Monthly Archives: March 2010

An eventful day

TodaY WHEN i WOKe up, I never thought that I would reach the semi-finals of the Tata crucible quiz that’s being held for the first time In Manipal. I told my classmate Sean that I want him to take part with me in the quiz, he too didn’t think that the afternoon would be an unforgettable experience. I went to the Library Auditorium at 1 o clock as the time for the quiz was 1. It didn’t begin still. One of my friend’s went on criticising me for coming to take part in the quiz but I just ignored his words and sat down to take a shot at the 1st round questions along with Sean. The quiz master was called ‘Pickbrain’ and I dunno what’s the reason for that name. And lo! I was able to answer a few questions even though I hadn’t read any business articles or had that great a knowledge about current business affairs, etc. I attended the NTPC Electron Quiz in Hyderabad during my holidays and I found that the standard of the Tata Crucible Quiz was not different from the Electron Quiz. I, who was not able to answer even a single question at the Electron Quiz though I remembered reading about some of the concepts behind some questions somewhere, and that too vaguely, was today able to answer a few, though easy questions very easily. And when the so called ‘Pickbrain’ called out the teams who have qualified directly for the semifinals through the wild card entry and when he took my name first to call upon the stage, I was dumbstruck. I didn’t even move from my seat till my partner started to push me.  And the worst part is that my other friend at the quiz did not get to the semifinals. Though we were eliminated in the semi finals, it gave me some amount  of satisfaction. I now am motivated to take part in Tata crucible quiz and will take part next year also. Thanks Tata for providing me an opportunity to expand my horizons.

Lesson I learnt today: Never under estimate yourself, you might turn out to be better than your worst fears.


Pre-birthday party and a talk I attended

I went to my friend Sean’s house for his party. Many of my classmates came there too. His home is named ‘Shiloh’. Its a beautiful house. Its huge and very neat. Sean’s mother greeted us and she served us so many dishes and we were so full that we couldn’t have any more food. We were watching the IPL match between Kings XI and Kolkata Knightriders in the TV. It was after a very long time that I was watching a cricket match in a TV. We simultaneously talked about our labs, teachers, electives for next sem, how we hated/liked our previous semester teachers. It was mostly non-sense talk and I didn’t enjoy the talk much. Earlier in the evening I attended the “GSM workshop” organised by the IE EnC, that’s my branch club.  A professor Muralidhar Kulkarni came from NITK to give the talk and he told us that we should not merely use the applications available with GSM but try to develop new and better ways to make the communication through mobiles more effective. He was an awesome orator but due to the time constraints, he had to leave early. Anyway, GSM cannot be taught in a 4 hrs lecture as the IE EnC thought. It was a lame idea to have a talk without going into the deeper details about the working of call handover etc. He just highlighted the new mobile technologies and told us what improvements and merges can be done to make communication better. I wanted to share this because Mobile communications is a very exciting field and the 21st century is mostly if not totally about the Cellular revolution. Our University MAHE cultural fest UTSAV is from 30th April and I’ll have half days. It’ll be exhilarating to watch all constituent universities of Manipal articipating together. Though I was not able to apply in time to volunteer for Utsav, I’m going to enjoy my last Utsav in Manipal.

Battery-powered desalination

Scientists said recently they had made a nanotech device to strip salt from seawater, paving the way to small-scale or even battery-powered desalination for drought-hit regions and disaster zones.

Conventional desalination works by forcing water through a membrane to remove molecules of salt.

But this process is an energy-gobbler and the membrane is prone to clogging, which means that desalination plants are inevitably big, expensive, fixed pieces of kit.

The new gadget has been given a proof-of-principle test at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

It works through so-called ion concentration polarisation, which occurs when a current of charged ions is passed through an ion-selective membrane. The idea is to create a force that moves charged ions and particles in the water away from the membrane.

