Electrical Engineering at IITK? Placement ? Life? By Rishika Agarwal (EE IITK) - Personal Review - EXAMS FREAK : Btech Books Download pdf
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Electrical Engineering at IITK? Placement ? Life? By Rishika Agarwal (EE IITK) - Personal Review

Electrical Engineering at IITK? Placement ? Life? By Rishika Agarwal (EE IITK) - Personal Review
Hi there, soon-to-be-IITian!
EXAMS FREAK
Exams Freak @ IITK


Congratulations for doing wonderfully in the much hyped JEE Mains and Advanced! A two year journey has ended, in great glory and celebrations, while a 4 year long journey awaits you, which will be above all your expectations, take my word!
I am Rishika Agarwal, undergraduate student at IITK, pursuing a major in Electrical 

, Engineering with minor in Computer Science and Engineering ( Artificial Intelligence). I have completed 3 years of my B.Tech program, which gives me a decent amount of experience to share with you guys. Here I am penning down my personal views about my college and my department, in particular. While opinions are bound to be subjective, I'll try my best to make this as objective as possible, free from biases.
So this is the phase when you are utterly confused as to which college and which branch to choose. Most of you do not have much knowledge about any specific department and often choose your department on the basis of your JEE rank. You would be, in all probability, having a bias towards CSE, as it seems to be the highly sought after branch, with maximum number of top rankers grabbing it.

