Saturday, September 10, 2016

What and how I taught in IIT-KGP 2011-16

The subject I have taught is Vibration of Floating Structures, in the Autumn semester. It consists of three lectures and one tutorial per week, leading to four credits. This is how I have conducted the course.
  • The subject has been structured into five modules. The course overview handout is given as the first thing in the first lecture.There is one prescribed textbook followed encompassing three modules. Reference books and tutorial books are announced on the first class.
  • The very first lecture is on vibration as a whole in this universe, to let the students understand the widest possible perspective of the exciting all-encompassing topic of Vibration.
  • Lectures are pre-planned at the start of the semester, and the schedule is followed almost fully. All topics have a handout given in class its first lecture. Video links pertaining to the topic are emailed. Extra scans from reference books are emailed.
  • The student's knowledge of Maths-1, Maths-2, Mechanics (1st year), Mechanics of Solids, Fluid Mechanics and Hydrodynamics (2nd Year) and fully rekindled. (It is impossible to proceed in this subject without these fundamentals absolutely clear).Topics are initiated by invoking high-school knowledge of Physics and then built up upon that. (If the teacher cannot explain something in simple terms, perhaps s/he himself/herself does not understand it well!)
  • The lectures are loud and clear. It is impossible to talk /sleep in the class.(:D)
  • Any lecture missed due to a holiday is compensated for in one week. 
  • Tutorials are held by teaching assistant (graduate students). Additional tutorial problems are scanned and emailed. 
  • A regular office hour per week is allotted to students to meet me and clear their doubts.
  • Homeworks are assigned on a regular basis : 3-5 per semester. All assignments require MATLAB programming, this subject becomes one of those rare subjects in the Institute where student learn this powerful programming tool at the undergraduate level.
  • HW submission : Homeworks are graded by the teaching assistants in my presence, in my office. Students cannot email their codes! They need to come with the laptop and actually run the code to show outputs. Every output is carefully scrutinized. Changes are made in the code and new results are demanded on the spot. All plots need to be explained through physics. The copy of their homework, consisting of derivations and analyses, are personally checked.They are grilled in a mini-viva-voce, before their final score is frozen. Each homework submission process takes approximately 7 hours to complete. 
  • Post-mid-term examinations, a Term paper is assigned to groups of 4-5 students (about 10-12 topics in total), in which each tam needs to solve an advanced problem which is beyond what was taught in the class. First, it teaches the student to read scientific literature. Then, it teaches the students to frame and analyze the problem. They need to convert the Physics into Mathematics (ordinary and partial differential equations, matrix algebra, calculus, complex analysis) It requires MATLAB programming and verification. Finally, it requires the team to shape it into a report and make a presentation. Thus, this is again a rare subject in which an undergraduate student, for the very first time, is introduced to Literature Study, Technical Writing, and Technical Speaking.
  • Examinations are held as per the Institute Schedule. Surprise class tests may or may not add to the grade, but keeps the student on track during the semester.

1 comment:

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