August 17, 2010
School of Engineering, Amritapuri
M.Tech. students of Wireless Networks and Applications in Amritapuri, in addition to attending their regular classes, also make the trek to college every Sunday and Monday to attend a special 2-hour class on both days.
The class is special because it is taught by a faculty member not on their campus, but half way across the world.
Currently Vice President of Technology at Qualcomm in the US, Dr. Naga Bhushan engages the class for the Amrita students, during what is his weekend, because of his love for the subject and his belief in Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham’s mission to address societal needs using technology.
“We are learning about different types of MIMO systems and their relationship to wireless cellular systems,” stated Remya, final year student of M.Tech., who is attending the class.
MIMO stands for Multiple Input Multiple Output Wireless Communication Systems. In his class, Dr. Naga Bhushan covers aspects of point-to-point MIMO systems, including performance tradeoffs. He will also provide a brief summary of multi-point MIMO systems.
A Ph.D. in EEE from Cornell University, Dr. Bhushan has had significant technical contributions to the design and development of HDR/EV-DO/IS-856, the first high-rate, wide-area wireless packet data system to become widely commercialized.
He currently leads the R&D efforts and standardization of the next generation of wireless cellular systems (LTE-Advanced) in the 3GPP standards body. Dr. Bhushan has had over 75 patents to his credit; he has also published extensively.
“It is a very informative course,” stated Dr. Maneesha Ramesh, Head, Amrita Center for Wireless Networks and Applications. ““These classes, in fact, are an eye opener to our students. They get both the academic and industry perspectives, which is very valuable.”
“With his experience, Dr. Bhushan is able to help our students understand and appreciate high-quality research and development in the latest technologies. Our students are becoming equipped with knowledge from a cross-section of industry, research institutes and academic institutions.”
Several Ph.D. students, faculty members as well as students from Amrita’s campus in Coimbatore also attend these morning classes. In all, Dr. Bhushan teaches to nearly 50 students.
Over the course of the semester, Dr. Bhushan will engage 32 hours of lecture on MIMO Communication Systems, enabling students to earn credits for a full course in Advanced Wireless Networks.
But does it matter that the teacher is not in the same classroom? Does that take away from the learning experience?
“We are using Amrita’s e-learning platform A-View for conducting the classes,” added Dr. Maneesha. “The course delivery is very clear and students are able to follow along well.”
Ms. Kanthimathy Swarnam, Software Quality Manager, E-learning Research Labs elaborated further. “The platform allows for the classes to be interactive; enabling students to interact with the teacher, just as if the teacher was physically in the same classroom.”
“I have myself attended many of the sessions and I can say that all in all, it seems to be a very rewarding and enriching experience for students.”
“All classes are recorded, so that they are available to students for future reference also. A-View enables us to do this easily.”
“The course delivery is wonderful; it is a worthwhile endeavor from the department,” summed up Remya. “As of now, only a few sessions are completed and we are preparing for the upcoming sessions, by working on the mathematical part.”