This blogpost is organized year-wise, freshie-sophie-thirdie-fourthie, and is meant to be read by a freshie starting his life at EE@IITB. Sophomores who have BC-ed (Branch-changed) into EE are welcome to go through this to know what they have missed. I have tried to jot down the experiences and expertise an EE student might be expected to gain by the end of each year. I have also mentioned my (physical) interactions with the department in the first 4 of the 5 years I spent in the EE department. A disclaimer regarding the information in the blogpost is due at this point since the curriculum may have undergone changes since I was a student. In case you are a Dual Degree student the only thing that differs is that (i) you have to do a Dual Degree project (DDP) in your fifth year and (ii) your specialization is already decided at the time of admission whereby you have to do a specialization course of your choice every semester from the second year onwards.
The interaction of a freshie with the department as such is minimal. There are only two courses EE101 and EE102, one in each semester, which try to introduce each of the 5 areas mentioned above (and beyond) and motivate you to study and excel in Electrical Engineering in the years to come. There may a brief description of the history and evolution of Electrical Engineering. Although this last bit seems boring to listen to in a classroom, especially when you are expecting stuff like wireless charging, humanoids and what not, it makes you more aware regarding the field and often also makes for an interesting conversation outside the classroom, especially during placements.
There are no lab courses in the department in the first year, which may make you think that you are not getting a "feel" for what you are studying. But trust me, you are in for way too many lab courses to compensate for this in the years to come.
At the end of the year, you should have a good feel for what Electrical Engineering is about. An electrician can no longer fool you by saying "3-phase DC induction motor lagyenge toh acha rahega" or that the 3 pins at a plug point are in fact a 3 phase supply. You should also have gained enough knowledge to tinker around with electronic devices on your own, understand specifications mentioned on most gadgets, know if a charger will reduce the battery life of your phone or laptop, or how using spike guards in series may be a tad bit flimsier than an extension board. The list is endless.
To those of you who know of Kung-fu-Panda.. "There is now a Level 0!" (EN...)
As a sophie, the courses are more narrowed down than the broad courses studied in the previous year. Obviously, there will now be labs for courses which are not theoretical and for which the level 0 has actually been attained. Broadly speaking, you may be expected to understand certain principles of design and finally appreciate the difference between engineering and science. The lab courses teach you a lot. There will always be a way to free ride on the efforts of your labmates, but it is really worth the while to put in effort to see a system work on a bread-board. You will realize that a simulation always differs from the actual hardware and last but not the least - you will, probably, have also learnt how to debug a hardware system, rather than jump to naive speculations of "bread-board kharab hoga". (ENGI...)
By the beginning of third year, you will have spent two academic years and two summer vacations as an IITian doing something either you like or realizing what you aren’t fond of. You will also probably have found out if you are still interested in Electrical Engineering, in which case you should probably look for "core internships". Depending on this you will take courses which are either (i) meant for learning or (ii) well-known for "peace" grading.
Nevertheless, the core courses in the third year are typically intermediate level courses. Again, one course for each of the 5 streams. As expected, they will again be accompanied by labs so that what is learnt in class is hoped to be observed/applied on hardware. Before you leave for your internship, it is worth asking the question "what do I expect to learn/gain out of this experience?" (ENGINE... now you know what this really is..!)
## Fourth year:
The fourth year brings with it some apprehension. If it doesn't, good for you! It certainly did for me. At this point in your life at IIT Bombay, you are (or you think you are) the "Master of your domain" so there is no point writing a lot about the fourth year. A wing senior is probably a more reliable person to give you fundae at this point.
By now, you have settled at IITB, and you will probably be anxious about answering the questions "What’s next?" and "What is my passion?" and so on, while your hair starts greying, or worse balding, to thinking about MBA-MS/PhD-Job-Startup-UPSC and what not!
You have to choose a specialization in Electrical Engineering. If you're interested you will take up a B.Tech project (BTP) for which you will have to choose an advisor and so on. Since the courses are typically specialization courses from one of the 5 streams, you will probably not do them with your wingies and hence make new friends whom you didn't know until now. More advanced the course are, say 5xx or 6xx, more the number of assignments you will be given in a week. Although to tell you the truth the most I learnt during my IIT days was when I solved these assignments.
