Welcome to Alumni Meet
Dear Alumnus/Alumna, March 13, 2009
The program for the proposed Workshop-cum-Symposium-cum-Alumni Meet,
scheduled to be held from May 6-10, 2009, is now final. Please
access http://chemeng.iisc.ernet.in/molsim/ for more information on
the workshop (May 6-8, 2009) and the symposium (May 9, 2009). This
letter is about the Alumni Meet, scheduled to be held on Sunday,
May 10, 2009. A large number of you responded to my first mail and
expressed your desire to participate in the proposed Alumni Meet. I
thank you all for your continued interest in the department, even when
we have not made any formal effort to maintain contact with you. We
are hopeful that the proposed Alumni Meet will be an eventful one, as
you can see from the structure of the Meet (in Table below).
Program for the Alumni Meet
| 8.00-9.30 am || Registration |
| 9.30-10.15 am || Opening Address |
| 10.15-10.45 am || Coffee Break |
| 10.45-12.30 pm || Session on `Student Training |
| 12.30-2.30 pm || Lunch-cum-poster session |
|2.30-4.30 pm || Department-Alumni interaction and Outreach' |
|4.30-5.00 pm || High Tea |
|5.00-5.30 pm || The Concluding Session |
Please consider this letter as an invitation to attend the Alumni
Meet. We are trying to arrange some guest rooms in the institute and
a get-together dinner on the previous night (May 9). I will update
you on this issue in near future. As you can see from the format of
the two sessions (on the next page) we need at least two speakers each
for six themes. I will be grateful if you could also consider through
this letter our call for volunteers to speak on one of the six themes.
You can choose the theme you like for a focussed talk of 8-10 minutes
of duration. (This document is also available from
I look forward to receiving confirmation of your participation in the
Meet. Please register yourself on the website for the Alumni Meet
(``http://chemeng.iisc.ernet.in/alumni2009/'' ). I hope that you will
consider volunteering for a theme close to your heart, or encourage
someone who you know has interesting ideas for this occasion, and will
be happy to deliver a focussed talk.
Please do not hesitate to write to me if you have any suggestions or queries.
It will cover how the department has evolved
over the years, and the vision for the coming years.
This session, proposed to be held up to lunch
time, will open with a short talk on what constitutes `student
training' at the present time. This will be followed by short and
focussed talks by the alumni, students, and faculty covering three
sub-topics, detailed below, one after the other. We would like to
identify at least two to three speakers for each sub-topic well in
advance. The others from the audience will be encouraged to bring out
issues, missed by the designated/volunteer speakers . The session
will end with a panel discussion to arrive at what needs to be done to
strengthen various aspects of the student training.
We can discuss
in this session the effectiveness/usefulness of the material being
taught, effective teaching strategies in our context and how these
could be further strengthened. These could be discussed in the
context of the background of the incoming students. We can also
discuss initiatives that may help every incoming student realize and
grow his/her potential and skills.
We can discuss
the salient features of the research training our department provides,
as perceived by the graduating students. Time required to finish
research training and the breadth and depth of the research experience
acquired by the students could also be discussed in the context of
graduating student's career. Suggestions on strengthening research
training could be invited and discussed.
We continue to get a mix of students. Some are
outspoken and ready to participate in any discussion, and some others
shy away from everything. Discussion in this session could focus on
what constitutes personality development and how much of it should the
department try to augment by devising new activities. How have we
done in this regard in the past? Do we need to do more? How much
more? Resources and logistics! It is this area which I believe can
benefit exclusively from the participation the alumni only.
The poster session is organized to make the alumni aware of the
current research activity in the department.
Like the forenoon session, this session will be
open with a short talk on various modes of continued interaction
between the department and the alumni. The volunteers and/or
designated speakers are expected to talk on the following overlapping
issues in this session. The other participants in the audience can
bring out issues missed by the speakers.
This session will end with a panel discussion to consolidate
findings/proposals if any.
The alumni must have come across the
attributes, good or bad, fixed on them by virtue of being a graduate
of our department/institute. We could discuss these and ponder
whether the present state of affairs should continue or there is scope
for change, and how!
How to attract bright students to the
department and the role alumni can play in this.
In my view, this has
been at ground zero level all along. There is plenty that can be
achieved under this umbrella, as shown by a number of institutions in
India itself. It requires someone from alumni/faculty to envision,
develop a team of dedicated people, move forward to generate a
workable plan, and then execute it to make this vision possible. Do
we have enough such people among us to progress in this area?
The last session is of
course on generating action plans; the burden of executing these will
be on the present faculty of the department and the alumni. Once
again, we must discuss to arrive at achievable targets, and comeback
in perhaps three years time for a large scale meeting to review. We
could follow up with a yearly small scale meeting between the
department faculty and alumni representatives.
Document is prepared by: