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On IIT Madras, Women in Science, Quantum Computers and More - Interview with Prof. Prabha Mandayam - The Fifth Estate

On IIT Madras, Women in Science, Quantum Computers and More – Interview with Prof. Prabha Mandayam

Prof. Prabha Mandayam obtained a masters in physics from IIT Madras in 2005 and a PhD in physics from the California Institute of Technology in 2011. Between 2011-14, she worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai. After a brief stint as an INSPIRE faculty fellow at the Chennai Mathematical Institute, she joined the faculty of the department of physics in IIT Madras in August 2014. Her research interests lie in the areas of quantum information and computing, quantum optics and quantum foundations.

mandayam
Prof. Prabha Mandayam

General Questions about her Student Life and Professional Life

How does it feel to go from being a student to a faculty member of IITM? What are the changes that you have observed on campus and in the academic system?

It is a fantastic feeling to be back in your alma mater as a faculty. It’s also a bit humbling that your teachers and mentors, the people you looked up to, are now your colleagues. It is of course nice to be among friendly, familiar people.

In terms of changes on campus, the first thing that comes to mind is that there are a lot more blackbucks now! I don’t think I even saw one in my two years as a student here, maybe just a fleeting glimpse. It was almost like this mythical creature that was on campus but you never got to see.

At the end of the day, in academia, we are all peers, colleagues. That’s when ideas get exchanged in a free manner and research and innovation happen.

Coming to the academic aspect of things, I think student-faculty interactions have become less formal and rigid. Overall the culture seems less hierarchical. At the end of the day, in academia, we are all peers, colleagues. That’s when ideas get exchanged in a free manner and research and innovation happen. Another important change I perceive is that there is more of an emphasis on research now.

Another change I see is that the barrier between PG and UG students has broken down somewhat, though it’s not as ideal as one might want it to be. At least they are no longer considered different species, which is how it used to be when I was an MSc. student here!

What motivated you to work in Quantum Information and Q. Computation?

There was some motivation from the home front since my father is a physicist who worked on the foundations of quantum theory. So I was already aware of certain unique aspects of the theory. In particular I found the underlying mathematical structure fascinating.  I got exposed to the ideas of quantum information and computing during my MSc days, specifically while working on my MSc. project relating to quantum random walks under Prof. Arul Lakshminarayan. That was also when I encountered Rolf Landauer’s famous comment – “Information is physical – a profound statement which has continued to be a motivation till today.

Were you also intrigued by the counter-intuitive nature of Quantum Mechanics?

On the contrary, I used to be put off by this talk about its “counter-intuitive nature”. This is because we already knew of many natural phenomena like blackbody radiation, which you cannot explain using classical physics alone. Our understanding of the physical world has progressed sufficiently to realize that we need a completely different toolkit and formulation to understand reality at microscopic scales. Furthermore, there are many devices today which wouldn’t exist if we had no understanding of the quantum nature of things. So for me, this field was not as much counterintuitive as it was a about dealing with a completely different aspect of reality; one which you couldn’t see or encounter in the classical realm.

On Learning and Teaching in India and Abroad

What are the differences between the academic and research environments of Caltech and IIT-M? What are the differences between the various pedagogical approaches adopted at Caltech and other US universities and those adopted at IITs for teaching Physics in general and QI in particular? In this context, what should IIT-M imbibe from Caltech according to you?

There are indeed a few noteworthy differences.

One is that in the US, the primary focus of any faculty is research. Teaching is valued greatly, but isn’t the reason for a faculty’s existence! IIT-M has moved on a lot, even though the impression on the outside still seems to be that IITs are teaching institutes that overburden their faculty. While I have no complaints regarding the teaching load which is bearable due to a very healthy and balanced system, we lack in certain resources that can aid us in teaching and spare us our research time. One such important resource is teaching assistants. We do have TAs, but their responsibilities aren’t what they should be, unlike American schools. The teaching assistants spend nearly 2-3 hours per week with students, discussing their homework problems. By “discuss”, I mean, explain the problems and talk about the various approaches used to solve them, without actually solving them (which is what happens here). This means that the TAs need to be on top of what’s being taught. So I particularly learnt a lot by being a TA at Caltech, and I think that it is an experience which anybody who wants to be in the academia should go through.