To think of it, my 6 years at IITB have flown by faster than I would have liked. EE@IITB, though not as flashy as the hostels or the SAC, is a wonderful place where your brilliant minds will flourish. Who knows you could be the next Shannon! Good Luck.
Bio: Parthe Pandit spent 6 years (2010-2016) in IIT Bombay, 5 as a DD-CSP student of the Electrical Engineering Department and 1 as a research assistant in Systems and Controls Department. His next halt is at UCLA, pursuing his PhD in EE. He can be contacted at email@example.com
Like you, I am entering a new phase of my life- joining Georgia Tech in August,2016 as a PhD student in Computer Architecture. Since joining IIT-Bombay in 2009, I have had some diverse experiences - from being deeply interested in academics at IIT-B, to exploring the world of management consulting at Boston Consulting Group, to finally exploring a life in academia as a research scholar at Georgia Tech. Hopefully my experiences can give you some insight into what is in store for you – if you pick EE, IITB.
At IIT-Bombay, the Electrical Engineering Department provided me an excellent environment to thrive academically. The diverse set of courses available at EE, IITB straddling physics & chemistry (semiconductor physics), maths (communication & signal processing) and Computer Science (VLSI & Computer Architecture), allowed me to explore different sub-fields. In addition, the department has a culture encouraging research among undergrads. Opportunities for research with professors came in multiple formats - summer projects, in-semester research based courses, bachelors/master's theses projects. These allowed me to decide whether I liked doing research & the areas I liked & disliked. Lastly the professors & peer group at EE, IITB are probably one of the best in the country – they bring out the best in you academically.
In addition, I cannot stress how important the extra-curricular experiences at IITB have been in shaping my outlook towards life. Some of my most important life lessons have been learnt during my time working with the mentorship programme at IITB, or while training with the swimming team. Rest assured, there are enough extra-curricular opportunities at IITB to pursue whatever hobbies that suit one's interests – ensuring one gets a well-rounded preparation towards success in life.
Hey People, if you got a rank in JEE Advanced good enough to consider IITB EE, Heartiest Congratulations! :D
So, when I was in your place, 4 years ago, there were predominantly 3 questions going through my mind.
There is one more question which I felt should have come in my mind but it came after I finished my B.Tech. I will come to it at the end.
So coming to the first question. Why IITB-EE?
How does IIT EE stand in front of the other EE departments in India?
After talking to all my friends from other universities during the course of my 4 yrs, I would bluntly assert that the level of education you get in IIT is incomparable to the other universities. So, academically you will be very well placed in your life. It is very important to realize this fact, we often forget that we are getting the best education in India.
Coming to the EE as a branch, you might be wondering, is Mechanical (just taking it as an example) better or is Electrical better? You might be thinking that in JEE, I didn’t like transistors but I liked the Laws of Motion, so maybe Mech suits me more. (I had thought this thing while deciding :P). Well, here’s the thing. Most of you (having the above thoughts) have NO Idea what these fields comprise of and that is what you are going to learn in the course of your next 4 / 5 years ! So, my advice would be - If you have a preference which you love, say Aero, then GO FOR IT! But only a few must have developed that passion in life (My observations in life). Word of Caution - There is a difference between liking a field and studying the engineering aspects of it. Otherwise, I would suggest to choose the branch according to your rank. Because the hierarchy has been formed following the trends in future demand, placements etc. To ascertain my opinion, if I had a younger sibling, who had no particular liking, I would have advised him to take the branch according to his rank.
This brings me to my second question. What can I expect in my 4 years in EE Department?
In one word, EVERYTHING! IITB EE is not just about academics, it is about a way of life! It’s about studying one day before the exams with the best of your friends, it’s about learning from the best in the field, it’s about learning to struggle to get a bragging-worthy internship, its about staying awake to complete your projects before deadlines, and so on.
