 important requirements. First, theoretical knowledge and practical know how of your specific branch of engineering. Second, sound knowledge on application of mathematics to solve engineering problems. Third, better awareness of basic physics and applied physics. Fourth, combined and overall understanding of all the three domains. Let’s look at each one of them in detail. 1. Theoretical knowledge and practical know how of your engineering branch: As an engineering graduate, do you have the knowledge, skills and good understanding of the basic concepts or core principles of your own branch of engineering? If you are not able to say “Yes” with lots of conviction and confidence to the above question, then you are in trouble. You should’ve the relevant theoretical knowledge along with practical exposure and experience that will enable you to transform from an engineering graduate to a true engineer. A thorough knowledge of the engineering sciences, concepts, techniques and their applications to the branch of your study is of utmost important if you want a job in a core engineering company. Look at all possible ways you can learn out side your classroom, that could get you hands on experience.


6 2. Knowledge on application of mathematics to solve engineering problems: It is clearly evident that as an engineer, you should know how to apply the knowledge of mathematics, formula to solve problems in engineering situations. Ability to apply fundamental mathematics to solve engineering problems is a key qualification that would help you land in a core engineering job. You should be able to appreciate the practical, real life applications of concepts like calculus, differential equations, differentiation and integration, partial derivative in the field of your own engineering branch as well as other branches of engineering and science. 3. Better awareness of basic physics and applied physics: As we all know, Physics is the oldest and most basic pure science. Just look at all our daily activities, the principles and laws of physics are applied practically in every moment of our life. For an engineer, awareness of basic as well as applied physics becomes a prime necessity. Without strong knowledge in physics, you can never develop a new technology or a new product or even solve an engineering problem. 4. Ability to see all the three of them in a combined and larger perspective: Simply, give special attention and focus to “Engineering Physics” which is study of the combined

Thiran

disciplines of physics, engineering and mathematics. This would surely provide you with a combined and overall understanding of the interrelationships of these three disciplines. Engineering physics is concerned with the application of fundamental physical science to the solution of technological problems. In order to get a job in a good product development core engineering company, you should be very strong in all the above domains. "Engineering is nothing but application of Physics using the language of Mathematics." SivaKumar Palaniappan is an ardent blogger, career coach and happiness consultant. He writes on leadership, motivation, happiness and career engineering at www.anbusivam.com Thirty one Things on "How to make the most out of your college life?" The first '5': 1. Take risks. 2. No matter what your political or religious beliefs, be open­minded. You're going to be challenged over the next four years in ways you can't imagine, across all fronts. You can't learn if you're closed off. 3. At least a few times in your college career, do something fun and irresponsible when you should be studying. Make a complete ass of yourself at least once, preferably more. It builds character. 4. In the first month of college, send a hand­written letter to someone who made college possible for you and describe your adventures thus far. It will mean a lot to him/her now, and it will mean a lot to you in ten years when he/she shows it to you. 5. In college more than ever before, songs will attach themselves to memories. Every month or two, make a mix cd, mp3 folder, whatever ­ just make sure you keep copies of these songs. Ten years out, they'll be as effective as a journal in taking you back to your favorite moments.


8 INTRODUCTION TO DIGITAL COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS -Mathuranathan Viswanathan (Class of 2005)

Digital communication involves transmission of messages using finite alphabet (finite symbols) during finite time interval (finite symbol interval). Any communication system in the electronic consumer market (be it hard disk drives, Compact Discs, telephony, mobile communication systems, etc..,) is made up of the following elements represented in Figure 1. The prime goals communication­systems engineer would be to

of a design

1) Reduce the bandwidth needed to send the data. Bandwidth, a limited and valuable resource, is the difference between the highest and the lowest frequency allocated for transmitting a message in any communication system. For example in GSM technology the typical bandwidth allocated for a single user is 200 KHz. More bandwidth allows more data to be transmitted at a faster transmission rate (measured in bits per second – “bps”). It is essential

Thiran

to send more data in lesser bandwidth. This is achieved by compressing the data at the transmitting end and decompressing it at the receiving end. A “Source Encoder” and a “Source Decoder” serves the purpose. Some of the well­known compression techniques include LZW (Lempel­Ziv­Welch) algorithm (use in PDF documents), A­law & mu­law compression (audio compression), JPEG/MPEG (image & video compression). 2) To make data robust against harsh environments Data will get corrupted when it is sent through harsh medium (referred to as channel). For example mobile phones are operated in a very noisy environment in which the possible sources of noise are: interference from other mobile user, ignition noise, thermal noise, multipath interference and other man made noises.

