Project Diaries: IISc, Bangalore

Shourya Bose – Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore


Shourya is a fourth year student, presently studying Mathematics and Electrical & Electronics Engineering in BITS Goa. He did his summer project at Indian Institute of Science(IISc), Bangalore. DoJMA interviewed him regarding the same.

Q – How did you go about getting your internship confirmed?


A – I did my internship in the Dept. of Electrical Engineering at IISc, Bangalore under Dr. Pavan. I was interested in Control Theory and while I didn’t know it in detail, I had a general idea of it and thus I started mailing to relevant professors after checking their credentials from the internet and finalising those whom I felt would be interested to take me as an intern. I sent personalised e-mails to such professors. A few responded, and finally Mr. Pavan offered me an opportunity to a project under him. I’d also like to add that it’s always beneficial to start searching and applying well in advance, preferably in the beginning of the second semester.


Q – What was your project all about?


A – It had to do with autonomous vehicles. I had to use an aerial drone over an unidentified region and to devise an algorithm which would allow the drone to most efficiently search that region for targets. We kept a very broad definition for a “target” – it could a person lost in a jungle, or some stolen car. Given such a notion of a target, and using some efficiency parameters, we devised an algorithm where in the drone is left to go on a mission (without any human intervention) , and then comes out with a report of whatever it found – the above being done in the most efficient manner.


Q – What kind of groundwork or prerequisites did you have to fulfill before starting off with your project?


A – My project needed a good idea of stochastic processes – an advanced version of what BITSians learn in Probability and Statistics in their first year. So I had to learn how statistical models work. I had discussed this with my professors about the same well in advance, so I was able to prepare myself for my project. If you’re more interested in delving into electronics or in this case, autonomous searches, then you should have a good idea of Control Theory.


Q – What would you advise juniors regarding getting into research?


A – Start becoming relevant to your field. Even when you’re doing an undergraduate project, ensure that you find a professor whose interest aligns with your specific requirement, and also ensure that you’re really good at the relevant research area. When I got to know that I had to familiarise myself with statistical methods, I read up again on my first year material and then ventured into more advanced stuff. So, know what you’re doing, and read up on required things early so that you don’t waste time on the same during your summer.


Q – How did you benefit from this project?


A – My approximate goal after finishing my dual degree is to go for higher studies. With this project, I got a very good introduction to what original research is, and that too by working at a top notch institute like IISc – as it is one of the best institutes in the world when it comes to research. Now that I’ve a good idea of how academia works, I can now think of searching for a good thesis in my final year and also consider the option of a good career in academia.