Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Experience of Programming in MATLAB

Its been a long time I had stayed away with real programing, but as they say history repeats itself, as a part of curriculum in my college, we have to write MATLAB programs. This time we were suppose to find the 'Satellite Angles' viz. Elevation angle and Azimuth Angle. Mainly the algorithm is mathematical but last step which is to determine the position of SS-point (sub-satellite point) with respect to ES (Earth Station) is out of my conceptual reach.
It will definitely need a great insight study to determine SS-point w.r.t. ES and write a code on it. But still I am loving the benefits of MATLAB as a programming tool. It has everything, I literally mean everything required for an engineer to solve a particular problem using Numerical Technique or Trigonometric relations or even Calculus. Also today while studying about the codes and samples on MATLAB, I came to know that like in C/C++/Java, in MATLAB also we can define 'function'. And I just love this part of the coding, its like write a few codes under certain function and use it again and again till you determine the final output.
Anyways now I will keep posting about the proceedings with this particular program and also LIFE @ PICT. 
After getting admission in PICT for ME in Microwave engineering, I become a strong believer of a quote "ALL GOOD THINGS COME IN SMALL PACKAGES".

Saturday, July 28, 2012

How says experience and hardwork doesn't pay?

I have being closely the GATE aspirants from a couple of years. Many of them study day and night, joins famous coaching institutes and what not, but within couple of months, they turned out into a QUITTER instead of being QUICKER. Just keep them motivated, I have brought a true story which happened near "Dead Sea". What story is all about and how it will help many aspirants is left upto you to understand. 

A giant ship engine failed. The ship's owners tried one expert after another, but none of them could figure but how to fix the engine.
Then they brought in an old man who had been fixing ships since he was a young. He carried a large bag of tools with him, and when he arrived, he immediately went to work. He inspected the engine very carefully, top to bottom. Two of the ship's owners were there, watching this man, hoping he would know what to do. After looking things over, the old man reached into his bag and pulled out a small hammer. He gently tapped something. Instantly, the engine lurched into life. He carefully put his hammer away. The engine was fixed!

A week later, the owners received a bill from the old man for ten thousand dollars.
'What?!' the owners exclaimed. 'He hardly did anything!'
So they wrote the old man a note saying, 'Please send us an itemized bill.'
The man sent a bill that read:
Tapping with a hammer...... ......... ........ $ 2.00
Knowing where to tap.......... ......... ...... $ 9, 998.00
Moral of the story:
Effort is important, but knowing where to make an effort makes all the difference!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Can anyone really live on Rs. 26 a day??