Channel coding techniques are used to make the transmitted data robust to such noises, meaning that you can still recover your data (using a Channel Decoder) intact even if it is corrupted by certain amount of noise. 3) Send data over a long distance Obviously, data has to be sent over long distance through any media used for communication. The media may be a simple twisted pair copper wire used in telephone network, or the air media as in the case of mobile or satellite communication system. In the physical world, it is not possible to send a signal (carrying the data) over infinite distance. According to the inverse square law of distance the intensity of the


9 transmitted signal is inversely proportional to the square of the distance.

Mathuranathan Viswanathan (2005 ECE,ACCET) holds a Masters in Communication systesm from BITS Pilani and he is the founder of www.Gaussianwaves.com and www.bookode.com Recommended reading:

The inverse square law of distance works every nook and corner of the world to increasingly attenuate the signal’s intensity over the distance and eventually kills the signal completely. Obviously, data can travel long distances if it has more energy. Now the challenge is to increase the energy of the signal so that it can travel the intended long distance. A signal sent over a medium is essentially an electromagnetic wave. According to Planck–Einstein equation, the energy of photon and the frequency of the associated electromagnetic wave are related by

1) "Electronic Devices and Circuit Theory",Robert L. Boylestad (Author), Louis Nashelsky,Prentice Hall,Edition 11

E=hv

6) "Digital Signal Processors:Architecture, Programming and Applications",Venkataramani & Bhaskar,Tata McGraw­Hill Education, 2002

Where, E= Energy of the transmitted signal, h=Planck’s constant and ν=frequency of transmission). This implies that the energy of the signal can be increased by increasing the frequency of transmission. Equivalently the frequency of the data has to be shifted from lower frequency region to higher frequency region. This is achieved by Modulation. Demodulation is the reverse technique which restores the original frequency contents of a message.

Thiran

2) "Practical Electronics for Inventors",Paul Scherz & Simon Monk Third,McGraw­Hill/TAB Electronics,Edition 3 3) "Fundamentals of Digital Logic with VHDL Design",Stephen Brown & Zvonko Vranesic,McGraw­ Hill,Edition 3 4) "Digital Communications: Fundamentals and Applications",Bernard Sklar,Prentice Hall; Edition 2 5) "Fundamentals of Communications Systems",Michael Fitz, McGraw­Hill Professional, Edition 1

7) "Conceptual Wavelets in Digital Signal Processing",D.Lee Fugal,Space & Signals Technical Publishing 8) "Fundamentals of Statistical Signal Processing, Volume I: Estimation Theory", Steven Kay,Prentice Hall; Edition 1. 9) "Fundamentals of Wireless Communication",David Tse & Pramod Viswanath,Cambridge University Press 10)"The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail — but Some Don't",Nate Silver,Penguin Press/Classics


10 GRADUATE STUDIES IN USA

-Manikandan Mohan (Class of 2009) You now clearly know having a Bachelors is just isn't enough. We are not going to write about that here. This article here covers the advantages and disadvantages of doing your MS or PhD in the USA.

reports etc. There are a few other fun things like attending conferences and workshops where you can meet and talk to people who are pioneers in that area. As a graduate research student, you have the opportunity to become familiar with the contributions of corporate leaders, eminent professors and leading scientists in that field.

