Last 6 months, there has been a lot of request to me to share JEST and IMSc Experiences coz somehow I got AIR 1 in 2012 (publicizing at the beginning itself 😛 ). Ok, here it goes…

Firstly, I would say, not many person from Engineering background know the exam called JEST, which happens just a week after the GATE exam, i.e. 3Rd Sunday of February. Well, I would say, those who are interested in Theoretical Computer Science should appear for this exam, coz IMSc is a very good Institute, so is CMI. And many professors in the Theoretical Computer Science Department in IITs are actually PhD from IMSc/IISc. Yes, you can get into IISc CSA M.Sc also through JEST (cutoff is little high though).

I would first tell about the exam – the structure of the examination is discussed in JEST FAQ page and also HERE. You should have a good knowledge about Discrete Mathematics, Algorithms and Automata Theory because almost all the questions will be from these areas. As one of my friend Saptarshi, currently at IITB, once suggested; and I would also say the same that do not waste much of your time in the first part of the exam, i.e. MCQs, coz it’ll only help you to clear the cutoff. But if you don’t do good in 2nd Part (subjective), there is pretty less chance for getting call for final Interview.

About the questions, I would say – The best question set I faced, so far. Questions were so interesting that you will feel good while solving (unlike most of the GATE questions, which happen to be very easy), and if you can solve them, you will feel great! But I bet, if you like Theoretical Computer Science, you would definitely enjoy the 3 Hrs of your examination. Second part, i.e.subjective part of the examination is an open arena to show off your talent, literally. You can make choice about the questions you want to solve and then dig into those! And there are Bonus Marks, if you can solve in better way / give alternate explanations! So far my performance is concerned, I answered good number of questions in the first part and in the second part, I mostly attempted questions regarding Algorithms and shoot for all the bonus marks. I was not able to solve all the discrete mathematics questions which I attempted; but tried to give some argument about possible approaches to solve those problems. And I guess, it worked!

First part questions will not be as easy as GATE, but will test your basics for sure! As I already mentioned, questions will be mostly from Discrete Mathematics, Algorithm and Formal Languages & Automata Theory. Second part, so far I remember, questions came from Number Theory, Recurrence Relations, questions related to Fibonacci Number, Combinatorics (that was hard!), questions related to order statistics, design of algorithm for a given problem and proof of correctness for that (highest weightage problem) etc.

It was a really good experience, I should say once again. Anyway, after the results are out, I got direct admission at CMI and got Interview call at IMSc and IISc.

IMSc is a very nice place, a peaceful, wonderful place to study & research– this was my first impression when I reached IMSc. About the interview, again, it is as organized and as wonderful as the JEST Exam. So far I remember, there were 8-9 professors in the interview panel and all are very helping. If you are scared/nervous, they will make you feel better. A typical interview lasts for 45 minutes approximately. They won’t ask much questions, but the questions will be asked in Depth First order based on the answers you are giving. There will be a lot of board work and they will give hints if you are stuck at any point of time. I believe they try to see whether you are able to proceed after the hint is given; which is actually true for ANY interview, that you face in IITs.

Anyway, I’ll stop at this point. You can always ask me questions that you have. 🙂


This is a sequel of THIS post!

Do you know how does it feel when a person sees the ray of light through the horizon of hope after a long period of surviving inside a box of idiosyncrasy, a box of ill feeling and frustration?

It may be an exaggeration, but at least, I would like to think in that way; or rather, it indeed was in that way.

I really felt good, I don’t know how to express, but it was really a very good beginning of a journey at IIT Madras. The 2.5 km² wide campus, greenery in whatever the direction you can see, the home of endanger species like Blackbuck, hundreds of deers (Chitals), I bet, will make your stay pleasant. You can cycle down the campus, you can run, or simple walk, alone or with your friends – it’s a never-boring experience. I won’t complain against mess food; you have other options too. You can also cycle down to Besant Nagar beach with your friends, a nearby place for a weekend hangout.

After completion of first two weeks, you won’t get much time; coz, then you will start realizing that weekends are meant for completing the assignments/tutorials. Actually, it depends on your guide and the courses you have taken. For me, it was a packed schedule with lots of frustration! But, yea, here, you will be paid for the effort you put. And it’s fascinating. And time does not pass by quickly. A 3-day back event seems like happened couple of weeks back. This is a kind of feeling, I enjoy – as it tells me that time is not wasted. The campus is pretty much eventful. If you feel you have lots of time and you have nothing to do (I wonder who feel that way here); you can always participate in events of your choice! Also I bet, you will feel bad about the fact that you didn’t do B. Tech from IIT. Yea, I feel that the events are somewhat B.Tech – centric; mostly because Masters guys feel that they are too matured to participate! I donno what fact on earth made them feel so. I had to participate – felt the urge inside, so teamed up with some B. Tech guy! 😛

Anyway, the very first semester at IIT went rather well. I have chosen Computer Vision as my area of research and will talk about it in coming days. 🙂


Red pill or Blue pill, choice is yours…

A long gap does not make a blogger inactive, but may be the time for it got dynamically warped. 😉

So, I finally choose and joined IIT Madras as a Research Scholar in Computer Science. Technically speaking the programme is called MS. It’s not that different from M.Tech and here you need to perform thesis work and you will be closely working with your guide(s) in your research area. Yes, it’s not a course programme, it’s a research programme. And at IIT Madras, the structure for MS is very flexible, which I liked. You can take as many courses as you want (minimum 5 – 3 core, 2 elective) and you can take the courses from different departments as per your requirements (or, as your guide suggests). I mostly met professors from Computer Science Department and they are very helpful. They will guide you through the procedure and about the researches & developments that are going on in respective areas. You may feel confused in choosing your area; but no one probably can help but you.

