Outstanding Chapter Activity 2009-2010

ACM Student Chapter, IIT Delhi

ACM Student Chapter, IIT Delhi
URL of the chapter:  http://www.cse.iitd.ac.in/~acm

Faculty Sponsor : Dr. M. Balakrishnan

Chairman : Rahul Gupta
Vice Chairman : Ankit Rawat 
Financial Secretary : Nishita Agarwal
Editorial Team :
Chief Editor : Abhishek Banerjee
Associate editors: Nitin Aggarwal  & Savin Goyal
Technical Team :
Team Heads: MD Tanveer Alam& Mustafa Hussain
Team Associates: Akash Khandelwal & Aakash Bhardwaj
Events & Publicity :
Team Heads: Vishal Narula 
Team Associates: G Avinash

Description of the Chapter:

The IIT Delhi Student Chapter of the ACM was established in 2002 to address the needs of the IIT Delhi computing community. Goal of the chapter is to create interest among the students for computer science apart from what they learn during the course work. The chapter organizes talks and workshops on different subjects by speakers who are well known in their area. These talks give students opportunities to learn about advanced research subjects.The newsletter, tech fests, online and offline competitions conducted throughout the year give the students an immense number of opportunities to showcase his talent and to keep the fire of interest burning in him. We strive to make the chapter a platform for reaching out to the students in particular and society at large towards advancing computing as science and profession - the vision of the ACM organization.

Description of the School:

Established in the year 1961, IIT Delhi is one among the seven IITs offering teachings and instructions in engineering and applied sciences at a level that is comparable to the very best ones in the world. IIT Delhi is a dream institution of every aspiring engineer in this part of the world. It is a center of excellence in providing higher training, research and development in engineering, science and technology in the country. The growth of the Indian economy and the consequent awards being paid to entrepreneurship has provided a big boost to the students of IIT Delhi. This institution has emerged as a favorite hunting ground for the best of the talents in the field of engineering.

The primary objectives which IIT Delhi strives to fulfill include 

  • Providing best facilities to students in postgraduate studies and research 

  • Providing instruction in engineering as well as applied sciences 

  • Developing programs for faculty development of its staff and for teachers from other engineering institutions 

  • Preparing continuing education programs

  • Developing instructional resource material in the conventional way and also with the help of latest audiovisual aids

  • Students opting for Computer Science and affiliated branches:

On an average, per year the numbers of students who major in the field of Computer Science are:

 B.Techs in Comp. Sc. and Engg. - 40
 M.Techs in Comp. Sc. and Engg. - 50
 Dual Degree ( B.Tech + M.Tech ) in Comp. Sc. and Engg. -- 20
 PH.D Computer Science -- 40

Outstanding Chapter Activities

Indian Institute Of Technology, Delhi is one of the most eminent technical universities in India. The Computer Science department is especially known for its illustrious faculty and the cutting edge research. A crowning glory to our department is the ACM Student chapter which is highly active and has been tasked for carrying out cultural and technical interactions amongst the students and faculty. Most students were simply content with the humdrum of their coursework, with extracurricular and professional development activities taking a backseat. We decided to use the ACM Student Chapter as an instrument towards inculcating a spirit of ‘learning with fun’ among students. We realized that the students just needed a push in the right direction, and we were prepared to make the Chapter a platform that provided just that. With a vision of filling the void in students’ life and to serve as a bridge between the traditional education and the cultural and social aspects, we set out to expand the group’s activities.

Changes in the structure and membership of the team

In order to bring new energy and dynamism to the organization, freshmen were not only included in the team but were also assigned pivotal roles in the Chapter. They worked in symbiosis with the more experienced members besides facilitating interaction with students from all realms. The current team of the ACM student chapter boasts of an army of 10 final or penultimate year students in conjunction with 30 freshmen. This makes us, both in terms of members and activities, the biggest student chapter in the whole of India and we actively collaborate with other ACM chapters for innovative workshops and interactive events. Some of the events which we have put our heart and soul into are :

1. Online Examination archive :

  • We identified a need of the student community which had long been ignored – a collection of test papers from the previous years for all courses offered at our institute in a digitized form. Given the size of the department and the number of courses offered, this was no doubt a daunting task. However, with the help of a dedicated and committed team, we achieved this within a period of fifteen days. Helping our fellow students, while at the same time promoting our organization was in itself motivation as well as the reward

  • Faculty Comments: “Congratulations. This is a great effort. I really appreciate it.”

                             “Great initiative. Nicely produced, well done”

  • Duration:  17 August, 2009 - 2 September, 2009

  • URL: http://www.cse.iitd.ac.in/~acm/exam_archives/

2. The Mega Tech Fest -- Zero Hour

In January this year, we organized a three day flagship event,” Zero Hour - where it all begins" - and it did begin with an élan. The first mega event of ACM@IITD generated unprecedented euphoria amongst computer science majors and non-computer science majors equally alike. As the first technical event of the spring semester in the whole of campus, the students showed great enthusiasm, fresh from the recently concluded winter break. Be it the online coding competition or the puzzle competition, the participation was way above the estimates. The outcome of our efforts was indeed heartening.