Late last year, two young men decided to live a month of their lives on the income of an average poor Indian. One of them, Tushar, the son of a police officer in Haryana, studied at the University of Pennsylvania and worked for three years as an investment banker in the US and Singapore. The other, Matt, migrated as a teenager to the States with his parents, and studied in MIT. Both decided at different points to return to India, joined the UID Project in Bengaluru, came to share a flat, and became close friends.
The idea suddenly struck them one day. Both had returned to India in the vague hope that they could be of use to their country. But they knew the people of this land so little. Tushar suggested one evening — “Let us try to understand an ‘average Indian’, by living on an ‘average income’.” His friend Matt was immediately captured by the idea. They began a journey which would change them forever.
To begin with, what was the average income of an Indian? They calculated that India’s Mean National Income was Rs. 4,500 a month, or Rs. 150 a day. Globally people spend about a third of their incomes on rent. Excluding rent, they decided to spend Rs. 100 each a day. They realised that this did not make them poor, only average. Seventy-five per cent Indians live on less than this average.
The young men moved into the tiny apartment of their domestic help, much to her bemusement. What changed for them was that they spent a large part of their day planning and organising their food. Eating out was out of the question; even dhabas were too expensive. Milk and yoghurt were expensive and therefore used sparingly, meat was out of bounds, as were processed food like bread. No ghee or butter, only a little refined oil. Both are passionate cooks with healthy appetites. They found soy nuggets a wonder food — affordable and high on proteins, and worked on many recipes. Parle G biscuits again were cheap: 25 paise for 27 calories! They innovated a dessert of fried banana on biscuits. It was their treat each day.
Restricted life
Living on Rs.100 made the circle of their life much smaller. They found that they could not afford to travel by bus more than five km in a day. If they needed to go further, they could only walk. They could afford electricity only five or six hours a day, therefore sparingly used lights and fans. They needed also to charge their mobiles and computers. One Lifebuoy soap cut into two. They passed by shops, gazing at things they could not buy. They could not afford the movies, and hoped they would not fall ill.
However, the bigger challenge remained. Could they live on Rs. 32, the official poverty line, which had become controversial after India’s Planning Commission informed the Supreme Court that this was the poverty line for cities (for villages it was even lower, at Rs. 26 per person per day)?
Harrowing experience
For this, they decided to go to Matt’s ancestral village Karucachal in Kerala, and live on Rs. 26. They ate parboiled rice, a tuber and banana and drank black tea: a balanced diet was impossible on the Rs. 18 a day which their briefly adopted ‘poverty’ permitted. They found themselves thinking of food the whole day. They walked long distances, and saved money even on soap to wash their clothes. They could not afford communication, by mobile and internet. It would have been a disaster if they fell ill. For the two 26-year-olds, the experience of ‘official poverty’ was harrowing.
Yet, when their experiment ended with Deepavali, they wrote to their friends: “Wish we could tell you that we are happy to have our ‘normal’ lives back. Wish we could say that our sumptuous celebratory feast two nights ago was as satisfying as we had been hoping for throughout our experiment. It probably was one of the best meals we’ve ever had, packed with massive amounts of love from our hosts. However, each bite was a sad reminder of the harsh reality that there are 400 million people in our country for whom such a meal will remain a dream for quite some time. That we can move on to our comfortable life, but they remain in the battlefield of survival — a life of tough choices and tall constraints. A life where freedom means little and hunger is plenty…
Plenty of questions
It disturbs us to spend money on most of the things that we now consider excesses. Do we really need that hair product or that branded cologne? Is dining out at expensive restaurants necessary for a happy weekend? At a larger level, do we deserve all the riches we have around us? Is it just plain luck that we were born into circumstances that allowed us to build a life of comfort? What makes the other half any less deserving of many of these material possessions, (which many of us consider essential) or, more importantly, tools for self-development (education) or self-preservation (healthcare)?
We don’t know the answers to these questions. But we do know the feeling of guilt that is with us now. Guilt that is compounded by the love and generosity we got from people who live on the other side, despite their tough lives. We may have treated them as strangers all our lives, but they surely didn’t treat us as that way…”
So what did these two friends learn from their brief encounter with poverty? That hunger can make you angry. That a food law which guarantees adequate nutrition to all is essential. That poverty does not allow you to realise even modest dreams. And above all — in Matt’s words — that empathy is essential for democracy.

[Source : 

Step to prepare/plan your study time-table for GATE preparation

It is obvious that the popularity of GATE (i.e. Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering) is growning day by day because of its advantages. It is THE ONLY gateway to get into IIT (for masters and PhD), if you failed to get in IIT for UG courses through JEE. Along with this, you can get admission in 20 national level NITs and all top regional colleges. Overall, in short, you can say, if you want to do M.E./M.Tech, GATE is the pathway. But that’s not enough. GATE has one more importance, viz. its syllabus structure. Many of us don’t know this side of the GATE exam. The GATE syllabus is designed such that it covers all basic from a particular stream viz. Electronic and Telecommunication (EC), Computer Science Engineering (CSE), Civil Engineering (CE), etc. Once you prepare for GATE, i.e. once you study the GATE syllabus, you can even apply for various profile job oriented examination like IES, PSU’s exam, DRDO, ISRO, etc. It had been seen last year that many (almost all major) PSUs have given jobs without conducting their entrance but on GATE score.
This is why GATE is getting enormous popularity. In 2010, 1,13,531 these many aspirant applied for the exam, which increased to 1,49,948 in 2011,which further increased to 1,76,944 (appeared) in 2012. From distribution function you can say at least 2 lacs students will appear for GATE in 2013. [NOTE : The above mentioned numbers are from EC branch only]
So in such breath taking competition, one must plan very well during preparation itself and must follow the dream. I am trying to write down few steps which may help aspirant to find the proper path which leads to IITs by cracking the GATE exam. It is advised to all aspirant to modify the paths mentioned below as per their IQ and understanding levels with lot of thinking and planning.