This post is mostly for helping those who will be joining IIT Madras in future.

Well, I arrived 2 days before orientation programme. They provided some temporary accommodation for Rs. 150/- which includes lodging and mess charge. And then next day hostel rooms got allocated for all the freshies and CCW (read, Hostel Management Office) put the list in front of their building. They followed alphabetical ordering for hostel room allocations. For boys, every PG student gets a single room, and for girls, it depends. For what to get and what not to get from your home, you may refer to What and What Not to Get from home document.

For hostel rules and regulations, follow Rules & Regulations.

Actually, if anyone has any question, you can put it as comment, and I’ll try to answer.

Anyway, for MS students in Computer Science, after orientation programme, you will be asked to choose your guide for research. You, first, need to give your preferred area, and based on that, HoD will provide you with list of professors with whom you should meet and discuss about possible research topics. A gentle advice – a good first hand impression can help you if there is a contention.

Now that all the initial formalities are completed, the class will commence – and it’s all together a separate experience. 🙂

Follow up the experiences HERE, if you are not bored yet! 🙂


Followed from IITK Experience.

If you wanna have a fresh start, you can jump to the FIRST post of this weblog!

Anyway, after IIT Kanpur, it was time for IIT Kharagpur and I must say, IIT Kharagpur is the most helpful institute if you face problem regarding schedules. In the application form, they had a range of 8 days, among which you can choose your preferable date for interview. And if you ever get “date-collision” with interview-dates at some other IITs or your semester exam or anything like that, they will change the date for you, even more than once, if you request them.

IIT Kharagpur has the largest campus among all the IITs and it’s full of greeneries. They took interview in two sessions and each session began with verifying original documents. Procedure was parallel and hence, efficient. 😉 And, while waiting for my turn in the interview, they served biscuits and cold drinks and told us that everything would be cool, “no need to take tension”! Wao!! Interview panel for me was very small – only two professors were there. They asked for my introduction and then my favorite subjects. I told them DS and Algorithm. They asked for more. I said “Autoamata Theory”. They asked for more again. I said “Discrete Mathematics”. They looked at me in a way that they never heard of these subjects before! And finally after a moment of silence, they started asking me question from Network Security and I/O & signal. Questions were like difference between SNAT & DNAT, Proxy Firewall configuration etc. And I tried to answer them, but it didn’t go well. And I seriously regret for not preparing any of the subjects from Systems for interview. By default, I thought, one would be asked question from DS/Algorithm. KGP was the exception! After all, wind of change is blowing over the sky of West Bengal!

I have some objections regarding IIT Delhi Interview call and final selection. But not now, may be some other day! Campus was not that big. I reached there at around 11 in the night coz my flight got cancelled and the security personnel arranged my stay in care taker cum security guard’s room! What a fascinating experience it was! A room without any lockable door with a couple of cots.  Light isn’t working, you have to use your cell; but God is gracious – the fan above the cot at least rotates, whatever be the speed is! But still the night went sleepless coz the mosquitoes over there had a feast!

Anyway, next day, interview began sharply at 10 am and it consisted of 5 panels. Less the number of panel, merrier you will be, trust me! My panel consisted of two professors and interview last for around 20 minutes. They asked me my favorite subjects after a couple of HR questions. Questions were –

  1. Define B tree and B+ tree. What’s the necessity? How does the search happen? Write the pseudo code and the recurrence relation.
  2. Design an algorithm for a problem that one of them framed. It was related to graph theory. And then they asked me to find the computational complexity of the algorithm that I suggested.
  3. Question regarding Pumping Lemma for regular languages.

One thing for sure that, if you were not asked any algorithm question anywhere else, you would be asked at IIT Delhi for sure!


Followed Up from Exp@IITM

IIT Kanpur Selection procedure was on 7-8 May. I liked the IITK Campus very much. It is beautiful, full of peacocks. The two days I were@IITK, I used to wake up early in the morning to see a peacock fanning its tail while I brush my teeth. 😛 Accommodation provided by IITK was best among all IITs, I visited.

On 7th morning, they conducted a written mcq based test, which lasted for 2.5 hours.

