Exchange Diaries  

By International Relations Cell

Outbound Diaries 2020

Sahil Sheikh | Humanities and Social Sciences

Università degli Studi Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria, Italy

Research Area: Deep Learning

1) What was your research topic?
My research topic was deep learning. My project was to generate a model which would classify whether or not patients are infected with Covid-19 by taking into account their lung’s lump X-rays. I was also supposed to make a model which generates this database.

2) When did you apply for FTP?
This project was announced in early June, when other remote FTPs were also released. So, I applied for it in June itself and got selected.

3) Why do you think FTP is important?
If you wish to pursue a career in research fields, you should have completed projects previously in those fields so as to show them in your CV. Thus, FTP becomes very important in this regard. If you don’t want to go for research, like for example, you want to go for corporate jobs, then too, FTP proves to be beneficial. The corporate companies become convinced that you have foreign exposure and you could easily adapt to foreign work culture. So, it's a win-win situation. Besides, if you get a good project, you get to learn a lot. So, even if you don’t get a good university, if it offers a good project, you should go for it.

4) What is the role of CGPA for getting selected?
CGPA is the most important judging criterion for the professors. So, you must make sure that you have a decent CGPA.

5) What role does previous projects play in getting shortlisted for FTPs?
FTP is also a project with the only difference being that you work with a foreign university. So, if you have done projects in the past under professors of your college, it really helps in getting selected. Besides, if you get a Letter of Recommendation from your professor, your chances for getting shortlisted become really high.

6) As you did a remote FTP, which platform was used for communication between you and your University?
We communicated through MS Teams primarily. We also used Skype sometimes.

7) Did you face any difficulty during the entire process?
The one difficulty which I faced during the process was communication. Communication becomes difficult when you are doing a remote FTP. Asking solutions to every minute problem through e-mails is not possible. So, I had to manage them myself.

8) Did you have to incur any significant expenses?
As it was a remote FTP, I didn’t have any expenses. But, I didn’t get a stipend either.

9) What advice would you like to give to our fellow KGPians who aspire for FTP?
I would advise them to keep CGPA as their most important priority. Besides FTP, keeping a decent CGPA will help at other places too like internships, placements etc. Secondly, if you are aiming for a Summer FTP, you should start mailing the professors by November-December. Even if you send around 200 mails per day, you end up getting only 10-20 replies. Besides, getting selected for a project, convincing the professor to fund your project etc. takes a lot of time. So, you should start very early.