STAB OC End Term Review
The Institute General Body Meets (GBMs) are conducted twice every year with the intent to provide all students a convenient mechanism to provide feedback and address concern to the student representatives responsible for various amenities on campus.
The GBM for STAB OC is scheduled from 6:40 PM on 3rd April in the P. C. Saxena Auditorium.
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Events in red are those that haven’t been started or there has been no satisfactory development in this regard.
Events in orange are those that have been initiated but not completed, or there have been some developments in this regard.
Events in green are those that have been completed as described in the manifesto, or have seen satisfactory developments.
Chirag Shetty, STAB OC, 2015-16
This year the STAB council set out with one primary motive: ‘Tech for all’. It naturally focused more on workshops, mentoring and publicity rather than conducting events which generally have a minimal turnout. The following ‘Review Article’ is a small summary to disseminate information about the activities conducted by STAB.
- Skill Development: Rock-solid development of hands-on skills required by an engineer(eg: Multiple CAD tools, soldering etc) through workshops which will be task based with necessary equipments made available by STAB. The events will cater to PG’s as well as UG’s. Clubs will organize competitions as follow-ups of most workshops.
This year witnessed a lot more workshops as compared to the previous year. While most sessions were conducted for major events like XLR8, Line Follower etc. Independent session like hackathons and hands-on projects were also conducted. Skill development was moved to the hostel level with a total of 34 events being conducted in hostels on the line Solidworks, Matlab and Python.
- Synergize with academics:Learning can’t be limited to classroom. The idea is to demonstrate the engineering principles in different fields through simple experiments and their relevance in practice through informal discussions(eg: why is ∇ × ~v defined the way it is?)This should promote interdisciplinary dialogue & appreciation
The fact that tech is a ‘co-curricular’ activity was to be emphasized. However, it was difficult to bring existing clubs to fit this model due to reasons of inertia. The upcoming ‘Biotech’ club will ‘synergize with academics’ as it is hoped that this club will work in tandem with the department’s activities. STAB has successfully acted as a platform for people to explain and publicize department activities this year. The MnP club also conducted a lot of GDs in this regard.
- Informal sessions and club following: Talks, documentary screening, group discussions, hackathons. An open invitation for anyone to hold a session. Will happen at institute and hostel levels to create platform to ponder, tinker and share technical knowledge and increase PG-UG tech based discussions. Will be done in association with the Hostel Tech Councils. (eg: Night sky watch)
Informal sessions were absent in STAB events till date, however informal club sessions were conducted by the WNCC and Aeromodelling Club. Robotics club conducted a few sessions on ‘How things work’ by making optimal use of junk present outside TL lab. An initiative with respect to this was to award 1.5 weightage worth of points in the ‘Tech GC’ for the hostel tech events and response to the events. Informal discussions were also conducted via Google Hangouts.
- Visits and Competitions: Arrange visits to places of technical interest with the guidance of our professors and organize all the invitations of technical events received by the Institute and promote and facilitate participation in the same.
A lot of technical visits were conducted by Krittika and a few by the MnP club. The remaining clubs already had enormous events to conduct and couldn’t organise such visits due to the time crunch. Participation in international tech events was not feasible and the benefits of participating in national events as compared to the investment was questionable, according to the OC.
- Online and offline: Online follow ups of offline discussions and vice versa. Increase online reach to reduce time and money spent on ’poster publicity’ of informal sessions. Along with Insight, ensure timely dissemination of news on technical activities
With clubs and student bodies across the institute wondering whether offline poster publicity is still worth the effort and cost in the age of Facebook outreach, it is worth mentioning that STAB successfully held and publicized all its events in the second semester without using print media (with the notable exception of ONE TL talk). The fact that the lack of posters did not hinder STAB’s outreach should encourage other clubs to go fully digital too, thus saving effort, money, and paper.
- Technovation mentors: Expand the current mentor group to a 10-member review committee with PG’s from diverse fields, having technical expertise to mentor the projects. Projects to be guided by mentors specific to their field of tech.
- Entry: Open enrollment window throughout the semester. The participant/s has to undergo a ’pre-technovation phase’ where (s)he’ll be mentored to polish the problem statement and make a project plan complete with deadlines.
- The process: Once in the program, participants have easy access to any of the STAB resources. Participants get to represent IITB in various tech fairs and summits. Projects will be reviewed once every month and progress monitored by the managers. Efforts will be made to have media coverage of the projects.
- Dormancy and exit: Participants can choose to keep aside the projects for certain period of time incase of any externalities and revive it later. The projects will exit the program when they’ve either been completed or have reached a stage where the requirements can no longer be fulfilled by the program. However the projects will be guided to larger platforms like SINE or projects under Dean (Research and Development).
- Industrial and HealthTech projects: Increase awareness about projects already floated by industries and professors under Technovation in the student community and encourage to pick one of these as technovation projects through workshops and talks.
- Socially relevant Tech projects: Use the existing structure of TechGSR (Tech Geek Social Responsibility) and support of NSS, to promote technical solutions to social problems relevant to Indian society. Promote translational research in the student community and the spirit of social entrepreneurship.
1. According to the OC, Technovation in its current format is infeasible since students want to do projects attached to some established identity. Hence there has been close to no work under the guise of Technovation this year, at least under that name.