There are lots of advantages of Small classes: Another important advantage of studying in a graduate school in the US. Some of those are listed below: studying a graduate school here are small class rooms with students having similar interests and Research: Graduate college teaches backgrounds. Smaller size of class rooms means more you value of original research. It concentration from the student's part and more also teaches some essential quality attention of professors towards the students. There is of being a good researcher and also a friendly atmosphere all around where you can ask doubts/questions to student creativity, your professor/advisor perseverance, patience, any time and they are cooperation, collaboration, anytime happy to clear leadership qualities and your doubts. communication skills. Every school in the US has a set of Financial aid: There is a research labs that terrible misconception might/might not do research for a lot of us that relevant to your area of studying in the US is interest. This is where you very expensive and we have to make a decision of which school will be suitable for can never afford it. It is certainly not that way. Banks give educational loan for about 20 lakhs, and trust me, you. if you end up getting a financial aid (there are Working in a research lab: You Research assistantships, Graduate assistantships, will get to work on cutting edge Teaching assistantships) or a good part time job, you technology and latest development won't even spend half of that. But let's assume the in the field of your interest. You more worse situation of not getting that funding. 20 will get to collaborate with lakh Rupees is around 34000 USD which will be about colleagues from different countries half of your yearly salary after you get your full time and different culture and that by job offer. You can easily pay it off in a year or two. If itself is a big big exposure. Not money is what is hindering you from doing MS in US, only that, but when you work in a wake up kid! Come out of that shell! If your parents research lab, it's more like working can wait till you are 22 to see you earn, you can easily in an actual organization where you convince them to wait for a couple more years. will have weekly meetings, project Career: Like India, getting a job is difficult anywhere Thiran


in the world. But honestly, it is a bit better here in the US. Of course hard work, commitment, and perseverance is needed for achieving anything in life. Having said some of advantages of doing a graduate degree, lets now see about how to go about achieving this. Step 1 - Buy a Barrons Guide for GRE (buy the latest one because the format keeps changing so often). Step 2 - Take a look at list of universities where they do research on areas that you like. Maintain a spreadsheet for this. Step 3 - Register for GRE and TOEFL examinations and get a good score. You can also report scores for free to 3-4 universities when you take the exam. Registration fee for GRE is $185 and for TOEFL it is $165. There are separate application fees for application to different universities, just like B-schools in India. It's a good idea to take your exams 45-60 days before December 31, 2013 so that you have time to submit your applications, if you want to join August 2014. Step 4 - Deadlines of application for a particular semester usually ends 7-8 months before date of start of academic year. For example, if

Thiran

11 you want to start your MS in August 2014, deadline for applications in most schools is around December 15-31, 2013. Step 5 - When you apply for universities, you will need to send Resume and Statement of Purpose along with your application packet. There are also other documents related to financial background that you might want to prepare, but more on that later. There are some good websites like ETS, KAPLAN, GREEDGE where you can take mock tests and prepare for the exam. One main disadvantage of studying in the US is that you will miss home. Other than that, there is honestly no other demerits that I could think of. Checklist: a. Buy Barrons guide for GRE and start preparing. b. Register for GRE/TOEFL exams. c. Start writing a good Resume (not like the ones you write for your IT company interview, you know how it is). d. Start writing your Statement of Purpose (This is a document where you explain your background and why you want to study in that particular university). This set of actions is the first step towards graduate studies in the US. If you have any more queries, please feel free to send an email to maniferrari@gmail.com. As always, we are happy to help. Manikandan Mohan, class of 2009 mechanical engineering, also Master's in Mechanical from Arizona State University, is now developing grid generation tool for aerospace applications.


12

KNOW YOUR ALUMNUS

opportunities, which always come with responsibility. I learnt how to manage my life style with limited finance, prioritize the needs. 3. What they don’t teach at ACCET? Importance of communication and the art of living. It is still a problem in India, we stress on academics but not on other aspects of market needs.

Ramakrishnan Jayabalasubramanian belongs to the class of 1994, EEE. He lives in Virgina, USA, and is working as project manager at Marriott International, with over 18 years of progressive experience in delivering quality software product. On behalf of editorial team I thank, him for his initiative "the Bhargavi Scholarship programme", which provides financial assistanship to meritotious students in our college. The following are the excerpts from the interview.

4. One unforgettable moment with ACCET. I was the college photographer; to save film we stringently load the film, there is slight possibility that the film does not lock into the spool. It has never happened to me before but when I was covering the sport event it happened to me and I kept on taking picture it went beyond 40 that is when I realized there could be an issue ­ film didn’t load, I ended up developing unexposed film roll. When I told this the PT director, he gave me look which I will never forget. 5. Your favorite hangouts in ACCET/Karaikudi? Paari­by­night, tree behind the cobbler place, Sekar kadhai.

