M. Tech. (VLSI) students at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham are learning about Design for Manufacturing through classes taught over the e-learning network, by the CEO of DFMSim Inc., from Palo Alto, USA.
Every Thursday evening (Friday morning for the students in India), Anantha R. Sethuraman, PhD, calls in from Silicon Valley for the three-hour class. In between, when the students break for lunch, he takes a break for dinner.
As the CEO of a company that has developed a powerful and innovative simulation technology to enable the design and production of complex chips at substantially lower costs, Dr. Sethuraman is a busy man. And yet, every week, he makes time for this class. Inspired by Chancellor Amma’s vision for education and research in India, he wants to contribute.
“Everything he teaches us, is backed up by so many practical examples from his vast work experience,” states Br. Rajesh Kannan, faculty at Amrita and also part-time M Tech student, who is enrolled in the class. “For a student really interested in semiconductors, the three hours go by, fast. We really have a great opportunity to know about what is happening at the cutting-edge of the global semiconductor industry.”
Adds his class-mate, Bri. Remya, “It is a lot more interesting than just being taught straight from a textbook. We get more practical exposure to the subject than students from other universities in India because we are being taught not by an academic, but by the CEO of a top company. Because he works in the field, this experience can only increase our learning outcomes, making students better equipped for the workforce.”
Several schools in Amrita are now beginning to use e-learning in order to engage the best faculty from around the world to deliver classes to students in highly specialized subjects. The School of Biotechnology at Amritapuri and the School of Business at Coimbatore, in addition to the Schools of Engineering at three campuses, have all received positive feedback for their e-learning initiatives.
The 30+ students in Dr. Sethuraman’s M Tech class will have an opportunity to meet him, when he visits Amrita for the first time, on October 23. Only a few select universities in the world today offer this highly specialized course based on a technology that is less than three years old. “We look forward to attending his classes in person also, and receiving the same up-to-the-minute learning from one who is working in the field.”
October 11, 2009
Amrita School of Engineering, Amritapuri