The website gives a very detailed account of the coursework you will go through during your undergraduate studies. I won’t focus on that. EE is about the exploration of vast breadth of this field from understanding the movement of electrons in the transistors to understanding images to understanding how cellular communication works! But with great expanse comes great amount of coursework and lab work :P So yeah, the curriculum is relatively bigger compared to some of the other branches but the knowledge gained is worth it. You get exposed to different subfields, providing more options to pursue and 4 years is enough to help you select what you want to “pursue” after your B.Tech. And my favorite part - many of the students from the EE department go for internships abroad or in top companies in Bangalore, an opportunity not available outside. So yeah, that’s really Cool! You learn a lot more out there in the real field than in your classroom.
So finally How hard or easy are things going to be?
Okay, the first thing a senior told to me before I was about to enter IIT - “Whoever told you that life is chill after JEE lied to you.” Well, he was correct. I was lucky enough not to take it in the wrong way. People, the main learning of IIT happens in the everyday stuff. Living in the hostel on your own, disciplining yourself to study before the exams with no one to keep you in check, going out there and fighting for a job/ internship - These are all the valuable lessons I have learnt in life, more valuable than things learnt in the classroom. So yes, it won’t be THAT easy. There will be some struggles but I bet that you will come out a much stronger and brighter personality.
Regarding the question to your struggles in EE, well it’s almost the same as for other branches. If you have greater ambitions, you will have to fight more. Finally, it’s up to you how badly you want something :)
And the one final question, which I asked myself after IITB EE. Is it WORTH it?
All I will say is this - If I was put back in your stage of life, with no preferences for any field, I would, without a second thought, rush inside that lush green campus of Life AGAIN. Yes, having had my fair share of experiences over the 4 years, I would certainly change a few habits/decisions I made during my stay but I would want to be a part of IITB EE again.
So hey, if you read till here, Thanks a LOT :D Hope my views helped you in getting a clarity regarding what you want to pursue as well as what to expect in IITB EE. Please do take reviews from other seniors into consideration as well before finalizing your decision.
Best of Luck for your journey through Life!
IITB, for me, has truly been a journey of self-discovery. I entered IIT Bombay with a top-100 AIR at the JEE, having chosen EE at IITB over the popular trend of CSE at IITD and other institutes. While it is difficult to choose one’s branch with little to no prior knowledge of engineering, EE at IITB provides the perfect platform for students of all talents and dreams to achieve their potential. The intellectually challenging courses, experiential learning of labs, dedicated and encouraging professors, and brilliant peer group make for a perfect academic environment that inculcates a quest for knowledge and a pursuit of excellence. The myriad extracurricular opportunities both within and outside the department, from technical and cultural fests to organizational leadership, allow one to develop the various facets of one’s personality. Electrical Engineering helps develop the talent, skills and perspectives for students of this department to excel in diverse fields, from core research to corporate life.
It was in EE at IITB that I discovered a passion for hands-on electronics and became an active member of the student-led Electronics Club. It was in this department that I had the chance to experiment with various research fields, from semiconductor devices to communications and image processing. The encouragement of professors and flexibility of the department helped me develop an active extracurricular profile, becoming Manager of Projects in the Technical Council and taking on mentorship roles. It gave me a unique platform to represent IITB at national and international conferences. The strong quantitative background and critical thinking skills developed through challenging courses in the department have created a solid foundation for future careers in finance and consulting. Above all, it is the spirit of excellence inculcated by EE at IITB that will be my most lasting takeaway from the four rewarding years in this department.
For anyone looking to discover their passion and pursue their dreams, Electrical Engineering at IITB is the place to be.
I, Abhin Shah, majored in Electrical Engineering with Honors and a minor in Computer Science and Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in May 2018.
In the following review, I have tried to give you an overall picture of the curriculum of the B.Tech program of the Electrical Engineering (EE) department at IIT Bombay. The article is organized year wise, and I have also shared my academic experience over each of the four years I spent at IIT Bombay.