1. First thing that comes to your mind, when you think about ACCET? Warm and dry weather, flat landscape, hostel, Main building, Dr Alagappa Chettiar statue and many more

6. What was the first movie you saw in ACCET and do you remember the cost of the ticket? I don’t remember the movie, it was not that significant, just the thought of going to a movie was important those days. Movie ticket cost was about five rupees, it was in the Pandian Theater. I remember it was right after the lunch (end of first month in the first year) we were jumping over the fence and I tore my shirt that didn’t stop me going to the movie.

2. What ACCET taught you, other than academics? Diversity, I learnt how to coexist with different people with different priorities. Also it was the first time I had Independent decision making

7. Favorite teacher/Subject while at ACCET and few words about him. Dr. TRT teaching EMF, he was a forward thinking professor, he did bring in the western education model to our college, most of the test were open book, but the book was hardly useful, if you don’t know the concept

Thiran


13 you could never answer the question. I happen to get 94 in EMF (that was one of my top score in collage) all that credit goes to him. 8. Which are the important qualities you think, that students should develop before graduating? We all learn the Science in our college days, but life is all about art of applied science. Base for that is communication. All students should learn how to communicate their ideas. I am not just talking about English language alone, but learning and mastering how to sell your ideas strongly and confidently is very important. Take the podium, prepare presentation, and just talk; you will face failures and shamed in the process but never give up until you succeed. 9. What does engineering mean to you? It gave me the “Problem Solving” mind set, it gave me an attitude to look for solution not whine about the problem. If there is no problem then they don’t need you 10. If you had been given a chance to change your engineering domain, which one would you choose, and why? No regrets, I was EEE student but I am currently in IT. I thoroughly enjoyed learning electrical subject. I wish market was open like today during our times, and then I would have stayed in my engineering domain. 11. If you have a time machine, where and when would you go?

Thiran

Obviously college days, I started having fear of future during my final year, so it is on a repeat loop from first year through third year. 12.Your idea of happiness. Happiness is with in you, always aspire for more but make sure you enjoy what you have right now, if you don’t you will never get the time back. Time is a perishable commodity; so always be happy. 13. Finally, a one­liner to our college students. Prepare for the WORST then you can ENJOY the best.

The next '9': On friends & relationships 6. Your friends will change a lot over the next four years. Let them. 7. Call someone you love back home a few times a week, even if just for a few minutes. 8. Embrace the differences between you and your classmates. Always be asking yourself, "what can I learn from this person?" More of your education will come from this than from any classroom. 9. Ask for help. Often. 10. Working things out between friends is best done in person, not over mobile or FB. Often someone's facial expressions will tell you more than his/her words. 11. Don't be afraid to fall in love. When it happens, don't take it for granted. Celebrate it, but don't let it define your college experience. 12. What's not fine, however, is missing out on a lot of defining experiences because you're on the phone with your boyfriend/girlfriend for three hours every day. 13.Go on dates. Don't feel like every date has to turn into a relationship (Don't date someone your roommate has been in a relationship with!) 14. If you are in a relationship and none of your friends want to hang out with you and your significant other, pay attention. They usually know better than you do.


14

KNOW YOUR DOMAIN足STRUCTUAL ENGINEERING

-VASUDEVAN SURENDRAN (CLASS OF 2006, CIVIL) Civil Engineering is very special since it was the first engineering which has matured in the world. Also, it is indeed proud to be civil engineer because none of the other engineering would flourish without civil engineering in one form or another. It is equally true that the civil engineering would not be at this state without development of other engineering discipline.

researches. A lot of potential for people with right basics and interest to learn more and more in this area. Basics of structural engineering start from strength of materials/solid mechanics in the curriculum. Structural analysis and design (steel and concrete) form an important element. According to me it is of value to learn the design codes and standards and also to know why different allowables are stated so in codes. Explanatory Handbooks are available for each code which clearly explains how does the allowable limits are arrived at. It is good to know the why's than just knowing the Among all the specialisations in what's of allowable limits as it can help understand the civil engineering basics. Learning anything from structural engineering basic principles helps adapt has been the yourself for any change you may predominant choice of encounter in industry and students for years. customise to changing needs. It is The reason is due to importnat since the industry does the fact that structural not work similar to academics engineering has its there are lot of uncertainities and applications listed each of them will try to test the from depths of ocean basics hence it is important for for offshore design to one to equip at the earliest. outskirts of space for spaceships and everything in between. Every There are numerous professional bodies in the world engineering development needs that connects the structural engineers and largest and structures and they are subjected to most recognised one among all is Institution of load. All these structures needs to Structural Engineers (IStructE). This professional be designed to carry this load and body offers free membership to students. It would be a do their intended function. The role good idea to have associated with such professional of structural engineer is to analyse bodies to keep abreast of knowledge about what these structures for the load and happening and latest updates about the industry. design an optimal structure for its effective functioning. Several topics are being researched in this field , Sky is the limit for everything that is as common as this subject is, there could be several applications and each of them demand numerous Thiran