 
I too faced these and a few other biases while choosing my college and department. I chose Mechanical Engineering, as that was the best (according to the irrational hierarchy of departments the society has set!) I could get here, and besides I had no strong inclination towards any other department then. I did have a soft corner for CSE though, as most of us have, because coding is probably the only thing we know for real from our school days. And having been wizards at Java or C, we all feel coding is just the thing for us!
Anyways, so I came to IITK to pursue my undergraduate studies in Mechanical Engineering. In our first year we did many courses, one of which was Engineering Drawing. I found the course very difficult and unappealing to me. I had a hard time drawing the simplest of ellipses! That was one course which left me wondering if I was visually challenged! So, I kind of got an idea that I might not enjoy myself much in Mechanical Engineering, which deals with a decent amount of perceptual visualization and drawing. By the end of my first year, I had a decent CPI, so I applied for a branch change into Electrical Engineering (and luckily got it!) I am very happy and satisfied with my choice, as I am thoroughly enjoying most of the courses of my department. Had I not been lucky enough to get a branch change, I might have grown to like my former department too, but I have no regrets for having abandoned that road.
Speaking broadly, IITK is a great place to be at! The amount of freedom it gives to its students is certainly unparalleled. You will never be nagged by your hostel watchman for entering at 2:00 am! There are many such liberties which the institute grants you, since it believes in your ability to make rational judgements.
Then, there are excellent sports facilities in the campus. Lavish courts, sufficient equipments, and motivating coaches.. A result of which can be gauged by our commendable performance in INTER IIT sports meet since the last 2 years.
Not to forget, the administrative freedom and rights of the student body. The Student’s Gymkhana is completely run by students, and has the power to make any changes for the well being of the institute.
That little peak would have given you an idea of how things go about at IITK.
Now, let me tell you more about the academic details of Electrical Engineering:
Electrical Engineering at IITK:
The courses:
During your first year, you will not be doing any department courses (this is true for all the departments), meaning all the courses you will do , will be common for the entire batch, whatever the department maybe.
You will be doing courses like Engineering Drawing , Introdcution to Programming, Linear Algebra, Electrodynamics, Mechanics, etc.
These will be the basic foundational courses of engineering, which are more or less fundamental to all departments.
Second year:
This is when you will start getting a flavour of your department! In the third semester you will do courses like Introduction to Electronics,wherein you will learn about the basic principles and the working of different electronic devices which are the building blocks of all the electronic chips and equipments. You will also be exposed to basic Signal Processing, Control Systems, and Power Electronics.
By the end of your second year, you will get a decent amount of exposure to your department. Basically, you will have a knowledge of the broad fields of research/development in Electrical Engineering.
Third year of EE is much more rigorous and challenging. Certainly not a cakewalk for most! This is mainly because the courses are more advanced, as they provide more in-depth knowledge of specific domains. (Many of the third year courses are Departmental Electives, ie, you choose the courses, based on which field you want to explore further). There are 2 compulsary labs, to give you hands-on experience of all that you learn in your courses. Although exhausting, the labs do give you a nice flavour of designing complex maze-like circuits, implementing small tasks using microprocessors, microcontrollers, and yes, the popular job of “starting a motor” :P
I think it would be a good idea to list down the broad fields of EE, and give a brief description of each, and its applications:
1.       Signal Processing - This involves Image Processing, Acoustic Signal Processing and the like. Basically, it involves different algorithms and filter design techniques for extracting relevant information from raw signals of different forms. Its applications are diverse, for eg Speech Recognition, Video Compression, and many more. The most fancy application of SP, which fascinates me to the core is Brain Computer Interface - interpreting the brain signals and using it to perform any task.
2.      Communication Systems - This deals with the different technologies and components of communication systems - The receiver, base stations, channel, etc. The mysteriously complicated ways in which your radios and phones work is revealed to you! There is huge potential for wireless communication today, with the whole 4G and 5G concepts trending as the next generation communication technology!
3.      Microelectronics - This is a pretty exciting field, with a lot of scope for innovation in terms of increasing the efficiency of the devices. Work in this field ranges from pure quantum physics, to VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration). The semiconductor industry is nothing but millions of microelctronic devices embedded into a single chip! Make the chip smaller, cheaper, and more efficient, and the silicon valley awaits you in all its grandeur and with badass money! ;)
4.      Power Systems - This is the pure Electrical Engineering portion. It deals with Motors, Generators, Transformers, Transmission lines, etc.. Basically, whatever powers your house, or your city comes under this field. Despite being a relatively less exciting field of EE, the huge demand for efficient methods of power generation and transmission, and utilization of alternative forms of energy eternalizes the charm of Power Systems!
IIT K has some excellent research labs and faculties, in each of these areas. Students can explore their interests by doing Under graduate Projects/course projects/summer projects with professors, or under clubs like Electronics Club, Robotics Club and Programming Club, which are quite active, and work on exciting projects every year.
To add to the charm, IIT K, in collaboration with the Make in India campaign, inaugurated the Flexible Electronics (FlexE) Lab in 2014, which has state of the art facilities for the design and manufacturing of flexible electronic equipments. (for more info head here : http://www.iitk.ac.in/flexe/)
That was what I had to say about EE at IITK specifically. For further details, you can refer to Electrical Engineering | IIT K.
The following post by Yash Shahi, provides good insight on what’s common between EE and other departments, and also about the most “sought-after” Placements :P.
A different take on Electrical Engineering@IITK
Perhaps some general info about the course undergraduate structure would also come handy here :
Besides the compulsory department courses, UG course structure includes Open Electives and Department Electives. Under the former category, you are eligible to take up any course of your choice, from any department, provided : 1. your timetable can accommodate the course. 2. You have completed any prerequisite courses required for the course of your choice.
Moreover, there’s provision to do a minor/major in a department of your choice (other than your own department). For a minor, you do some 3–4 courses of the particular field you are minoring in; A minor is completed in the normal 4 year B.Tech duration. A dual major requires you to do almost all the courses of the the other department you are majoring in, so it is completed in 5 years, and it earns you a BTech in both the departments (your current one, and the one you are majoring in.) These options provide a good amount of flexibility to the students in campus.
Now for some pep-talk.. These are some points I think you should know, before you sit down to decide your department:
First of all , I would like to emphasize the fact that irrespective of your branch, the stuff you learn in your UG programme is approximately 60% same for all.
UG programme primarily introduces you to engineering, the kind of thought process which is needed of you, the skills which an engineer should have, etc.
There is a lot of flexibility in the courses you can take up, irrespective of your department. So, if 2 years down the line, you realize that you are more interested in a dep XYZ, rather than your own department ABC, you can take up courses of that department, and explore your interest in it.
So, you don’t need to go all nuts, if you are clueless as to which department is the one for you! You will discover it during your journey here, if not now.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put any thought at all, into choosing your department! Its always better to have a broad idea of all the departments, and take a call. You can see what kind of courses will be taught to you, what will be the potential applications of your knowledge, and your future prospects.
These few criteria can help you make a decent choice as of now.
Hope you make wise decisions, and if you happen to choose IITK, I assure you a rich learning experience and a memorable college life!


RISHIKA AGARWAL
Senior Undergraduate,
Electrical Engineering

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