IIIT-Delhi has established itself as one of the top institutions in the country for CSE/ECE research and education – it has modern curriculum and programs, its faculty is as good as the best in the country, and it has high quality and modern infrastructure. Its placement record is comparable to the best, and a good fraction of its students get opportunities for higher studies in good universities (visit placement page for records on these.) It is undoubtedly one of the best places for pursuing CSE/ECE, or the new program in CS and Applied Mathematics (CSAM).
However, it is also clear that the programs at IIIT-Delhi may not be suitable for all. Every year during the counselling I used to mention to prospective students some points about whether IIIT-Delhi is the right choice for him/her – I am putting down some key points here. (I had earlier written a note on my blog on the same topic. This one is more focused and tries to give a prospective student some specific guidance to self-assess whether IIIT-Delhi is the right choice.)
Based on observations and discussions with faculty and many students, we can identify three traits that will help a student to do well at IIIT-Delhi. These are:
- Capability to put in required work. Academics is taken quite seriously at IIIT-Dlehi – each semester a student has to do 4 to 5 courses, and each course requires about 8 to 10 hours of total work per week (including lectures). This means that a student must be ready to work a few hours regularly after classes, and put in the required effort on weekends to sync up with what has been covered in the week. If a student is not able to put in this level of work consistently during the semester, the student may find difficulties in coping with academics at IIIT-Delhi, as most courses have regular assignments and many have projects as well.
- Interest in learning. Some students find learning hard, and some like to learn new concepts, develop new skills and capabilities, explore new topics, etc. Programs in IIIT-Delhi offer a wide variety of courses, besides the discipline courses – courses in Maths, Communication skills, humanities and social sciences, sciences, engineering sciences, economics, finance, entrepreneurship, management topics, …. Most courses at IIIT-Delhi will require students to learn deeply and apply the knowledge in assignments, projects, etc. Students who are surface learners or do not like learning or spending time on learning can face difficulties.
- Interest in maths and programming. Students in all the programs do multiple courses in Mathematics and programming-oriented courses (e.g. Intro to Programming, and Data Structures and Algorithms are common to all). Many of the advanced courses also involve considerable programming. While a student does not need to know programming as in Intro to Programming we start from very basics assuming no programming experience, if a student does not like programming, he/she is likely to face difficulties and many courses can become stressful. (For those who have no experience with programming one hint about whether you will like programming can be – your liking for doing logic-based puzzles and riddles, mathematical problems, analyzing different possibilities for a situation/problem, solving problems, etc, and have the patience for doing these. Another way to gauge your interest is to ask a friend who knows programming to help you write and run some programs and use that experience to judge whether you will like programming.)
If a student has these traits, then IIIT-Delhi is an excellent choice, and the student will blossom into top quality professionals through education at IIIT-Delhi. The programs offered are top class, with considerable breadth and variety of courses being offered while providing depth in the chosen discipline – but they are all demanding and rigorous. If the student is looking for an “easy” degree, then IIIT-Delhi may not be well suited.
Information on IIIT-Delhi: For information on programs visit the BTech page; for information on faculty, visit the faculty page; for information on research, visit the research page; for information about student student life, visit this page – more information on student clubs is available here.
(Updated June 2016)