Exchange Diaries  

By International Relations Cell

Outbound Diaries 2020

Aditi Singhania | Electrical Engineering

Effat University, Saudi Arabia

Research Area: Machine Learning and Deep Learning

Q: What was your research topic?
Ans: My topic was identifying sleep stages from EEG signals using Machine Learning along with deep learning under Professor Abdulhamit Suabsi. A kind of mixture of both.

Q: Why do you think FT is essential?
Ans: I think we get international exposure. We get to know how people approach problems outside India. It brings diversity to our opinions and broadens our vision in the respective field. It also adds value to our resume. As things went online this time, we didn't get the opportunity to know the culture of that place, but in offline mode, we get this opportunity, which helps in an individual's personal growth. The professor's interaction was good as it gave me a new direction and thought process about Machine Learning and Deep Learning.

Q: From where did you get the motivation? How did all this start?
Ans: These all started at the end of the first year. I was a bit inclined towards ML and AI, so I started solving problems using this methodology. Since I found this interesting, I took an IIT Kharagpur project at Vinod Gupta School of Management. There I worked for eight months, so I also developed an interest in research work, particularly ML. I did many projects on my own, which is there on a website that I had made for two years. So from here, I got the motivation for the FT.

Q: How did you handle the preparation for the academics?
Ans: We usually get 5-6 hours after the classes, so I used to utilize that time, and that also for two years. It was not that I had to do my projects in a week or month, so I got an ample amount of time to explore. I also utilized my end of first-year summer vacations immensely, so I was thorough with my basics. It was not that hectic to cope up in the second year.

Q: What was the role of CGPA?
Ans: The role of CGPA is not that much. I have seen people with lower CGPA securing internships at good universities. If you have a good number of projects to cover up your CGPA, then CGPA doesn't matter much. A CGPA above 8 or 8.5 is fine, but you should have a good number of projects to show your inclination towards that particular research or topic.

Q: How did the University manage during the confusion of COVID-19?
Ans: Initially, the professor took an online seminar to introduce the basic terminologies related to ML. Initially, we were four, but later we were divided into groups of two. Then he used to interact with us via mail and clear our doubts continuously. We had a weekly report submission, where we used to submit all the research work we had done in that particular week. We also wrote a paper on a topic that was verified by the professor. With the help of technology, we connected with our professor via mail.

Q: What were the difficulties you faced during the entire process?
Ans: We had to wait for the replies as we didn't have the professor's immediate approach. There was no visual communication that we have with others when we go to universities' TAs or professors. We didn't have access to their libraries and resources, as everything was online. It was a bit difficult to write a paper as it was a new thing for me. We had to search for everything online. I couldn't immediately approach the professor sometimes, and I had to do everything on my own, so it was a bit exhaustive, but my partner was right, so we managed it.

Q: How would you describe your overall experience?
Ans: It taught me a lot of new things. It was exciting to be a part of FT. It gave me diverse opportunities that might not be possible in India. I learned to approach the same topic in different ways, and this is the uniqueness of FT's. It motivated me to pursue more FT's and research works and try more such things.

Q: What advice would you like to give to fellow KGPians who aspire for FT's?
Ans: Firstly, sort out the topic and field in which you want to work. Accordingly, take projects or read materials on that topic so that your resume describes your interest in that field, which will help you in your selection. Don't be university-specific. If you don't get the University of your choice, then don't stop trying; give your best. Because, at last, the topic you are working upon matters. Every professor in FT's through the cell provides the best of the project. The subjects offered are the best. Just put in your hard work. Choose your field of interest; try to do projects related to it. Try to build a good resume that will help in securing FT. Secondly, do not pressurize yourself for CGPA. The main thing is to do one or two projects in that field to don't panic when you explore your topic in FT and can quickly get comfortable with your case.