STEP. 1] Realizing what is your demand?
It is very important to know the answer of this question : “Why you want to give GATE?” Many has dream to get into research or to do PhD, for them GATE is mandatory. But it is observed that a major crowd give GATE because they don’t fetch a job in UG for themselves. GATE is like a second chance for them to get a good colleges and try once again for the campus placements for M.E./M.Tech. And for whatever the reason you apply for GATE, you target the IITs only. So a simple answer to question asked is simple i.e. to get into IIT. But I feel that’s gives birth to one more question, WHY IITs? One may go to IIT because of the reputation of these institute which may help them for good jobs, one may go to IIT for research oriented job, one may go to IIT for PhD or for better PhD scope in foreign universities. So better you be clear why you giving GATE and what you want after 2 years of your MASTERS

STEP. 2] Understanding the scope of the subjects
Once you are clear with WHY GATE? You must start chasing your dream by following proper preparation steps. And for this you must know the SCOPE of the syllabus. You can check the GATE 2012 (last year GATE) syllabus here CLICK. Understand the subject and topics it is covering. GATE IS ALL ABOUT BASICS. So understand the basic and its scope in application of a particular subject. This will take its own time. eg. When I think of NETWORK ANALYSIS subject, all circuits, current and voltages, Thevenin’s and Norton’s, etc come in my mind. But that’s not enough, this subject has a lot more. There are so many topics, which one must NOT ignore before concluding that “I know circuit analysis that’s why this subject is easy for me” (This is one of the mistake I made in early stages  but recovered in time coz of starting of early practice sessions). I would like to say, don’t bother if subject is easy or hard, just start it preparation as you know nothing about it, start from a scratch/zero.

STEP. 3] Whom to give importance and why?
After following STEP 2, you will be knowing, as per GATE syllabus, what subject you know in how much depth. Studying syllabus mentioned on GATE website has enormous importance while starting the preparation. Understanding the syllabus will lead you ahead half the way. Subjects which seems easy initially may not remain easy after studying the syllabus and so on. So after completing the study of syllabus, you will be knowing which subject most likely to study first (to gain confidence) and which last (to score more possible marks). 

STEP. 4] Proper calculation of time in hand till 10th February
After knowing what you need to prepare and practice, one must know how much time he/she has in hand before taking exam. One mistake which many aspirant do while preparing timetable (even I did the same and faced the consequences later in results) is allotting time to subject to prepare only. I prefer to explain this with an example. Lets say, I am allotting 20 days to Communication, and I will plan myself to read the course in 20 days. But at the end, I don’t have time for practice. Practice plays an important role in GATE preparation and cracking the GATE exam.  So allot time to a particular subject keeping two aspects in mind : studying/reading (to understand the concepts including BASICs) + practice of MCQs. (For EC, I will prefer Kanodia and Brilliant Tutorials are more than enough). 

 “I believe, in GATE, it is not important to cover all subjects before exam, the important is to learn the most of it”

STEP. 6] Study seriously and follow honestly
Be motivated, be inspired, be aspired for GATE and study honestly. It doesn’t matter how much you are studying for GATE daily, call it 2 hours, 4 hours or even 14 hours, the only thing matters is how much you are becoming confident after covering syllabus. It’s better to TARGET the syllabus by 31st December, so that you can get ample of time to practice papers. For practice papers, you can try GATEFORUM test series which is so far doing good with quality of question. Solve around 30-40 practice papers including previous papers before GATE exam. People study Previous Year GATE paper during preparation which is good to get confidence but I personally feel one must use previous year paper for evaluation of preparation i.e. to evaluate how depth you are prepared for the GATE exam. 

Allot only last 10 days to revise the syllabus and a practice paper daily along with revision. The more you practice in the last period before exam, the more confident you will get and more accurate with the timing during last 3 hours of examination.
[NOTE : Since MATHEMATICS + QUANTITATIVE APTITUDE holds 30 marks and they are huge subjects to cover, it is advised that one should give at least 30 minutes each everyday. This subjects are more on practice and less to read/study. For QUANTITATIVE APTITUDE, one must read QUANTITATIVE APTITUDE by R S Agrawal. It has chapter wise approach and one can read a chapter in 1 day or 2 days and later can allot time to ENGLISH VOCABULARY/WORDS. along with Maths simultaneously from the first day]