Written Test:

Each question carried 3 marks, a wrong answer fetched -1 marks. There were a total of 50 questions from ENTIRE GATE Syllabus except Software Engineering and Web Technologies with a lot of emphasis on Discrete Mathematics (Almost 50%)

Some questions:

  1. N mod 10 = 9, N mod 9 = 8, … , N mod 2 = 1; What’s   N?
  2. A couple of arrangement questions
  3. Some graph theory questions
  4. Mathematical Logic based questions
  5. Find output of given C Programs
  6. Time complexity related questions
  7. One question from sorting
  8. Questions from Automata Theory (Ranging from Type3 to Type 0 grammar)
  9. Question from Lexical Analyzer, Ambiguity, LR/LALR Parsing
  10. Data Flow, Sliding Window, TCP/IP, Congestion Control related problems
  11. Questions from Concurrency Control, Normalization
  12. Pipeline, Cache related problems

They selected approx 87 people for interview, out of which around 37 people were from reserved category.

They provided time slots for interview which kept on getting changed.

During the interview, they asked one question from counting and recurrence relation and another question from algorithm. A typical interview, here, took approx 30-35 minutes and you need to a lot of work in the board. It seemed to me that they didn’t like the fact that I’m currently in an IT organization. I guess my panel would have liked fresh bloods! 😀

Move ahead and see what happened at IIT Kharagpur and at IIT Delhi.


Followed from HERE.

IIT Madras interview experience was pretty good for me.

If I am not wrong, in the brochure, it was mentioned that selection procedure will take place in mid of May. But I really donno why they were in hurry and finally they fixed 26-27 April for the entire procedure.

I reached IITM Campus at around 10 PM on 24th. We were to report at CCW for accommodation. This particular experience was really bad for me. Rooms provided on double-sharing basis an those were not cleaned at all. Anyway, next day we were to report at Computer Science Department at 8 AM. Written Exam commenced at 9 AM.

Written Exam:

Part 1:

All Compulsory, MCQ and Fill in the blanks type, Questions from quants, C, DS, COA

Total Questions: 10-12 (approximately) Time: 30 Minutes (iirc)

Not All questions had negative markings.

Some questions:

  1. Search element in Linked List
  2. What will be printed  by following statement : printf(“%d”,scanf(“%d”,&n))
  3. Basic Boolean Arithmetic
  4. Quantitative  questions from time and distance, percentage calculation, proportion and ratio and simple counting

Part 2:

Subjective Type, Questions from Algorithm, Programming, Discrete Maths, Digital and Computer Organization

There were total 8 equal marks questions, out of which you needed to attempt only 5. Time: 1hr 15 Minutes.

Some Questions:

  1. Question from Discrete Math, don’t remember exactly
  2. Proof of a Fibonacci identity
  3. Find time complexity of a recurrence relation
  4. Prove that in a group of 6 people, there are at least three mutual friends or three mutual strangers.
  5. An algorithm question to write a pseudo code (easy  array operations)
  6. Question regarding designing of sequential circuit
  7. Question regarding calculation of memory access time (Calculators were not allowed)
  8. Don’t remember

They selected approx 70-80 people for interview. Results were declared around 2:30 PM

After document verification, interview started at around 3 PM.

Interview Experience:

Panel was huge and that’s what I liked. They kept faculty with expertise in every possible area you say as your choice.

Choices were DS, Algorithm, Automata, Compiler, OS, DBMS, Networking, CO etc and they asked to choose one.

I chose both DS and Algorithm saying that they go hand in hand 😉

First Question: Polynomial Evaluation and recurrence relation solving regarding that

Second Question: Linked List and Array Implementation of Stack and Queue, pros and cons

They asked a lot of HR questions too.

They didn’t ask me about any projects. But at some point of time during the interview, panel was silent for some unknown reason!! And I felt uncomfortable and to break the silence, I spoke about my projects and papers and they let me speak.

So, that’s how it came to an end.

The campus is really big, but bus service is frequent. You will find a lot of deers roaming here and there. But the weather was very hot and humid. Apart from mess food, you can find some food zone and food quality is not that bad. 🙂

Check out my experience @IIT Kanpur 🙂


Followed from THIS

So, IIT Interview Experiences!  It starts with planning, coz train tickets, these days, are unavailable from day 1 and flight fare increases at alarming rate at last moment! But what happened to me was, I spent all my time in planning only (And it happens to most of us, inferred from other blogs!).

Generally a common query comes into the picture. What should I prepare for Interviews!

Well, generally (not necessarily) the panel would ask you one or two of your favorite subjects and will grill you in that area. So, prepare two subjects well and have another subject as backup, if you want. Revise your gate syllabus once before the interview race commences which would suffice the “basic needs”.  😛

I’ll briefly sum up my interview experiences @IIT Madras (MS), IIT Kanpur, IIT Kharagpur and IIT Delhi in my next posts. And yea, you have to have a “India tour “ if you don’t rank in single/double digits and you can’t simply apply TSP there.

I prepared Data Structure, Algorithm and Automata Theory as my preferred subjects and my experience suggests that it’s better to have at least one subject from systems as well! Why? You will find by yourself when you visit my experience@ IIT KGP.

Follow what happened @IIT Madras HERE.