During the first year, all the students are supposed to complete the same set of courses irrespective of their department. Some departments, however, need their students to complete the ‘Department Introductory Courses' additionally. EE department requires its students to complete two DICs, one in each semester. In the Autumn semester you will do EE 111 - Introduction to Electrical Systems, and in the Spring semester, you will do EE 112 - Introduction to Electronics. EE 111 gives you a flavor of Network Theorems, time domain and frequency domain analysis of circuits, transformers, and electric machines. EE 112 is meant to provide you with an overview of Semiconductor Devices, Transistors (BJT and MOSFET), Amplifiers (OP-AMP) and basic logic gates. Apart from these two theoretical courses, there is no significant direct interaction with the department.
I did not enjoy EE 111 as much as the other courses in the first semester. This was partly because this class was designed in such a way to give you an overview of a broad field, and therefore most of the concepts are not covered in depth. However, there were certain phases during the course that I enjoyed as the content was exciting. EE 112 was much better for me as the concepts were discussed thoroughly but again not as interesting as some other math and physics courses. After the end of the first year, I got a feeling that perhaps I made a wrong choice by choosing Electrical Engineering. But with the experience of just two courses, it was too early to draw any conclusions.
The second year is when you really start getting a flavor of what the department has to offer, and it also marks the beginning of the department lab courses. Also, from the second year, you get the freedom to choose additional courses of your own choice along with the core courses.
In the third semester, you will do a course on Electronic Devices (EE 207) with a supporting lab (EE 236). This course is an extension of the DIC – EE 112 – Introduction to Electronics. This course will help you develop an in-depth understanding of the physics behind electronic devices. Moreover, the lab conducts practical experiments on simple PN junction diodes, Zener diodes, LEDs, solar cells, MOSFETs. As a result, the course becomes even more interesting. The course of Network theory (EE 225) focuses on the analysis of electrical networks wherein you also get a flavor of graph theory. You get an introduction to probability theory and statistics from the course of Data Analysis and Interpretation (EE 223). You are also supposed to do an introductory course in Economics and a couple of math courses that are essential tools for some fields in Electrical Engineering.
In the fourth semester, you will be exposed to narrowed down courses in Analog circuits (EE 204), Digital systems (EE 224) and Electric Machines and Power Electronics (EE 222) each of which is supported by a lab. The Analog circuits course focuses on designing and understanding various Analog circuits using OP-AMPs. The lab (EE 230) gives you hands-on experience working with OP-AMPs and BJTs in different circuits. The Digital systems course aims at teaching you how to a design simple digital system using logic gates and analyze its performance. You also learn about combinational circuits and sequential circuits. The lab (EE 214) goes in hand with the course and helps you design a digital system using basic coding in VHDL. Electric machines and Power Electronics is an extension of the DIC – EE 111 – Introduction to Electrical Systems and as the name suggests gives good insight into Electric Machines, Power Electronics, and Power Systems. The lab (EE 234) aids in the understanding of the material covered in the class through experiments and demonstrations. The course on Signals and Systems (EE 210) is an introductory course to the field of Signal Processing wherein you will learn about continuous time signals, filters, and sampling.
As you can see, by the end of the second year, you will have a decent amount of exposure to the department. You will know the broad fields of research/development in Electrical Engineering.
Amongst the core courses, I enjoyed the course on Devices the most in the third semester and the course on Electric Machines and Power Electronics the most in the fourth semester. You can see that these two courses are the extensions of the DICs :P. Also overall, the fourth semester seemed very relaxed as it was easy to follow the courses.
I took the courses on Physics of Nanoelectronic Devices I in my third semester and Physics of Nanoelectronic Devices II in my fourth semester as Honors courses. I also took up a project with a faculty in EE department on Quantum Thermodynamics. I also did a minor course in CSE in each of these semesters.
During the summer break after the second year, I continued working on my project on Quantum Thermodynamics. I also started working on a Low-Cost FPGA Development project under another faculty in the Wadhwani Electronics Lab. I enjoyed working on these two projects during the summers. Thus, you can see the freedom and the opportunities that the department provides to pursue your interest.
The third year is supposed to be the toughest year academically for a student of EE department at IITB.