2. To facilitate this, projects in collaboration with National Centre for Excellence in Internal Security (NCETIS), Tata Centre for Technology Development, WEL Lab, and even alumni were offered.
3. There will be dedicated “Project Managers” from the next tenure to work on managing and handling in-semester projects that will be conducted under the aegis of several institute bodies without an overarching formal structure like Technovation.
TINKERER’S LAB (TL)
- Usage and maintenance: Formulate rules and enforce them to maintain the Tinkerers’ Lab in a good state for easy access by the student community. Improve the inventory management system and equip the lab with all basic requirements regularly.
1. TL has seen a slight formalization in procedure that was necessary to counter inventory loss. This has not, however, created issues where students are unable to utilise equipment they desire. The two technicians on duty are charged with issuing most heavy equipment and locking these items up when not in use. Perishables like wires, etc, are freely available.
2. A new rule barring the utilisation of TL resources to create commercial products has been put into place.
- ’Order your equipment’: Allow anyone to request technical equipments for TL, given that sufficient justification is provided about utility of the device in future.
‘Order your equipment’ currently takes place in an informal manner where people write down the equipment TL should buy on a whiteboard on the premises. While an online portal specifically for this purpose DOES exist, it remains unused. Inventory runs are generally made by TL staff once a month.
- ’tinker@TL’: Promote projects under TL with ’made in TL’ tags which can be used in classroom/lab demonstrations and increase out-of-the classroom tinkering. Have the ’made in TL’ products cater to technological needs in various sectors, within campus to begin with. (eg: Made in TL uC programmers, IITB specific apps etc.)
1. All ITSP projects carried a ‘made in TL’ sticker. The idea is to create a brand name for TL and hope that students who use TL feel a sense of warmth towards TL and mark their products as ‘made in TL’.
2. Tinker@TL grew organically when old waste tech products like keyboards and smartphones were spied, and these were dismantled in a group. This promoted informal interactions and hobby learning.
ITSP, OKSP, Tech Expo, Weekends and fun! Have events to bring together and connect the tech community of IITB
- Institute Technical Summer Project: Having seen an exponential rise in participation, the basic structure of ITSP will be retained. More emphasis on ITSP-TechExpo-Technovation pipeline. Mentoring will be topic-specific rather than team-specific. Bootcamps on basic skills and lab access before commencement of the ITSP season
- Tech and R&D Exposition: In association with SARC and Academic council, make it an event to put on display the technical prowess of student-driven projects in the institute to the alumni, faculty and students of IITB. Make it a fertile ground for collaborations.
- OKSP: Online Knowledge Sharing Platform: Continue with the ongoing project of creating a mega online repository of all documentations & projects in the institute.
- Tech Weekends: Organize Tech weekends with active participation of Hostel Tech Councils, PG’s and UG’s blending tech with fun events and competitions.
Make TL the hub of self-learning and innovation with round-the-clock access
There has been a tremendous increase in the profile and scope of Tinkerer’s Lab over the last year, as showcased by the success of “TL Talks”. Alumni interaction has increased manifold and several TL talks were byproducts of this close link with alumni, as was an arduino workshop that helped TL procure 90 arduinos for hostels.
TL has recently been granted permission to expand its workspace by annexing the area surrounding it. Whether or not this permission is utilised efficiently, or at all, remains to be seen.
1. This summer’s ITSP saw healthy participation, with a greater focus on quality of projects. Students were made required to submit documentation for getting certificates, which should help future students.
2. OKSP has not seen any activity this tenure. February did see the the beginning of a collaboration with the nascent Developer’s Community that is teaching enthusiastic freshmen to code and create websites. The hope is that the OKSP portal will be built by this group once it gains traction. There has been no movement on the “content for OKSP” front as of yet.
GENERAL CHAMPIONSHIP AND HOSTEL TECH COUNCILS
- Freshness in GC’s: Continuing with the current trend, include new GC’s, replacing some repetitive GC’s. Hold workshops on the lines of Hovercraft session this year.
The first semester had just two GCs. The idea was to spend a semester in mentoring freshmen and developing hostel tech rooms to make these a hub for technical activity amongst incoming freshmen, thus utilising the pre-allocation of hostels. This aim met with success at least for the RC Plane GC in the autumn semester. Krittika club organised Astrophotography GC for the first time. Telescope handling was a precursor to this GC.
- ’Hostel Tech:’ Help hostel tech councils in procurement of equipments and setting up of Hostel Tech rooms. Hold sessions and group discussions at hostel level.
Decentralisation of activities towards hostels was an idea that OC wanted to achieve. As the first sem was spent developing the tech rooms, there was a flurry of GCs in the second semester (with 5 in quick succession). This time crunch led to some old GCs such as the Robotics GC being scrapped while new ones (like Krittika’s Astrophotography GC) were added.
Work closely with hostel tech councils to encourage technical activities among hostel inmates
The incumbent OC hopes that STAB no longer remains a body that only conducts ‘events’. The idea of decentralizing everything to hostels so that participation from hostels increases is definitely a welcome initiative. One step has already been taken in this regard by reducing the number of conveners for the hobby clubs. The Insight team hopes that STAB fulfils its purpose completely and wishes the best to the upcoming council for its tenure.