3.  Logo Design

 To project its new identity and integrate the chapter with the student community, entries for the new logo of the student chapter were invited. True to the image of IIT- Delhi, we received some memorable logos with wonderful messages underlying them. The winning accolades went to a a logo which was an ambigram- conceptualizing the geeky amalgamation of ACM and IITD, which when viewed horizontally represented the symbol of ACM ,while the normal view held the words IITD. This also exposed some of the latent talents of our department whom we rewarded magnanimously

URL: http://www.cse.iitd.ac.in/~acm/index.php/logo-challenge

4. Screening documentaries

  • In the present age where reality shows are hogging the limelight, we deemed the American comedy drama film Truman's Show to be perfect to be screened for the students. It provided all the students a good relief from their coursework besides getting to enjoy some entertaining moments.
  •  Name of movie: Truman's Show
  •  Participation: 50 people

5. Department Newsletter

One of the innovative steps, taken by the Chapter, was the department newsletter. It covers all the major department activities, and is distributed both in electronic and printed format. Ranging from faculty interviews to personality profiles and from student publications to the fun section, the newsletter serves the need of each and very group of the computing community. The best thing about this being that the entire publication, from editing right till printing, the work is done by the ACM team.

URL: http://www.cse.iitd.ac.in/~acm/index.php/cse-newsletter

6. Talk by IBM Eclipse

  • A short introduction on Eclipse as an IDE and plug-in development environment was conducted. The workshop focused on teaching the development of plug-in in Eclipse. Besides this hands on session on RCP application development was organized which served as the USP of the entire workshop.
  • Date: Thursday, February 25, 2010
  • Student participation: 28
  • URL: http://www.cse.iitd.ac.in/~acm/index.php/eclipse-rcp-development

7. Talk by NULL

  • The talk focused on Computer Security. The event witnesses participation by various government officials and freelancers.
  • The Agenda for the meet was:
    • Failure in implementing of mitigation technologies
    • Secure the online business
  • Date: 27th March 2010
  • Participation: 35
  • Event URL: http://null.co.in/2010/03/25/null-delhi-meet-on-27th-march-2010/

8. Talk by students themselves

  • The ACM Student chapter endeavors to recognize students who had developed an expertise over a field so much so that they can lead and educate others. One such talk on hacking stands as a testimony to that. A brief flavor of network based phreaking, ranging from local network to the whole internet was provided to the huge crowd of students, especially the freshmen.
  • Date: January 9, 2010
  • Students: 120
  • Event URL: http://www.cse.iitd.ac.in/~acm/index.php/tech-talks
  •                 http://picasaweb.google.com/acm.iitd/ZeroHour

9. Talk by Infobuzz

  • How could the seniors be left unsatisfied when the juniors are getting to learn about hacking? Sensing this sentiment, we worked out a workshop in collaboration with a leading firm Infobuzz. Topics like Firewalls, ARP Poisoning, DNS, Domains, whois,  robtex, nslookup, MX records, SQL injection etc. were dealt in detail along with their practical implementation.
  • Date: January 9, 2010
  • Students: 65
  • Event URL: http://www.cse.iitd.ac.in/~acm/index.php/tech-talks

10. UNICEF activity

  •  We collaborated with the UNICEF India to enable them share their repository of knowledge more widely. With the sole purpose of uniting the world's computing educators, researchers and professionals behind its establishment, the ACM chapter at IIT-Delhi was just the right platform. The chapter coordinated with Sohini Roychowdhury, the communication officer of the UNICEF India and chalked out a way on how to go about doing this. This idea concurred well with our cherished ideal of rallying student community for a stand, of creating self-sustaining communities of people who care about these issues and who are willing to spread the world.
  • All of us, despite having much dissimilarity couldn't disagree on the possible impact which "Web2.0" technologies can have on our mission. It was indeed wonderful and exciting to think of the social networking sites such as Orkut, Facebook, MySpace etc as an integrating force.
  • We came up with various innovative ideas of using online channels to proactively reach out to people, individuals to spread the word on the problems faced by children and some of the possible solutions.

11. Mentorship program

An idea which emanated from a first year student member of the chapter but which made our experience worthwhile was Mentorship program for the weak students. With due help from our faculty, we figured out the students who were not able to perform their best due to a multitude of reasons. The ACM team, which had expanded to a whopping 40 members by this time, was ready for the challenge and creating a mentorship cell wasn't such a Herculean task now. The members had acquired the spirit and the willingness of executing plans on their own.

12. Website update:

We understood the importance of the website, as the first impression of the Student Chapter. Consequently, a technical team was assigned to look after all the aspects, in terms of content, functionality and design. The team comprised of team heads and team associates, which enabled proper division of work.

