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OSUM @ NIT Trichy – What’s happening inside

Many students have the habit of planning in advance what they must do during the holidays. Some decide they must learn a programming language, some might be planning to sharpen their problem solving skills, and a few others might be planning to bring out their creativity by trying their hand at designing.

But how many succeed in doing what they planned, at least partially? Most of them end up setting for themselves goals that are unreachable and framing timetable, adhering to which is practically impossible. The reason? Lack of proper guide. Without knowing what is in store for them within the pages of the book, goals cannot be set, timetables cannot be framed. Students end up wasting the precious time of theirs, grazing through arbitrary topics, which evaporate from the brain faster than the time they took to settle in. The result? ‘I have studied A to Z, but I don’t know which is the starting and which marks the end’. Confusion prevails.

The Open Source University Meetup (OSUM) at NIT Trichy is functioning as a guide for students of NIT-Trichy, helping them to set realistic targets, and providing them with necessary resources to achieve the targets. Students who have registered are given guidance in their own fields of interest.

Five fields have been chosen:
• Algorithms
• Java ME
• Networking and Distributed Systems
• Web Designing
• 2D Designing

Students have varied levels of understanding and experience in these topics. So, the activities have been planned to help everyone set individual goals and work towards them. Individual guidance is given for students who are enthusiastic.

With respect to Algorithms, the activities have been targeted at three different levels, Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced. Clear demarcation is provided for students to judge themselves. Books and other materials including self-written ones have been shared with the students. Assignments with thought-provoking and challenging questions have been shared with everyone.

Creativity is the main requirement for design. Creativity starts within the mind. The computer is only an aid to convert the virtual image in the mind into a real one on screen. Photoshop and Flash Programming courses have been planned for the winter, along with web designing courses starting from HTML, PHP, CSS, Ajax, JavaScript, etc. Sample designs have been sent to the students so that they get a fair idea about the field of design.

Most students are new to Java ME and Networking. So, guidance is given right from the basics. This involves sharing books and simple programs elucidating the basic concepts required to start a detailed course on these topics. A Java ME workshop has also been planned for the benefit of students, and will be conducted during the third week of January.

Google Docs is being extensively used for student registration and for efficient and secure means of sharing the resources. An SMS group has been created at SMSGupShup for sending instant group messages regarding latest progress.

There has been an overwhelming response with over 45 students registered for the programme. The programme will get bigger and better in the future. The student community will be immensely benefited by such programmes. If activities on similar lines are conducted in every college or university, the entire student community will be able to achieve their goals and excel in life.

To join the vibrant community, “OSUM @ NIT Trichy”, log on to http://osum.sun.com/group/nitt .

Suggestions and ideas are always welcome…