In the fifth semester, you will study a course on EM Waves (EE 301) which provides you with a basic understanding of transmission lines, electromagnetic waves, Maxwell’s equations, waveguides, and antennas. You will also do a course on Communication Systems (EE 308) which is an introductory course of communication area wherein you will study modulation and demodulation of analog and digital signals. The course is also supported by a lab (EE 340) which helps you gain a better understanding of some of the concepts taught in the class by simulating different communication systems on the GNU Radio software. The course on Probability and Random Processes (EE 325), as the name suggests, covers probability theory, random variables, random processes and is integral to the fields of signal processing and communications. The Microprocessors course (EE 309) discusses some basic microcontroller (8051) and microprocessor (8085) designs. You will also learn about Instruction Set Architecture. The supporting lab (EE 337) teaches you basic microprocessor programming using assembly and embedded C programming. Along with these courses, you are also supposed to choose one of the following four introductory courses from Humanities and Social Sciences department:- Sociology, Psychology, Philosophy and Language Study.
In the sixth semester, you do a course on Control Systems (EE 302) which focuses on time domain and frequency domain analysis and stability analysis of control systems. The control systems lab runs (EE 324) parallel to the course helping you in a better understanding of the concepts. The course on Power Systems (EE 334) looks into modeling, performance, and constraints of different power system components. The course on Digital Communications (EE 328) teaches you foundations of Statistical Decision Theory and techniques of data transfer over a point-to-point channel. You will learn about Discrete-time signals and systems and Digital Filters in a course on Digital Signal Processing (EE 338). The Electronics Design Lab (EE 340) is aimed for the students to work on a group project involving electronic hardware and software and to apply all the concepts learned in different courses to build an actual working prototype.
The courses in the third year are rigorous and spread over all the fields including Signal Processing, Control Systems, Power Electronics, Communication, and Microelectronics. These courses help you learn a lot about these fields, and you would get an idea which fields interest you more than the others. I enjoyed all the courses in both the semesters with EM Waves and Control Systems being my favorite classes in each of the semesters.
I decided to not take any additional course in the fifth semester, apart from the minor course, because of the hype created amongst the department that the fifth semester is tough to manage. Though this semester was more hectic compared to the previous four semesters, retrospectively I believe I could have managed an extra course this semester too.
In the winter vacation, I continued working on my project on Quantum Transport, and I decided to tag it as SRE in my sixth semester to get credit for my work. I also started working on Information theory with a professor in the department. Thus, you can see the diversity that the department offers. You will find excellent faculties to do research with, in all the areas of EE here at IIT Bombay.
In my sixth semester, I decided to not take up the minor course to take up two additional courses in the department, one on Quantum Transport and one in Information theory. You will also spend a lot of time looking for internships in your third year.
The fourth year is very chill academically. You usually take up courses of your interest and the number of courses are also fewer than the previous year. You are also engaged in individual project work which can be fun. One downside is that the courses that interest you may not interest your friends. Therefore you may not have some of your friends with you in every class you take :P
In the seventh semester, you will have to do a couple of half-semester courses on Environment Studies. You then have the option to choose any two courses from EE dept and one course outside the EE dept as your department elective and institute elective courses respectively. You will also have to do the B.Tech Project I which is perhaps the best way to explore in-depth the field that you are interested in.
In the last semester, you will again have to take one course outside the EE dept as your institute elective and two courses either from the department or outside the department as your open electives. Along with these, you are supposed to complete either two courses from the department as department electives or the B.Tech Project II.
For those interested in placements, most of their time in the seventh semester would be spent preparing for it. For those pursuing higher studies most of the time in the seventh semester would be spent preparing for the GRE and TOEFL tests and also working on your applications.
I would encourage students to be pro-active while working on their BTP projects and make the most out of it. I attended lots of talks of my interest in the department in my last year. The department invites many professors - who are amongst the best in their field - from across the world, to give research talks. I also completed my minors and honors in my last year.