URL: www.cse.iitd.ac.in/~acm

13. Intercollege-n-Intersociety reach: Mention about IIIT, LUG IITD, NULL Chapter, IEEE

  • The ACM chapter has been endeavoring to establish strong connections with societies, both within and outside the institute. This ensured a higher participation in the organized events as well as increasing the outreach of the Chapter, within the institute. It has been organizing events jointly with
    •  Linux User Group, IIT Delhi In the Open Source Community http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=261662542232&ref=mf
    • Null Delhi Chapter in the field of Computer Security  http://null.co.in/2010/03/25/null-delhi-meet-on-27th-march-2010/
  • We are in the process of integrating and collaborating with the following chapters too.
14. Interaction with other chapters and increasing the chapter outreach.
  •  The team members visited the ACM India Launch Event in Bangalore, to increase the interaction and leverage our networks with leading student and professional chapters in India. We were accompanied by Prof. M. Balakrishnan, who was a part of the ACM India Council. 
  • In the introduction address, Professor Dame Wendy Hall, FRS. President, ACM and Dr. John White, CEO, ACM spoke about the spread of ACM around the globe and their objectives and goals for ACM India.  This was followed by an enlightening Panel Discussion on “The Future of Computing and Computer Science”.
  • It was a fantastic event featuring many Turing Awardees. Taking cue from the event, we had organized Puzzle Competition at IIT Delhi, and that increased the participation in ACM activities manifold.
  • URL: http://compute.acmbangalore.org/acmindia/

15. Online Programming

  • In order to test the mettle of students in the arena of programming and problem solving, we conducted an online programming competition powered by codechef. The competition was conducted in two phases. The first round or the Qualifier round served to screen the huge number of participants.
  • People who could successfully finish the Qualifier round moved to the next and final round.
  • Date: January 12, 2010
  • Participation: 48
  • Event URL: http://www.cse.iitd.ac.in/~acm/index.php/online-coding-competition

16. Thesis Writing

  • The ACM chapter realized that presenting a work (as a research paper or in seminar) is as important as doing a good work.Besides organizing and presenting the ideas and thoughts, it is imperative to write them down clearly and effectively. With this in mind, we organized a technical writing workshop.
  • Date: Jan 9 & Jan 11, 2010
  • Participation: 34
  • Event URL : http://www.cse.iitd.ac.in/~acm/index.php/thesis-writing-workshop

17. Workshop by LUG

  • This workshop was focused on the use of Free and Open Source Software, by the Linux User Group, IIT Delhi [http://www.lug-iitd.org/]. The presenters were among some of the finest people in the open source community.
  • Date:   Sunday, January 10, 2010
  • Participation: 35

18. Puzzle Challenge

  •  With a goal of uniting the students of all the departments and raking their gray cells, a puzzle competition was held. The student participation was enormous and we had to get around 100 more copies of the examination paper. This event was a big success.
  • Date: January 9, 2010
  • Participation: 85
  • Event URL: http://www.cse.iitd.ernet.in/~acm/index.php/logic-puzzle-challenge

19. Codechef Talk

  • A talk pondering over how the biggest systems on the Internet today deal with Petabyte of data spread across multiple continents, was conducted by Codechef under the aegis of ACM Student chapter. The secrets behind the extremely low downtimes and response times were unplugged. The talk helped the students fathom the concepts behind the technology which led to this unprecedented growth in scale.
  • Date: January 10, 2010
  • Participation: 27

Planned activities

Some of the activities which are in the pipeline include the  Industry Interaction Week where Software giants like Google, Oracle, Netapps are being contacted for taking part in the week meant to help understand the inner dynamics of the big companies in a fun-filled yet informative way.

Every one teach one program - ACM chapter members are being actively encouraged to take part in remedial teaching program for the primary school children at the IIT-Delhi's government school. We seek to take part in the activities conducted by an NGO Vidya which attempts to make learning a fun activity for the students. We have planned to use tangrams, puzzles, models etc to teach mathematics and other rudimentary subjects to the underprivileged students.

Emergency Handling: Due training is to be provided to the students for handling certain natural catastrophes like earthquake, fires etc. We intend to conduct a three day workshop stressing the ways in which these situations can be best handled. Plan to work with National Social Scheme (NSS) wing of IIT Delhi.

With increased student participation, one could sense the level of involvement as well as enjoyment increase as well. Dreary old computer rooms were transformed into laboratories where fresh ideas were churned at the drop of a hat. Students learned to challenge themselves and explore the world beyond the realms of their textbooks. 

Our rendezvous with the ACM student chapter has made the team realize how important it is to have a well defined vision and a strategy to execute that. We have learnt that the best way to get results from people is not by ordering them but motivating them. Motivation is like a river which if directed wrongly can cause floods and wreak devastation. Tamed properly, it can serve as the powerhouse of innovation and can help a man scale unprecedented heights.

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