Sunday, July 20, 2008

B.Tech. Part II Examination

At last my Part II theory examination ended on July 18th. The ordeal began on 1st of July and after a huge battle over 6 papers, we are finally through. Some papers were tough, some unexpected and one easy. I will upload them in a PDF or some other suitable format as soon as possible. One thing the papers had in common was change. Almost all the six papers had an element of surprise in terms of question patterns, formats or coverage of some typical areas.

Tough SQL

It did not go as well as I had anticipated it to be. It was a revelation from many angles. Usually over the years of my computer science study, I have observed that most of my BAD examinations seem to reveal my poor time management skills or my lack of reading the subject material, usually the latter. However in this year's DBMS paper, I was stunned to find out some SQL queries that I could not figure out. However, I am working on them, and have made the DB with all constrains in MySQL and in my opinion will soon be able to write the queries too. May be someday, I will upload them here too.

Know thy Friends

Now, where did this friend thing come into year end examinations? Well for one reason that they constantly support and help you out in whatever activities you do. Specially in preparations of terminals. But this time it was quite shocking to discover the un-friendly nature of some of my so called friends.

Owing to a lot of factors, a major chunk of this year's course was self-study type. So we were stuck with thick fat books and list of chapters to be covered, without having any clue as to what to study, which areas to focus and so on. This is usually not the case as we have the comfort of class notes which help a lot in terms of the main areas of focus.

So in that ordeal to go through every nook and corner of the books, I thought my friends would be of great help. But it did not quite turn out to be what I had thought initially. Some of them were plain reluctant to help, but the worst of the kind were the ones who pretended to help. These unique type, whom I was fool to call friends, misguide people. Thanks to my lucks stars that I was able to see through a couple of them, but this whole thing left a very bad taste. At least the damage was manageable, but would have been nil if I had known them better.

Unfair Competition

Competition is good, and I support it in general. But no-hold-barred competition is dreadful. One should know where to draw the line. Healthy competition is good. But what I saw was quite unfair. Competition should not transcend the boundaries of friendship and basic truthfulness. Sadly that was what I saw. In the race to become the best, often more effort is being spent on weakening ones opponents and strengthening themselves.

Rise of Physics

Well, this last part is more of a prediction than an observation. In my Post Graduate B.Tech. course, students came from a varied subject backgrounds. About 60% of the class is from Physics, rest are from Computer Science and a couple of guys from Mathematics and Statistics. Being a member of CS background, we have enjoyed a certain degree of supremacy in our first year. We had a lot of common subjects and most part of the course was a revision to us. On the other hand the non-CS students had to work very hard to gain a basic knowledge of Computers.

When I look back, I feel that their journey was particularly hardened by our presence. Having scored good marks in B.Sc. most of them have enjoyed a certain degree of supremacy in their last college, but here they were suddenly clubbed together as the backward group. Most of the questions that they asked were known to us and they were withdrawn into a shell in the fear of asking foolish questions.

However this time I guess they are much better off. All of us are on equal ground this time. Most of the subjects were new to us and the non-CS pupils had enough time in first year to acquire a basic degree of knowledge on CS. So I hope to see a lot more non-CS friends topping the list this time. Around 5 out of the top 10? ... let's wait till the results for that.