15

SENTHIL ANANDA PRAKASH­A FRIEND FOR EVERYONE

A friend in need is a friend Indeed. When I visited our campus in 2012, the boy I met on the way to hostel said that Senthil Ananda Prakash was his uncle. Before I could enter the hostel, I have heard the same claim from another 5­6 boys. When I mentioned about it to SAP sir (as he is fondly called) ,he said that he treats everyone including me as his own children. True love that his, and no wonder he is the darling of many hearts in college ranging from students to teachers to administrators.

Senthil Ananda Prakash(1984 ECE) is master of his own business and hails from Sivakasi,3 hrs drive from Karaikudi. And thats one reason why the man is always spotted when something happens in ACCET. He doesn’t write many mails for his actions speak better than written words. Following is an excerpt from a conversation with him, in trying to understand his Thiran

intention,motivation and modus­operandi. 1. If at all they mark attendance, you must score better than most students in Accet, how do you manage to visit Accet frequently? Thanks to my boss. I run a small business and I am my own boss. I might not earn a crore as CEOs do, but I can choose what to do with my time. And that makes it possible for me to be in Accet most of the times. 2.

On

your

association

with

Thiran...

I was a poor student not so good at academics. When I first got involved as a mentor, I found out that even I can help , my team did well. Then when I was asked to be a judge, I found out the difficulties in remote operation of Thiran. It was more like a ship without captain on board. I chose to fit in that role.Its a simple but complicated role.I chose to be a slave to handle alumni requests, friend to students and dictator to college officials. Thanks to Thiran team. Their work was inspirational to me and they also gave me freedom in handling my tasks. Few like Ms.Bargavi Priya of 2012 have shown me the joy of mentoring.She is like my daughter and its heartwarming when you get to have inspiration from people younger than you. Makes me feel good.Keeps me going in Thiran. 3. How were your days in Accet as student? As I told you I was not good at studies. If I had studied well, may be I would be in a govt office and I am not sure whether I would have got involved in Thiran. During my days I learned what not to do in life in Accet.On the other hand I never had difficulty while being at Accet. My father always insisted me to buy new books.He never questioned my expenses. That gave me a freedom and I chose to be in business when


16 I could have taken a govt job. That liberal attitude is what I took out from my days in Accet. Sadly not all students get to enjoy it.I have come across some students who couldn’t continue their studies for financial reasons. 4. Do those students exist in ACCET? How do you come to know about them? Yes, I came to know about such students, when I moved closely with college authorities.I should thank our principals Dr.L.V Sekaran and Prof.Mala who brought such students to my notice. Dr.Sivanatharaja told me that he spotted our student working in a restaraunt ,during his casual visit there. I try to do something for those students. 5. Can you also tell us how much you are spending for those students , to give us an idea of expense in college? For the 2010 girl I mentioned , its close to Rs.60000 for her tuition fees from second year to final year. From this year I have set out a different plan. 6. What are your future plans in this line? From this year I have set out a different plan. Personally I am allocating 10% of my earning for my children’s education and would allocate 10% for the welfare of other children who aren’t my own. With Rs 70,000 I could meet the needs of 3 students this year.

Thiran

7. That was noble of you, how do you manage to identify these needy students? I have lot of friends in college from teachers, to watchmen to students. Through those contacts I am able to spot out the needy. Thats true, a lot of students do accept him as friends , because he was there at the moments when they needed him. SAP Sir, a friend for Accet and Thiran indeed. ...And don't miss the following '8' things too 15. Become friends with your favorite professors. Recognize that they can learn from you too ­ in fact, that's part of the reason they chose to be professors. 16. Carve out an hour every single day to be alone. 17. When your friends' parents visit, include them. You'll get free food, etc., and you'll help them to feel like they're cool, hangin' with the hip college kids. 18. Welcome failure into your lives. It's how we grow. What matters is not that you failed, but that you recovered. 19. Take some classes that have nothing to do with your major(s), purely for the fun of it. 20. It's important to think about the future, but it's more important to be present in the now. You won't get the most out of college if you think of it as a stepping stone. 21. Things that seem like the end of the world really do become funny with a little time and distance. Knowing this, forget the embarassment and skip to the good part. 22. If you need to get a job, find something that you actually enjoy. Just because it's work doesn't mean it has to suck.