When the water passes through the system, salt ions — as well as cells, viruses and micro-organisms — get pushed to the side. This saltier water is then drawn off, leaving only desalted water to pass through the main microchannel.

The tiny device had a recovery rate of 50 per cent, meaning that half of the water used at the start was desalinated. Ninety nine per cent of the salt in this water was removed.

Energy efficiency was similar to or better than state-of-the-art, large-scale desalination plants.

“Rather than competing with larger desalination plants, the methods could be used to make small- or medium-scale systems, with the possibility of battery-powered operation,” their paper, published by the journal Nature Nanotechnology, suggests. — AFP

Courtesy: The Hindu

Quantum Computation

I attended a Quantum Computing seminar at IIST Trivandrum recently and I would like to share what I have learnt there with you.
These are points from Prof. Apoorva Patel’s talk on Quantum Computation in simple words.

Quantum Computer: A comp whose elementary hardware components work according to the laws of Quantum Mechanics.
Bear in mind that the classical digital computers we use work according to the laws of electronic circuits.

We still don’t know when and what a quantum computer will be used for.

In a classical computer design, quantum effects are considered as undesirable nuisance.

A starking feature of quantum mechanics is that it demonstrates that complex numbers (a+ib etc) are physical and observable.

Basically quantum mechanics is a theory of waves.

Waves are used widely in communication and not in computation.

I understood a part of the lecture well due to the subject ‘digital communication’ which I’m currently having in my curriculum.

The i/p and o/p states of a quantum computer are always mapped to classical states through a suitable choice of basis vectors.

There are several problems that are not computable clasically(using classical mechanics laws)
Eg: halting problem, finding prime factors(classical cryptography), database search, travelling salesman problem etc.

According to Godel’s theorem, if we go outside the framework of classical information, we might be able to solve the classical problem. (replace classical info with quantum info)

Quantum Information: Info whose physical representation behaves according to the laws of quantum mechanics.

The simplest quantum system has 2 basis states called as qubits(quantum binary digit).

The difference between a qubit and a normal binary bit is that a qubit can exist in a superposition of basis states but a classical bit can exist in only one of the two states.

Electives and my college

Next semester I have to take 3 electives compulsorily as its a part of my curriculum. I’m so interested in my branch that I want to take all the electives but its not possible.  I wish I have a time turner like that of Hermione’s.  My branch rocks and I’m happy that I’ll be an Electronics and Communication Engineer when I’m out of my college. Such a good feeling.. My favourite subject in college is VLSI and I’m lucky enough to have a strong base in this subject because some of the best teachers and the ones I revere most, have taught me this subject. I’m grateful to be a student of my most favourite teacher at MIT, SSB. I love my college and though its too early, I thank my college for providing me with such good education. I’m proud to be an MITian.

32 Strange Things You Likely Didn’t Know

1. A rat can last longer without water than a camel.

2. Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks or it will digest itself.

3. The dot over the letter “i” is called a tittle.

4. A raisin dropped in a glass of fresh champagne will bounce up and down continuously from the bottom of the glass to the top.

5. A female ferret will die if it goes into heat and cannot find a mate.

6. A duck’s quack doesn’t echo. No one knows why.
7. A 2 X 4 is really 1-1/2″ by 3-1/2″.

8. During the chariot scene in “Ben Hur,” a small red car can be seen in the distance (and Heston’s wearing a watch).

9. On average, 12 newborns will be given to the wrong parents daily! (That explains a few mysteries… .)

10. Donald Duck comics were banned from Finland because he doesn’t wear pants.

11. Because metal was scarce, the Oscars given out during World War II were made of wood.

12. The number of possible ways of playing the first four moves per side in a game of chess is 318,979,564, 000.

13. There are no words in the dictionary that rhyme with orange, purple and silver.

14. The name Wendy was made up for the book Peter Pan. There was never a recorded Wendy before.

15. The very first bomb dropped by the Allies on Berlin in World War II killed the only elephant in the Berlin Zoo.

16. If one places a tiny amount of liquor on a scorpion, it will instantly go mad and sting itself to death. (Who was the sadist who discovered this??)