Another striking difference is in the way exams were conducted and grades assigned. For example, in Caltech I had PG level courses wherein there were no exams whatsoever; you would be evaluated purely on your homework assignments. Now for this, the most crucial enabling factor is an honour code. In US universities, there’s an honour code that all students adhere to while doing their homework, which often complements classroom lectures. Coming to another aspect of honour codes, you’d have take-home exams at Caltech. They had questions of significant length and required quite a bit of thinking. So there would be an instruction in the paper enforcing an honour code, which would tell us what we could or couldn’t look at. Because there was a peer pressure to adhere to the code, it worked during the whole of the time available to solve these take-home exams (some would go on even for a week!) I would love to do such a thing here, but it is sad that as of now I can’t foresee a day when we can successfully implement such assignments or exams.

Could this difference be due to differences in the number of students?

I don’t think the numbers are a problem. Of course, Caltech is not the canonical American university because it’s much smaller and focuses on very niche areas. But even in a bigger school like MIT or University of Chicago, you will find such honour codes in place. So I think rather than the numbers, it is an issue of work culture – certain work ethics which unfortunately don’t seem to have set in here. We should somehow work towards them.

In that case, could it be because Indian students’ focus is solely on grades?

.. students don’t understand the difference between collaboration and copying!

Yeah, I think that is a huge part of it; the emphasis is on grades and not on learning. And it is a vicious cycle because most of our tutorials and exams too are tailored in that direction. This is because I guess the faculty also think, “I somehow want to see a distribution at the end of the day so that I get a nice bell curve and can put letters along the bell curve and…” [laughs] – you get it, right! But then most faculty also feel that their students aren’t mature enough for the American university approach. For example, even for the course, Quantum Computation and Quantum Information, I’d like to give homework assignments weekly or fortnightly and assess purely based on that, but then students don’t understand the difference between collaboration and copying! You can collaborate, but you can’t copy!

Apart from honour code, is there anything else which US universities do to enforce the rules against plagiarism?

Yes. For example, they have undergraduate student bodies and Graduate Review Boards to deal with all disciplinary issues. They are primarily student bodies consisting of elected student representatives and a few faculty representatives. All academic conflicts, sexual harassment cases, social issues and conflicts of interest could be brought to these boards to be discussed and then taken on to the next higher level. But in all my time there, I heard only of sexual harassment cases and other things which always keep happening on any campus — never heard of any honour code violation. So I find it ridiculous that a huge chunk of my department every semester has to spend three hours very warily invigilating the final exam for 800 students. To me, the whole thing is so unsavoury! At the end of the day, if you have gathered together some of the smartest kids in the country, then why should you have to expend so much energy watching over them?

But over here, a lot of malpractices do happen during exams!

.. there has to be a certain sensitization of the student body that grades are not what you work for and that there’s a larger purpose to it

Yeah, exactly! Even with my limited experience, I realize that they do happen. So I have to devise other ways to ensure that students actually work through their homework problems. I think there has to be a certain sensitization of the student body that grades are not what you work for and that there’s a larger purpose to it. Maybe one has to start by talking about it and then slowly the right culture will seep in. It’s not something that’s going to change overnight, but we should at least work towards it.

Even between the student communities there are many attitudinal differences, isn’t it?

Yes, but to be fair to students, don’t these attitudinal differences come from the society? The American society doesn’t emphasize CGPA, jobs or pay-checks beyond a point. Even the students therefore think along the lines of, “What is it that I like?” and “What is it that I want to do?” etc. So there are no coveted departments; CS and EE are not the geese that lay the golden eggs. There are a few changes which we can make to the system to ease the pressure on our students somehow, but for that, there has to be a certain maturity from the student community also.

Have you also observed any differences in the methods of teaching and the ways of delivering lectures?

He would say, “You have to attempt only 60% of this problem set.” Mind you that was hard enough!

No major difference. When I was learning, things were much more conventional and usual and I too prefer it that way. One difference was that the classroom setting there was more casual: students would walk in with food and stuff during classes. Personally, I’m not sure if that’s desirable [laughs], but that too requires a certain maturity from both the student and the faculty ends. Frankly, we are not yet at that stage. But above all, it was the “assignment culture” that made all the difference. For example, the General Relativity course by Kip Thorne. Besides being an immensely popular teacher, you would actually learn things that you didn’t learn in his class by just working through his problems. He would say, “You have to attempt only 60% of this problem set.” Mind you that was hard enough! Every problem involved so many levels of reasoning and so many concepts that it would already teach you a lot. And during the discussion sessions, you would actually go beyond what was taught in class. Some questions would even be somewhat open-ended. This is the main difference i.e. the homework assignments.