17

ASSET 87 ­ Enhancing Thiran Rajeshwar 1987

In August 2011, when we began preparations for our Silver Jubilee celebrations a year down the line, little did we know that we would be embarking on a long­term project with a potential to make a significant impact on the quality of engineers that ACCET produces.

buildings, we decided to develop soft assets. ASSET87 (Alagappa Soft Skills Enhancement Training) was conceptualised to enhance the soft­skills of the engineers of ACCET. The main objective of the program is to impart skills that they would otherwise not acquire until much later and thus make them more effective and improve their employability.

When we got together to discuss ASSET87 is a 48­hour program integrated into the what we could do “to give back” to academic calendar for the pre­final year students and our alma mater on the occasion of comprises 16 sessions of three hours spread over two semesters. This is an interactive experiential learning our Silver Jubilee, a lot of ideas came about but as a We wanted to be module handled by external facilitators. group we desired to do pioneers and were The program has been developed to something that was high on willing to invest our improve the communication skills ­ impact. We wanted to be time and energy, listening, speaking, reading and writing pioneers and were willing besides writing and develop other soft skills such as to invest our time and cheques, to make it problem­solving, teamwork, decision­ making, planning, organizing, self­ happen energy, besides writing learning and self­management. The cheques, to make it happen. curriculum was developed by an In the end, we decided to do something that is not easy to do external agency with active involvement of our and requires sustained effort for batchmates who had extensive experience in People Development functions in the corporate world. several years. We all knew that the students from ACCET, like most other Government Engineering colleges in Tamilnadu, were technically competent but required vast improvements in communication skills & personality. The overwhelming opinion/feedback from the corporate world was that the students were not readily employable. So, we decided to address this issue. While our predecessors had contributed to creating hard assets such as Thiran

ASSET87 is administered through ACCET87 Foundation, a charitable Trust founded and managed by the 1987 batch with an initial commitment run the program for five academic years. From designing of the logo to the development of the training program to selection of the trainers to oversight of the training, the members of the 1987 batch have been involved in all aspects of the program. Initially, there were concerns about running the program for five academic years but the steady support from our batchmates with many volunteering their time, all doubts have been laid to rest. The program was formally inaugurated on August 11,


18 2012, the day we celebrated our Silver Jubilee. In the academic year 2012­13, we had 490 students in the third year that went through the program that started on August 22, 2012. Training sessions were held on Wednesdays, with students divided into ten batches. A team of five trainers and a Master trainer conducted the program. Most of the sessions were attended by a volunteer from our batch who attended the training sessions, interacted with the trainers and students, gathered feedback from students and reported back to the managing committee. The trainers submit reports independently and each student is being rated every session. We have videographed every session, with a different batch being covered each session.

program is well under way with five sessions completed already. The feedback from the students and the faculty has been encouraging. But, the proof of the pudding is in the eating and we can’t wait to eat it. Very soon, the first batch that we trained will be going through the campus placement program and we will get the first feedback from the corporate world. We are anxious but confident. It has been a lot of hard but interesting work for those of us that are closely involved with the execution of the program. The journey continues and throws up new challenges every now and then but with the active support of the Principal & the HODs and various staff and the student volunteers, we continue to move ahead. We are confident that when we review the performance of ASSET87 in 2017, the unanimous conclusion of all stakeholders in ASSET87 will be that it should be extended and enlarged.