17. Bruce Lee was so fast that they actually had to s-l-o-w film down so you could see his moves. That’s the opposite of the norm.

18. The first CD pressed in the US was Bruce Springsteen’ s “Born in the USA.”

19. The original name for butterfly was flutterby.

20. The phrase “rule of thumb” is derived from an old English law which stated that you couldn’t beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb.

21. The first product Motorola started to develop was a record player for automobiles. At that time, the most known player on the market was Victrola, so the called themselves Motorola.

22. Roses may be red, but violets are indeed violet.

23. By raising your legs slowly and lying on your back, you cannot sink into quicksand.

24. Celery has negative calories. It takes more calories to eat a piece of celery than the celery has in it to begin with.

25. Charlie Chaplin once won third prize in a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest.

26. Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying.

27. Sherlock Holmes NEVER said, “Elementary, my dear Watson.”

28. An old law in Bellingham, Washington, made it illegal for a woman to take more than three steps backwards while dancing!

29. The glue on Israeli postage is certified kosher.

30. The Guinness Book of Records holds the record for being the book most often stolen from public libraries.

31. Astronauts are not allowed to eat beans before they go into space because passing wind in a spacesuit damages them.

32. Bats always turn left when exiting a cave!

though of no use, just a fun to read.

I don’t know you

I dint want to get splashed with colours on this Holi.. So I came out of my room in the afternoon to go have lunch. I saw people with torn trousers and shirts in the corridors of my block.

One guy whom I was totally unable to recognise due to the his multi-coloured avatar waved hi to me in the corridor and I was afraid he would colour me too if I waved hi back to him. So I ignored him and was about to walk away when he told me he would not splash colours on me.. and that he knew me.. I was so embarrassed for not recognising a person on a Holi day just due to fear of getting coloured..

It was one of the funniest things that  happened to me at MIT

A true genius

People complain about being forgetful even when they are quite young and can remember lots of stuff. They complain of being forgetful when it comes to birthdays, constants and almost anything these days. This is not an excuse. Memory is of course  God’s gift but it can be nurtured and nourished through exercise.

Coming to talk about geniuses, here is a man who can remember every single detail about any building/monument he sees and he can draw them perfectly with almost no error. And what makes him even special.. is ..he is autistic.

Meet Stephen Wiltshire in this video link.. Be amazed..

He has indeed a Beautiful Mind.

Cool imaginations

1. Just imagine earphones are allowed to colleges and while class is going on and when teacher is facing the blackboard, all students suddenly insert earphones and face the teacher, what would be the prof’s reaction?? Funny right.. 🙂

2.Just imagine that you are in a city bus and sitting beside a random unknown person, and suddenly start acting as if you r asleep and start drooling over him, what would be his reaction??

3.Imagine you have a pup at home and u train it such that it ‘pees’ over anybody who comes to your house. Once a very important  person has come to meet ur dad.. and he got ‘peed’ by ur pup.. awkward situation i guess..

4. You go to console your friend because he/she had a bad accident and u remember the day when he fell in a muddy puddle and started crying.. .. so you start laughing loud enough before your friend.. who is hurt and in immense pain…

5.You go for a marriage of your parent’s colleague whom you know well but you act in his/her marriage as if you do not know who he/she is..

6.You throw banana peels in front of your neighbour’s house and he/she slips and falls and you go help him/her.. you feel happy within because he/she has been mean to you but you act as if you are sorry for your neighbour .. hehe

7.You know that the class is boring and the teacher has no scope of teaching better than that.. so you ask him a very difficult question to answer which, he needs a lot of time.. the bell rings and your mission is achieved…. or you keep checking time in front of the professor every “2 minutes” so that he gets annoyed…

I know I have a great imagination.. comments welcome.. even negative comments..