In Conclusion :
The Electrical Department at IIT Bombay has some excellent research labs and faculties. The best way for a student to explore their interests is by doing a B.Tech Project/Supervised Research Exposition/Research and Development project/Summer projects/Winter projects with a professor whose work interests them. Along with these, course projects might also help students to understand the technical details of a field. A lot of students also work under clubs like Electronics and Robotics Club, which are quite active, and work on exciting projects every year. There is also a reading group in the department where the graduate students share their research activities. Also, department and institute electives along with Honors, Minors and ALCs are a great way to expand your interests beyond the core curriculum. You can also attend lots of talks, workshops and seminars which are regularly arranged by the department.
I walked in through the hallowed gates of IIT Bombay in July 2014. The subsequent four years that I spent here, shaped my mind, ideas and thought process. Each year of my stay gave me new perspective. What follows is a yearly account of my 4 year long journey from the IIT-B main gate to the Convocation hall.
First Year (a.k.a Freshie Year)
First days on campus can incite different emotions in everyone. Some of my batchmates’ excitement knew no bounds, some were nervous and some indifferent. I was personally a bit nervous. However, the acclimatisation process didn’t last long and very soon I felt very comfortable here. The freshman year curriculum is rather broad and you are required to do courses in Physics, Chemistry, Math, Biology and Computer science. Apart from this there are two department introductory courses (DICs) that are meant to give you a flavour of Electrical Engineering.
At this point every student is fully integrated into his/her department. A majority of the courses are EE courses (both theory and lab). In an attempt to make the most out of my stay in insti I started to take up honours and minor electives. A couple of months into my second year I started working on a research problem under the guidance of Prof. Pradeep Nair. Along with a batchmate of mine, I worked on modelling the effects of ion migration in Solar cells. This gave me an insight into research and an opportunity to apply concepts learnt in class to solve an interesting and extremely relevant problem and also to present this work at the Department Colloquium.
Summer - 2
In the summer break between 2nd and 3rd year, I chose to stay back in insti and work on a research project under the guidance of Prof. Preeti Rao in the Digital Audio processing lab. I worked on a string matching algorithm for melodic phrase matching in Hindustani Classical Music. This topic was totally different from the topic that I had previously worked on. By choosing diametrically opposite topics I tried to get a flavour of research across the breadth of EE. Working on this project was a brilliant experience. I had no knowledge of classical music prior to this. Yet, by grappling with this project, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and picked up a working knowledge of Hindustani classical music. The project resulted in tangible research output and I got the opportunity to present my work at a conference in IIT Madras.
This is when I personally felt that the curriculum was most challenging. Courses dwelt upon the concepts laid out in second year courses and built upon them. The lab work also became quite demanding. For instance, in the Electronics Design Lab, students are expected to build a working prototype of an electronic system which I feel is a culmination of all the experimental work that you learn in your stay here. At this stage, I started to look forward and think of future career options. Civil services seemed like a lucrative option to me. Hence, along with my coursework and research work I started to explore the curriculum for UPSC.
During my 3rd year I secured an internship offer from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland through the IIT-B internship cell. Here I spent the summer working on creating a tool to automate the scientific literature survey process. Moreover, it was an opportunity to experience a different work culture, meet new people and travel.
At this stage one starts planning and preparing for after-insti life. This takes some pondering due to the sheer number of options that one faces. I decided to prepare for placements and also take the Common Aptitude Test (CAT). Academic load was minimal as I had already completed most of my electives in the 2nd and 3rd year itself. However, I feel that this was the year in which I learnt and grew the most. The rigorous placement process forced me to push my boundaries and learn many things outside the scope of the curriculum.
However, I feel that this was the year in which I learnt and grew the most. The rigorous placement process forced me to push my boundaries and learn many things outside the scope of the curriculum.
This journey of mine not only made me an Electrical Engineer, but also gave me a flavour of research, finance and computer science. I got ample resources and guidance to explore all options that seemed interesting to me.
Looking back, I would say that these four years at EE-IITB were much more than just a quest for a coveted degree . It is an experience that you will always cherish. You will develop an unparalleled work ethic, gain a lot of knowledge and develop deep and meaningful friendships. I would recommend you make the most out of your stay here and give your best shot to everything you do, be it academics or any hobby you choose to pursue.