Not many students in India choose to study the pure sciences. The IISERs, ISIs, some IITs (and now IISc.) have good undergraduate courses in mathematics and the sciences. However, few arts and science colleges have good undergraduate programmes. How do you think this can change? Are students studying pure sciences abroad more inclined to do research?

I think there are two ways in which the ecosystem here is different from that in the US and abroad. Here, an undergraduate pursuing a degree in physics is often asked by family and friends, “What are you going to do by after studying physics at the end of the day?” Pursuing the pure sciences is not even considered a valid career option. We have somehow become too pay-check-oriented.

Another aspect to it is that in the US, a lot of companies invest in R&D labs so that even after doing a Ph.D. in Mathematics or Physics, one can work in the industry. Teaching and guiding Ph.D. students may not be everyone’s cup of tea. You may be interested in research alone, and may want to see your research come to fruition in terms of a product, say.  If the other space, that of R&D picks up here, I think there will naturally be more people taking to pure sciences and research.

The IISERs are a fantastic thing to have happened. At my time, the only good institute for an undergrad degree in physics was IIT Kanpur, which had an integrated MSc. programme. Today this space has improved due to IISERs. IISc has an undergrad programme, there are dual degree physics and engineering physics programmes here and in other IITs. But sadly the state of the humanities and science education outside of these (perhaps a dozen institutes at best), is abysmal.

A summer programme should not just be about a student interacting with one faculty in the department, but also about exposure to the work being done by different faculty.

One thing to do might be to enhance outreach. Those of us from ‘elite’ institutions should go out and encourage people to do more science and show them their opportunities. The summer programmes I attended in my undergrad and postgrad days, in IISc and TIFR were very eye-opening. It was not just that for the first time we saw research labs in action, but also that for the first time we were interacting with a group of fellow students who were actually interested in the pure sciences. Now, even in IIT we have a summer programme. One thing we did this time in our department was to have a lot of lectures and lab visits. A summer programme should not just be about a student interacting with one faculty in the department, but also about exposure to the work being done by different faculty. The feedback we got revealed that students were excited to see things they had never seen before, an AFM or STM in action, or a liquid nitrogen plant. For me, a magazine called ‘Resonance’ published by the Indian Academy of Sciences also opened a window to a different world which wasn’t accessible otherwise.

In summary, I think it is great that IISERs and so are coming up, but either the number of students taken in by them should scale up or we have to invest in the existing arts and sciences colleges. In certain states, like West Bengal and Kerala, there is a growing healthy undergrad science culture. You have people with Ph.Ds from IITs, IMSc. TIFR and so on, who take this experience back to various undergrad colleges. When I was an undergrad, having a Ph.D. was not even a requirement to be a lecturer. Now that is no longer the case.

On Women in Science

How well do you think women are represented in STEM fields and academics?  What are the steps you think can be taken to ensure that women remain in academics?

.. how many women do we have in positions of power and responsibility, like directors, deans, or even heads of departments? The number is appallingly low, at least in India.

Looking at our IIT, the number of women’s hostels has more than doubled since my first time here. We have married research scholar housing now. This tells me that the number of women students has increased. However, there is this phenomenon of ‘leaky pipelines’, so to speak. As you go higher up in the value chain, the number of women starts dropping drastically. I think the single most important question is, how many women do we have in positions of power and responsibility, like directors, deans, or even heads of departments? The number is appallingly low, at least in India.

So do you think the gender bias persists?

The gender bias itself may be unconscious, but I think there has to be a conscious reverse engineering process.

In today’s day and age, I don’t think it is a conscious bias. But at the end of the day, our society expects women to have other ‘duties’ and ‘responsibilities’ to take care of. So there is this line of thought that perhaps women will not give their all to the job. Another thing is that there is a certain boys’ club mentality. This is most evident at conferences. For instance, about 20-30% of quantum information theorists may be women, but in top conferences, the number of invited speakers who are women may be one in 2-3 years, or one or two in a group of 25 speakers.

The gender bias itself may be unconscious, but I think there has to be a conscious reverse engineering process. I think this should happen at all levels – at an entry level, in faculty hiring and eventually even at an administrative level. This is important because we all need role models of different kinds. Seeing women in powers of position and responsibility serves as a reinforcement that there’s really no glass ceiling.

