Gang of 6...

This blog belongs to 6 ex COE students of NSIT... Though, now, we are all in separate places, studying or working, we hope to remain in touch with each other lest we forget the great time we had back in college. This blog is an attempt to achieve the same. Here's to us...!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

La vita italiana...

Sorry to keep you hanging so long for the episode of my novella :) So, let me see, where did I stop last time…well, quite a few things have happened since Christmas and New Years, so I’ll just stick to some interesting incidents. So, classes at Politecnico began on the 8th of January, which is when I finally broke my routine of getting up really late and sitting all day in the Computer room at Torrescalla. Not that much changed – I shifted base to Professor Gini’s office and downloaded music all day instead. That continued for most of January; while I kept reading papers and thinking of project ideas, there was not much actual progress, since the robots themselves were missing. And the project itself depends a lot on the capabilities of the robots etc. Anyway, now finally the robot which I would be working on has been identified – it is a Sony AIBO(the robot dog you saw a picture of in my album), which actually belongs to the brother of a student here, Paulo Belluco. He is also working under Prof. Gini, and she convinced him to let me work with it, under his supervision. From now on, until the end of my stay, I would be working at the AI&R lab with the AIBO, where he also generally works all day on his thesis. He is a nice guy, and I usually have lunch(a pizza slice, a sandwich etc) with him – in fact, he is supplying more material for my project than the Politecnico(he also got his WiFi access point for me to use with the AIBO). However, inspite of all this help, I doubt that I’ll be able to complete anything substantial before I have to leave…now that I have begun looking at the nitty-gritties of it, I realise that it is actually quite complicated(WLAN configuration, Cygwin environments, scripting languages, event-driven programming…how the hell am I supposed to figure out all these things in 4 weeks?!)

What else… the people here have a strange academic schedule – they have exams in February and March, with the holidays in December and January soot of like an extended study break. For me, that basically means that everybody I know is too busy to spend much time with me, like going for tours and the like. So, now I have decided to go visiting Italy (at least the places close to Milan) by myself. Last Sunday, I went to Verona – the city where the Shakespearean play “Romeo and Juliet” is set. It was quite a nice place, with the old city small enough for me to explore walking all day. Apart from the inevitable medieval-time churches(and attached collections of frescoes and murals), I also visited ‘Casa di Giulietta’, the House of Juliet, which supposedly was the Capulet(Juliet’s family) residence, Castelvecchio, the old castle with a very well-maintained gallery.This Sunday I plan to go to Mantua, another city close to Milan which apparently has lots of interesting churches and the like(like every place of any note in Italy:).

Ok, now I recall that I haven’t told you much about the place where I am staying. Torrescalla is a student residence, with around 55 residents this year. While most of these live in rooms at the main centre – which you saw photographs of – some of them(like me) live in flats nearby. But all are provided the same facilities: computer and study rooms, breakfast and dinner at the centre, lunch as well on weekends. From time to time, special activities are organised for the students, such as talks by professionals, and trips to nearby places(like the one to Piani dei Resinelli that I posted photographs of). Since Milan has several prominent universities, students from all over Italy come to Milan for studies, and many live in student residences like this. Giovanni also stays here(which is how I landed my place here)- though he is no longer a student, and works in Turin, a city 2-3 hours away from Milan during the week.

There hasn’t been much activity regarding the MS applications I submitted. I had received a call from a professor at the University of Toronto, a member of the Admissions Committee. where he went through my application for an MSc in CS there – ‘So ‘Johnson’ is your middle name?….Do you have anything to say about the 53 in Electromagnetics and 57 in Electronics 1?’ and so on. I think it went quite well overall, since he ended up describing Toronto as a great alternative to the other places that I told him I had applied to.

Hmmmmm, I can’t think of other things to talk about Milan. Of news from India, I have been kept somewhat up-to-date about Danish, Madhav and Abhinav. What is everyone else up to? Why isn’t anyone posting blogs about their adventures in Delhi, even if they just be about the BTP/weather/Aricent training/mindless-gaping-at-the-PC?

By the way, since I am one of the editors of the college magazine (iNSITe) this year, I would like to request some articles from you guys. I have looked through the stuff that we have already and most of it is unusable (to put it nicely:) So, please feel free…er...obliged to write down your thoughts about Class-based reservation, the Re-Interpretation of Dreams, Sachin Tendulkar – time to put him in the Hall of Fame?(and out of the Indian Cricket team?), Inventions you would like to see made, Explanations for India’s obsession with Super-Power-dom, Comments on latest technology gadgets like the Jerry Han multi-touch screen(have you seen the video yet?), Arguments against/(for) copyright protection….and whatever else grabs your fancy. Please guys, I know you have things to say – how about helping me (and the average NSITian reader) out by noting down your ideas? Plus, I promise Swiss chocolates for all contributors :D

Anyway, I have to go now…remember: WRITE!

3 comments:

Bertie said...

hmmm.. rather lengthy.. wsnt it?? taking over my job, are you?? well, atlst you aren't writing maningless drivel..(such as this piece as well)...

nyways, from what i could gather, you have basically been having complete masti since the day you landed there, eh?? trips, christmas feasts, free downloads, great accomodation et al.. btw, you getting the promised 600 euros each month??

and 4 weeks me kaam karne ka tension??? Let me quote you, "This too shall pass!".. ;-)

going to all those shakespear-ian places, and enjoying it too, hmmm.. just got one word for it... : TYPICAl!!

well, b4 i do leave, uhmm.. just send a scan of your signature, and ur id if u want.. or atlest an authority letter certifying that i can register for you/claom scholarship for you.. The register thing, just in case somebody like anubha/shampa is incharge of it that day, and knows me/you.

What else?? uh.. chaddo.. will write it in a post by myslef.. had a pretty nice jaipur trip.. rst later...

TheMadHatter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TheMadHatter said...

Chocolates? Make it French Wine and you have a deal... :P