Q: Please tell me something about yourself in short. What type of subjects do you teach and what is your area of specialisation?
I am Dr. Budhaditya Bhattacharyya presently working as Assistant Professor (Selection Grade) in School of Electronics Engineering, VIT University. I had pursued my M.Tech and PhD degree from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India. I had studied Electronics and Communication Engineering from Future Institute of Engineering and Management under West Bengal University of Technology, Kolkata, India and received his Bachelor of Technology Degree in 2008. I am member of IEEE. My current research interest includes Maximizing throughput using Massive MIMO techniques for pcell technology. My notable contributions are in the field of variable cyclic prefix based communication pertaining to LTE applications with other interests involve studies of different error performance analysis in relation to OFDM techniques.
Q: Was teaching your choice of profession from the beginning?
While expecting any answers to this question you should keep in mind that, teaching is one of those professions which require a great deal of patience and hard work. Imagine a world without educators—learning is quite a hard thing to achieve. Both go hand in hand. I had a passion for my subject area and after my first Prac I discovered that I truly enjoyed working with young people. So I wanted to become professor for personal fulfilment included expectations of enjoyment to be derived from a passion for learning, specific subject area, and a love of children or the anticipated enjoyment of working with young people.
Q: How you started teaching?
I wanted to help others and contribute to the community and be a positive influence on young people. Actually the more altruistic motivation for me to become a teacher was, the desire to contribute, included the idea of contributing to society as a whole through helping to shape the next generation, working in a worthwhile occupation, or making a difference in the lives of individual children and young people.
Q: What do you think about the difficulty level of your stream as compared to other streams or subjects?
It’s all about your perception how you view different streams. All the branches are equally difficult and equally easy. It is your level of comfort which varies with the interest in the field.
Mechanical Engineering deals with the subjects like SOM, Thermodynamics and Engineering Dynamics to name a few. It is the branch of physics which covers design, production and operation of machinery.
Civil Engineering includes study of subjects like Design of Steel Structures, Reinforcement of cement concrete etc. It deals with the design, construction and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including works like roads, dams, buildings, bridges and canals.
EEE and ECE are commonly confused with each other. EEE is Electrical &Electronics engineering wherein you study the theory and applicability of electrical systems in different environments, Study of power systems and a basic knowledge of electronics subjects. ECE on the other hand is Electronics &Communication Engineering. It covers analog transmission, basic electronics, solid state devices, integrated circuits and basically the effect of electrons on the devices which use electricity as a driving force.
Just by giving you a mere brief of all these branches, I cannot help you decide on the fact that my branch is tougher than other streams. I would rather like to say that this decision should be well judged and weighed for all pros and cons in terms of your passion as in why you want to be an engineer and what will you do after that, your field of interest, your returns on investment i.e.: the fee you invest in, future job prospects along with avenues for higher studies. The branch you decide to take up should not entirely be based on the industry records or the fat pay cheques associated with the jobs; it should focus on your field of interest. As it is my passion to acquire more knowledge that drives me and motivate me to work hard and teach well. Once, a person loses interest in the field, he or she will find everything difficult.
Q: Parents today are diverting their children to become doctors and engineers. Is there really no scope in other fields?
If you ask me why they are doing so, maybe because this is the easiest way to be financially stable in today’s competitive world and maybe to some this is the easiest way to be happy in the corporate world. But if you ask me should they be doing so, “ABSOLUTELY NOT”. I think each and every sectors has its own role which plays an important role in the society that too in a developing country like us. We should be teaching them and guiding them how to comprehend and learn not teach them cramming. The only reason I can think of parents encouraging their children to select science subjects to ensure steady careers. Well now a days with the plethora of opportunities available nowadays, one need not conform to age-old norms. Any change is difficult. You have to unlearn and re-learn different aspects. It should be approached with an unbiased mind. Children should be exposed to all career opportunities because their minds are impartial and open. It is necessary to learn about your area of interest from an experienced person in that particular field.
Q: How is technology playing a role in the current education system?
The presence of technology is growing in the classroom. The new generation of kids come ready to work with these new technologies, which play an important role in children’s learning and acquiring various cognitive knowledge so that technology in education must be incorporated into future curricula. The application of educational technology enhances skills and cognitive characteristics. With the help of new technology comes an explosion of learning and receiving new information.
Teachers have been using new technologies in the classroom. However, the development and application of new technologies grows as a measure that is the question of whether teachers are trained to keep up with them. Here we have two problems. Are the teachers have the ability to use educational technology and whether the school is sufficiently equipped with all modern technical means? Numerous studies were carried out, some are still ongoing, but we have to find the right strategies to apply educational technology in teaching.
Q: What do you think of various online courses available for the students?
Honestly speaking, teaching online is a lot of work. I’m sometimes asked if I feel it takes more or less time to teach online, compared to teaching in the classroom. Online teaching does seem to take more time, but I’ve never systematically compared it to a classroom-based course.
Up front, it takes a great deal of time to put curricular materials together for an online class. I’ve spent as much as several weeks reshaping my classroom materials to work for online students. In some cases, activities that I have used effortlessly in the classroom couldn’t be adapted at all for online use, such as hands-on activities; so instead, I created new but comparable activities. I also sunk a lot of time into learning the classroom management system. How were we teachers going to use assessments with this system, or incorporate discussion? How was I going to grade my students, and how was I going to motivate them to participate in discussion? Countless decisions had to make at the onset about just how the online course would be structured, operated, and maintained.
Another issue with communication that new online instructors might overlook is that questions that can be answered verbally in the classroom require a written explanation in the online course, and sometimes, it takes more time to write out a sensible explanation than to say it. If assignments are collected on a regular basis, the instructor needs to be able to grade things quickly and efficiently to ensure that students receive timely feedback, and grading papers and other assignments electronically might take some time for the instructor to get used to. I try to respond to students’ questions and concerns as quickly as I can. I use discussion in my courses, and with around 60 students per course, I need to be online daily so the workload does not become too overwhelming.
In some ways, I think the workload for an online course is similar to that of a face-to-face environment—but it seems like more work because it’s not as concentrated. For example, in a classroom, a professor may do the bulk of his or her work for the week while he or she is meeting with students, and if all students are together in one place, announcements can be made and questions can be answered for the entire class. In other words, a great deal of teaching can be done in one sitting. An activity (or several activities) can be completed during a single class period, and any issues related to that activity will be discussed in real time with the entire class. Then everybody moves onto the next thing simultaneously.
In the online setting, though, the workload is distributed. Students will likely be working at different times during the week, and their questions will trickle in accordingly. Plus, an activity that might take 20 minutes to complete in a classroom setting might take a few days to discuss online, especially if students are not able to be online together at the same time.
Q: How do you think PROCTUR can help the students and help you in connecting with the students?
Proctur is a platform that connects me with not only students but also allows me to have a virtual relation with their parents too. It would be great to work together with the parents too in building the young generation for the future, because I believe that a parent’s influence emphasizes much more in a student’s life since majority of the day he or she is spending with their family. I am very happy to be the part of the team where we will be working towards the same goal i.e. getting the youths educated.
Q: Do you have any message for the students?
According to me, every student must have an aim on where they want to see themselves in 5 years down the line. Based on this, they must motivate themselves in the field of engineering. They must find domain of interest where they can successfull. The best performance would only come, if he or she can find the right tune to music called engineering. Even they should always target for higher studies which in a way would do a world of good, for both their exposure and experience. I wish them all the success.