One cause for concern is that I still hear of instances where male faculty get away with making gender-insensitive statements to women graduate students. The fact that they think these things is shocking enough, but worse, there are no checks and balances in the system to prevent them from saying these things out aloud in an academic space. Not only should faculty members not be able to say such things, they should also not be able to execute such things as not accepting women students. A lot needs to be done for gender sensitization. Our women’s forum is doing a lot, of course, but we still have a long way to go.

On Research in Quantum Information and Quantum Computation

Does quantum information science have linkages with other fields as classical information theory has with statistical physics, imaging, genetics etc? Are you working or planning to work in any of these areas entailing Q.I. in an applied form?

At a theoretical level, Quantum Information has already permeated into the other, so-called “traditional” areas of Physics. Quantum Optics was one of the first few areas where QI entered in a big way.  Also, over a decade now, in Condensed Matter Physics, QI-theoretic tools, techniques and measures have become important, especially in condensed matter systems. I am collaborating with some colleagues here who are Condensed Matter experts by bringing in some of the QI tools and measures from QI to study or understand condensed matter systems. There are signatures of certain phase transitions which get reflected in certain properties like entanglement, classical or quantum mutual information and so on.  Even in cosmology and high-energy physics, ideas from QI can help you look at certain problems in a slightly different way.

.. the theory of QI has spread into all the conventional areas of Physics.

So we can safely say that the theory of QI has spread into all the conventional areas of Physics. In the engineering or applied sense, however, it poses a huge challenge. You have a theoretical notion of a quantum computer, but can you actually realize it? In that sense there are a lot of Applied Physics groups which have gotten into this business, so it has led to ideas like ‘superconducting qubits’, it has led to a lot more photonics groups orienting their research in different ways etc. For example, you talk about entanglement, but how do you actually generate entangled photons? To what extent can you control them? To what extent you can use their entanglement the way you can use them in theory to do fancy things like teleportation and whatnot? Then this becomes an engineering challenge and, there are a lot of science and engineering groups that have got into this.

Are there possible collaborations between departments in IITM in this field?

 I personally feel that our IIT offers a very nice ecosystem for this kind of an interdisciplinary area

Yes. There are faculty in the Photonics group of the Electrical Engineering Department, like Dr. Anil Prabhakar and Dr. Deepa Venkitesh, are already looking into quantum cryptographic protocols and how to implement some of them in the lab.  Dr. Pradeep Sarvepalli in the EE department works on quantum error correction. Hopefully our collaboration will increase in the days to come. Also some faculty in Computer Science are interested in quantum algorithms from a complexity theory point of view.  I personally feel that our IIT offers a very nice ecosystem for this kind of an interdisciplinary area, because it really is an area that encompasses not just physics, but mathematics, Chemistry, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. So our IIT is actually placed perfectly to take off in this field!

So our IIT is actually placed perfectly to take off in this field!

How will your teaching approach for the QCQI course compare with the ways in which other Physics courses are taught at IIT-M? Also, could you tell us a bit about your book, “The functional analysis of quantum information”?

QCQI is supposed to be the first course in Quantum information. As I have already said, a very important aspect about good courses is homework assignments accompanied by tutorial sessions during which the assignments are discussed. It would be ideal to give an assignment every week but students need to understand the difference between collaboration and plagiarism. I should probably find other ways to make sure students work through the home work problems. Since it is a Post-Graduate course, I might conduct term reports or presentations, which are slowly becoming the norm for Post-Graduate courses. Also, there would be an online presence for the course.

It talks about how quantum information has affected other areas. Functional analysis is a traditional area in mathematics that has been around for nearly 100 years now.

The book is titled “The functional analysis of quantum information”. It is not intended to be a text book and is more like a graduate research text. It talks about how quantum information has affected other areas. Functional analysis is a traditional area in mathematics that has been around for nearly 100 years now. The underlying mathematical structure for basic quantum mechanics linear algebra but for a full-blown quantum information theory, we need to get into much more rigorous functional analysis approach including concepts like operator algebra and spaces.

The book came about in a very interesting way.  There was a workshop conducted by Prof. V S Sunder in IMSc involving a couple of lecturers in functional analysis. We wrote up the notes for it, with me taking care of the quantum information part of it.  But we didn’t have any thought of making a book out of it. Once we uploaded it online, it got some visibility, and we were contacted by Springer lecture notes in physics.

