Of Likes, Points and an Ex-LitSec

The rescheduling of Shaastra and Saarang to the first days of January, and the housing of first-year undergraduates in hitherto exclusively post-graduate hostels have resulted in some noticeable changes to the student culture on campus. With the fests falling back-to-back in the vacation, they are attended by fewer insti students, and, additionally, the enthusiasm of students to be in the organising teams of the festivals has declined perceptibly. For the inter-hostel events, which form the major competitive platform for fostering cultural and technical activities within the Institute, UG hostels have usually relied heavily on freshers, inducting them into the ‘culture’ early, so that they could keep the hostel legacy afloat. This year, however, sees a forced departure from that tradition.

Monitoring a Mess

Conceptualised in 2012 to formally and regularly address mess issues, the formation of the Mess Monitoring Committee was spurred on by various factors, the foremost of them being the need for a focussed group to tackle the ever-increasing number of mess-related problems. This function was formerly carried out by the Chairman, Council of Wardens, who would chair a meeting once in a while with the caterers and sort out caterer issues and student complaints. ‘The A-Diet fiasco also, in part, made a case for its inclusion,’ Prof Gopalakrishnan, current MMC Chairman, points out.

Off the Beaten Track: An Interview with Anil Ananthaswamy

Anil Ananthaswamy (BT/EE/1985) is an acclaimed science writer. He is a consultant for New Scientist, a leading science magazine published in the UK, where he has worked in various capacities since 2000.

His first book, The Edge of Physics (published in India as The Edge of Reason) was chosen as the Book of the Year 2010 by Physics World, a magazine published by the Institute of Physics, UK. He was also awarded their inaugural Physics Journalism Prize in February 2013, for his feature on the Square Kilometre Array. His writings have also appeared in various other outlets.

After his B.Tech, Anil did an MSEE from the University of Washington and worked as a software engineer in Silicon Valley, before he realized his true calling was writing about science. He trained as a science journalist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he is now a guest lecturer.

Not Just Another Social Venture: IIT For Society

‘For people who’re touted as future nationbuilders, we are surprisingly insulated from the social issues in our milieu – IIT For Society is an effort to bridge the gap between IIT and the world outside,’ says Bethanavel Ashwanth, final-year dual degree student, co-founder and head of IIT For Society. An initiative that kicked off in September with a panel discussion on manual scavenging, it has a slew of social-awareness activities lined up for the year.

Made in Insti: Tangle

One of the selling points of a solution like Tangle is its simplicity – they are so easy to make that it is possible to make one at home. Arun tells us how they went about shaping their initial idea. “We spent a month running through a number of iterations to come up with the perfect dimensions and placement of holes that would make a Tangle usable by 90% of all available earphones. Also, since Tangle is as small as a credit card, you can fit it into a wallet when you’re not using it.”