Receiving a lot of requests from various universities which requires visit to their places. I have been advised to be selective so that the work at KGP does not suffer. We have almost all the right ingredients in place and enough funding. We are looking forward to taking up some audacious challenges. At the formulation / setting up of problem stage, I need to give more time to students. Gou.., my first M.S. student (had two Ph.D.s earlier!!) last month defended his thesis very well. He did some pioneering work in his 2.5 years of association with our lab. in the area of frame selection which reduces computational burden in automatic speaker recognition not just by a factor of 1.5 or 2 but 4 or in some cases 8. The work was immediately accepted by a reputed journal without any single correction. The MS thesis was accepted as it was by both the examiners. One examiner commented that it was almost a Ph.D. level work. Gou.. is now taking a break in his own chosen way and preparing to go abroad for Ph.D. work. Proud to have students like him and wish him the very best.
Received research proposal from someone from abroad who wishes to join our group for a Ph.D. in speech processing area. He has excellent background, a BTech degree from top Indian Institute and Ph.D. from abroad with volumes of work experience. Dean (PGS&R) and Dept. Head welcomed it and the rule (citizenship and others) and procedure for getting fellowship etc. are being explained to him. On behalf of the research team, I appreciate and thankfully acknowledge every single event that encourages us, motivates us to deliver our very best.
Dean (Planning & Coordination) took special interest in seeing that NSS figures in our new communication directory. It was not there earlier. Further, on his advice, we have submitted our infrastructure requirement which will be a shared resource. He found the design well thought out. Two consecutive such design - one for NSS and the other for a new lab. of the Dept. - I am gaining some experience in this too!
We sat in the ground (though they arranged chairs for us) with them. They managed a low power incandescent bulb from somewhere. All belong to backward castes, mostly scheduled tribes. They were sitting quietly, did not know how to say thanks but their eyes says it all. Finally, one young person (with whom NSS volunteers established connection first) said that they still cannot believe what is happening is for real. They never believed that there are people who think about their well-being and work for them. The previous Sunday NSS volunteers were there till 7 pm and left only when they saw that mother earth is delivering the water to her those children who need it the most.
I got this message from Uttamda once he returned. "My dear Goutam,Good morning. Yesterday I have created the blog as per your instruction. Thank you. Please visit email@example.com With best wishes, Uttamda". And in one month what did he deliver! Gems - one after another. I simply kept this link in my google status space. Students here told me that they benefited a lot from these writings. Uttamda once worried about quality of English, language skill etc. I requested him to ignore that and it is the substance for which the world is hungry. One day, I got a ping in my google chat. This was Ch.., an IIT Kharagpur alumnus studying in a top US university, top most in some estimate.
The students in the Signals & Systems course performed 2nd mini-project demo a week back. This was on speech recognition. It worked for two words for most of them and more than two for a few. About ten of them participated. None from girls this time. There were a few new developers who was not there for the first. The highest correlation in code was self-certified as 0.2. The final one is awaited on 9th April. This challenge is on developing automatic speaker recognition system again with minimum user base.
The twin pillars of our research group are 'learning to learn' and 'team work'. We use technology profusely - googlegroup, chat, circulating PPT among the team before any presentation etc. (still there is room to improve). The aim is to make everybody independent as well as a team person, confident as well as humble. Trying to the extent possible, to give these 4th sem. students a feel of it. Shall see if it worked.