This academic year (2013­14), we have 510 students in all and the

If you are interested in knowing more about the program ACCET87 Foundation ­ http://accet87.net/accet87­foundation/ ACCET87 Logo explained ­ http://accet87.net/2012/08/accet87­logo­explained/ ASSET87 ­ First batch first session ­ http://accet87.net/2012/09/asset87­session­1/ ASSET87 ­ First batch closing ceremony ­ http://accet87.net/2013/04/asset­program­award­function

For more information about ACCET87 Foundation or ASSET87 Program, you may contact Rajeshwar via email at accet87@eshwar.in

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MY EXPERIENTS WITH THIRAN

DhivyaBharathi Class of 2009-13 Dear Ones ,

every evening he spent time with us and in early morning we will chat through Skype. Due to the lack of internet we didn't talk to our mentor. Luckily we got 5 days holidays before project submission. We started our project in MVC architecture ,as my mentor is in US, I contacted him through gmail only during night time . Sleepless nights and almost project over. my mentor's support and his words still sounds in my mind. Started to karaikudi and submitted my project. This is the turning point in my academic career.

This is dhivyabharathi OGC of thiran in 2011-2012 . Thiran has changed our lifestyle in our college .Thiran got familiarized with us in our third year . When we gone through that year ,and when we see As a result, I came to know, why I am here and why I back what we have am studying my subject, how I am done useful in this going to apply and what I am year ? Mean only going to do in my future. Even thing remains is after submission he is still guiding THIRAN project, me. After Thiran project he which we done by guided me in doing various ourselves . It raises projects. He always used to tell the confidence level academic records are also as of each students. important as doing projects. I have done project in my 3rd year. Before mentor allocation ,we had a question on how to start our project. Not only me, but everyone who had registered. Then Revathy akka and Srivathsan anna , Nambi anna, Mosses anna and Balajee sir talked to everyone through Skype , g talk . They explained what is a project , why we have to do a project ? what is the profit in doing a project. They will have a session every evening with no time limit and anyone can ask any questions.

Its a great opportunity to convey my thanks to my mentor SamD anna. Thank you anna for everything. And I extend my thanks to Thiran team. Preethy. G Class of 2011-15 Dear all, I am a student in my third year at present and I would like to share the experiences I had with Thiran last year.

I had done the first project of my college life for Thiran'12 and first and foremost, I would like to thank Thiran for giving me such an opportunity. I, being a belonging to the Department of Computer We got an excellent mentor by student and Engineering set out to attempt on creating god's grace. He is the one who Science a website with four other members in my team. guided us how to start a project, Initially, Ialong honestly signed up only for the sake of it Thiran


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and I wasn't equipped one bit for the creation of anything that we had proposed to in our project abstract.

Thiran has played an important role in shaping up not only the knowledge but also the confidence and morale in every student that was even remotely a part of the movement. With so much of motivation and ample learning opportunities and resources, I Clueless yet confident, we tried personally feel no student should miss out on this researching the Internet for ideas yearly project drive as it is an awesome experience and that would help us with our project. great platform to showcase your talents. About the same time, an announcement came across encouraging the students to present The last '8'... website projects coded using the Python programming language. As 24. Take a lot of pictures. that was the first flicker of hope that crossed by us, we grabbed it 25. In ten years very few of you will look as good as and tried researching immense you do right now, so secretly revel in how stunning loads on the language and its you are before it's too late. frameworks. We spent endless hours connected to the Internet, all 26. In the long run, where you go to college doesn't in vain. At the end of each day, we matter as much as what you do with the opportunities were only confused a little more you're given there. As a student here, you will have than the last. Gradually, though, we access to a variety of unique opportunities that no one got in touch with our college else will ever have - don't waste them. alumni who helped us out in figuring things right and due to the 27. Eat badly sometimes. It's the last time in your life pressure of the Thiran Judgement when you can do this without feeling guilty about it. Day edging round the corner, and also our seniors' and the alumnus' 28. Wash your clothes more than once a month. Trust endless encouragement, we were me on this one. able to pull off a complete working website that satisfied all the key 29. Explore the campus thoroughly. Don't get caught. points we had mentioned in our abstract. 30. Enjoy every second of the next four years. It is impossible to describe how quickly they pass. Unfortunately though, mainly because we had made the terrible 31. This is the only time in your lives when your only mistake of being late to the real responsibility is to learn. Try to remember how Judgement Day, we got the last lucky you are every day. token and our demo was rushed up and we were not able to bring our project's working and purpose across to the jury. Though all of the hard work gone unnoticed was an unnerving letdown, I don't regret it as today, I know how much I have learned because of Thiran'12 and I am ever so thankful. Thiran


Thiran aug13 issue2