Could you explain to the common reader what a quantum computer is?

Let me start with Moore’s Law. Moore’s Law tells that there’s a certain scaling behaviour by which you will be able to pack more and more logic gates and circuits into smaller and smaller areas. At some point you are going to hit a classical-quantum barrier, so to speak. Even as a high school student, you have heard of things like the Uncertainty Principle or the wave-particle duality, so you know that in the microscopic regime, in order to fully understand the behaviour of systems, you start needing ideas of quantum mechanics like the wave-particle duality. And this duality entails superposition. An important consequence of superposition is that you have not just two states of information (0 and 1), but an infinite number of states which are superpositions of 0 and 1. [Starts drawing] A classic image which captures this principle is shown below:

superposition-mandayam-t5e

To keep it simple, let’s say that the state 0 is at the “North Pole” and the state 1 is at the “South Pole”. Now, you have two states classically – 0 and 1. But you realize that quantumly there are an infinite set of states. You have the entire surface of this sphere, which is your playing field. This, I think, is a very simple way to explain the difference between classical and quantum computing. In the quantum case, your phase space grows exponentially.

So it is like going to a higher dimension, isn’t it?

It’s not just a higher dimension, it’s now an infinite-parameter space!

It’s not just a higher dimension, it’s now an infinite-parameter space! And all this simply comes from the superposition principle. So quantum computing essentially is making use of this property of physical systems, actually being able to tap into this and then looking at its consequences. And then immediately you can come up with simple computation tasks which can be sped up quantumly because your system is able to access not just two states, but all possible states on the surface of the sphere.

.. your system is able to access not just two states, but all possible states on the surface of the sphere.

And what would a quantum computer do?

Ideally, it would be a computing device in which the basic physical system is truly quantum. So you may ask, “What about our solid-state hard drives?” because you obviously cannot do solid-state physics without doing quantum mechanics. But what are you doing in a hard drive? You are encoding information in magnetic degrees of freedom, which are spins. Whether a particle state is spin-up or spin-down is what you are calling 0 or 1. But what you are doing is still restricting yourselves to only these two states of your phase space. What you are not at all exploiting is the power of superposition. So a truly quantum computing device, whether it’s a photon-based computer, a solid-state-based quantum computer, ion-trap-based quantum computer or a nuclear spin-based computer, would be a device which uses not only the quantum properties of the underlying physical systems, but also the properties of superposition and entanglement. I shall talk about the latter shortly. Neither of these features is exploited by any of our classical computing devices.

In which aspects can we expect such a computer to be better than a classical computer?

The power of superposition naturally leads to quantum parallelism. Just like you have interference in the case of light owing to its wave nature. But what is meant by interference here? In a sense, the system is exploring multiple paths by using states which are neither 0 nor 1, but somewhere in between.

For example, consider this problem: I have a Boolean function, f which takes me from {0,1} to {0,1}. f is said to be constant if f(0)=f(1), and balanced otherwise. You can extend this concept to larger strings – you can have an n-bit binary string as an input to f, which is a constant function if all the 2n input possibilities map to the same output string, and balanced if half of them have 0 as the output and the other half output 1. Now, how many times do you need to query your computer to check whether a function is constant or balanced?

If your computer is classical, you have to compute with both 0 and 1 as the inputs and then compare them to find whether the function is constant or balanced. But if it is a quantum computer, then you can feed into it a superposed state of 0 and 1. And at the end of the day I am not asking for a specific output, but a global property of the system. I want the computer to compare the outputs and output the comparison, rather than tell me what is f(0) or f(1). So this is precisely the kind of problems in which superposition gives you that extra advantage of simultaneously computing things. For this particular problem, an algorithm named Deutsch-Josza Algorithm enables us to arrive at the solution by giving just one query to a quantum computer.

The improvement wouldn’t be so dramatic if your function was mapping just {0,1} to {0,1}, but now the input is an n-bit binary string and the output is a 0 or a 1. Classically, you would have to compute f for at least one more than half the total number of strings (i.e. \frac{2^n}{2}+1  computations) in order to find whether the function is constant or balanced. But in a quantum computer, you get the answer in a single shot!

