Exchange Diaries  

By International Relations Cell

Outbound Diaries 2020

Debdut Mandal | Electronics and Electrical Communication Engg.

Harvard University, USA

Research Area: Axon Fiber Radii Estimation Using Diffusion MRI data

From where did you get the motivation? How did it all start?

I was already doing a project on EEG signal processing from the beginning of my 4th semester. I loved to surf on the internet to gain more knowledge on the topic and the area. At the ending of the second semester, I even started to work on projects under the professors of IIT Kharagpur that gave me an insight. I gained my knowledge by reading research papers and then implementing the codes. I did not take up any online courses as such.

How did you handle your preparation with your academics?

I had my good grades since my first year only. I was casual and never cared much about grades, but I tried to learn things that I liked and had my interest. I had mailed the professor at around February and got my remote internship this summer during the COVID pandemic. I’m still doing the project and continuing the project as my BTP.

What was the role of CG?

They didn’t ask for CG as such. But I feel that CG is essential. When I applied to the other programs, there CG was crucial. If you have good CG, then that is a plus point. I had also mailed 25 different professors. It so happened that this professor had his research area aligned with my field of interest. I had a lot of projects and a decent CG greater than 9. Thus it was right in all. You must maintain on CG positively and not let it deteriorate over the years as it will help you and has much importance in itself.

How is your university going to manage everything in this confusion of Covid-19?

I was in direct contact with the professor. He used to give a lot of time. Whenever we used to have meetings on Friday on zoom with the weekly updates of the work done. He guided me now and then. Also, he was very lenient. As the COVID pandemic started, he was very understanding and did not put much pressure on me. It was overall, an amicable situation. The professor was outstanding and gave a lot of time for me.

What were the difficulties you faced during the entire process? Did the current pandemic situation affect you in any way?

There wasn’t much difficulty. Doing a remote internship wasn’t posing many problems. I was comfortable working from my home also. Ultimately, I had to give my best to produce some research paper that I had to write. As long as, everything was going smooth and easy there was no problem in any case.