It is important to know in the midst of all this hype that quantum computing is not going to speed up everything; there are certain specific kinds of problems it will speed up. For example, we have Grover’s search Algorithm, which shows you that if you want to search for an array through a sorted database, you can do it quadratically faster with a quantum computer. Then there are Quantum Random Walks which too provide quadratically faster algorithms to solve certain classes of problems in Computer Science. Finally, there is prime factorization, which can be performed in a quantum computer using the exponentially faster Shor Algorithm. This algorithm in particular kick-started a lot of interest in quantum computation (QC). This is because such a speed-up will break the security of current cryptographic schemes (like RSA) which rely on the computational complexity of prime factorization for security.

Most of the aspects of QC which enable such computational speed-ups make use of superposition primarily. But there are other aspects of information processing which use the concepts of entanglement and the uncertainty principle – that there are quantities in quantum theory which you cannot simultaneously measure accurately. These aspects gave rise to quantum cryptography – to ideas like Quantum Key Distribution, by which you can achieve a secure communication between two parties.

.. improvement in computational efficiency and strengthening of security are the two main advantages of quantum computing.

The security of such quantum cryptographic protocols will not be based on the hardness of a computational problem unlike the RSA schemes which are secure because we don’t have efficient algorithms for prime factorization. But if we were to discover a fairly efficient algorithm tomorrow, it will be possible to breach the security provided by RSA. However, quantum cryptographic protocols do not rely on mathematical hardness assumptions, but on fundamental physical principles. So there is a notion of “unconditional security” that comes with quantum cryptography. In sum, improvement in computational efficiency and strengthening of security are the two main advantages of quantum computing.

How probable is the materialization of a quantum computer in the near future? In general, how do you foresee the future of the emerging field of QI in the next few decades? What role is IIT-M playing in the same?

.. the field has already been around for over two decades and it has only grown since then. To those of us working in this field it in not “emerging” anymore.

Since you call it “emerging”, I’ll refer the reader to an article titled Quantum Information Science: Emerging No More by one of the pioneers of the field, namely Carlton Caves.  The field got kick-started in a major way after Shor’s Algorithm made its way in the mid-90s. Around the same time there were protocols of Quantum Key Distribution and the notion of Quantum Cryptography had been crystallized. So the field has already been around for over two decades and it has only grown since then. To those of us working in this field it in not “emerging” anymore. It has already emerged and is here to stay.

The fact that we are still sometime away from realizing a fully quantum computing device, despite all the theoretical progress, is a disappointment. My advisor, John Preskill, recently made light of this on a Facebook post, saying: “I keep telling people that I’ll see a full-scale quantum computing device during my lifetime. So I better start taking care of my health!” This captures a certain disappointment with a quantum computer’s materialization not being immediate. The timescales haven’t panned out the way people expected them to.

But QI has grown in unexpected ways by contributing to other areas of Physics, Mathematics, Electrical Engineering Computer Engineering etc. It has spawned a wide variety of problems and areas and is only growing. We’ve had specific devices like a Quantum Key Distribution device available in the market. A Swiss company markets this QKD device. You can buy your own suitcase and set up a QKD network between the two of you [points her finger at two of us]. This way you can exchange stuff without anyone being able to eavesdrop, thus establishing a secure communication. Also, there are QKD communication lines being set up across hundreds of kilometres. The US Department of Defence already has one such QKD network operating in the Boston area. There is a specific QKD network being set up between Pentagon and the White House, if I’m not wrong. So such things are already in place and people are now trying to integrate these new technologies with the conventional fibre-optics-based technology. In that sense, quantum cryptography too is here to stay.

And as far as IIT-M is concerned, we have all the right ingredients. We have the engineering groups and both theoretical and experimental Physics groups, In short, our IIT has the scope for getting a Quantum Information Centre set up. But it is going to take a while.

Is there anything else you would like to say?

.. the fact that we are having a magazine like this already points to the shift in students’ orientation; it speaks volumes about how students now want to focus on the exciting research being carried out on campus and the work of our institute’s faculty.

Your questions have covered pretty much everything on my wishlist! As for the Immerse team, I think you guys are doing a fantastic job. First of all, the fact that we are having a magazine like this already points to the shift in students’ orientation; it speaks volumes about how students now want to focus on the exciting research being carried out on campus and the work of our institute’s faculty. You know that you need to understand our research well and present it in a manner that makes it accessible across disciplines. Therefore I think this is a fantastic effort and it only grows along with its online presence so that we can have an issue of Immerse every semester as opposed to one every year.

Thank you.

Disclaimer: The views are not to be construed in any manner as the official views of IIT Madras.
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