Centre for Modeling and Simulation
Savitribai Phule Pune University All Models Are False, Some Are Useful

CMS in Hindsight: Disha Patil /* 2018 Jul 22, 18:47:16 */

Disha Patil
Disha Patil
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Association with CMS
MTech Programme in Modeling and Simulation

Epoch of Association
2016-2018

Pre-CMS Education, Occupation, Field
B.E. Mechanical Engineering

Post-CMS Education, Occupation, Field
Senior Executive Engineer (Heating division at Thermax Ltd.) (year 2018)

Curricula and teaching programmes

The Mtech programme is very neatly designed to assist anyone looking for a career specifically in computation heavy interdisciplinary fields. It helps to build strong foundation in different areas of mathematics and the hands on, application oriented approach helps the student gain fair knowledge of handling real life modeling problems. Even though it is a two year short term course, you get to learn 4-5 different computer languages depending on your choice of courses, which really prepares you to enter the industry with a confidence to adapt to the rapidly changing technology landscape.


Along with the excellent classroom teaching that they provide you, the centre also gives you a chance at professional development. With special lectures arranged regularly on topics of professional development and hosting regular colloquiums every semester where students get a chance to interact with academics and industrial professionals working in different fields but using modeling and simulation techniques mainly for their work.

Teachers

The culture at CMS is very open and student focused. The mentor-ship you receive from the faculty here will prove to be most enriching experience you will have in your student life. Any new ideas are always welcomed. Students are supported by the entire staff (teaching and non-teaching) present at the department in whatsoever academic initiative students wish to undertake or even if they face any course related issues/difficulties.

The after-lecture contact hours are not just on paper but you can freely enter any faculty room with your doubts at any given time and the doors are always open. On some days Dr. Sukratu Barve has also assisted students as late as 8 pm on the request of the students. Such strong support from the faculty side is rarely seen at any academic institution and it really helps students to smoothly navigate through this vast and heavy coursework which is otherwise not so easy to deal with in a short span of two years.

Dr.Pujari helps to create interest for the subjects with his energetic and innovative ways of teaching in classroom. Although conservative in his teaching methods (need to be ready for lots of assignments - they help immensely!), Dr. Mihir is always open to after class discussions whenever the students need it and he guides you towards good research material in so that you don't get lost in the information storm on internet.

Overall experience

My experience at CMS was very fulfilling academically and else-wise. I got introduced to most exciting topics of mathematics through very engaging lectures and over course of time I gained much more than I aimed for when I began the course. Initially, I came with a narrow focus on CFD and I thought the applied mathematics courses will aid me in just that. Little did I know that I will fall in love with subjects like linear algebra or real analysis, and probability/ statistics. I had huge fear of programming because I had not been actively coding prior to CMS. Although, taking the language courses seriously and investing enough hours at the computer lab made me confident enough to learn new languages. Here I will appreciate the efforts this department has taken in designing (and delivering) the course such that any student completely new to some of these subjects can still pick up the essentials and be independent learner or in case of languages - development confidence for independent coding in due course of time.

During the course I was introduced to open source software and it helped me build the very important skill of working with opensource tools and getting familiar with linux like systems. If someone wants to take a research oriented career path this is one of the basic skills you need and I feel so good that I found an entire community at CMS to help me get started on this.

CMS kept me busy with assignments to be completed and the continuous evaluation tests.It helped that the department was well equipped with resources. A rich library, full access to computer labs, blackboards everywhere, and most important I could get coffee/maggi breaks in house however late it was! Also with the beautiful university campus I could just take a stroll outside if bored and get refreshed.

The time at CMS has taught me that you really need to work hard to get something done. Stick to the problem, keep working at it and slowly you will get to the solution. Its the systematic way of thinking that helps whenever you approach a new problem. What I truly learnt at CMS is - not rushing for the solutions, but understanding the problem itself is most important. A little thinking helps before you start attempting to answer any problem.

This is precisely what sets my learning experience at CMS apart from my previous education.At CMS I learnt to think and not just answer a question.

Impact on career and growth

Before CMS I was completely off-track from what I had planned for my career. Desperate to get back on track and that too in a unique field of mathematical modeling, CMS was a perfect fit for me. It helped me achieve what I wanted and the journey has just began.

Advice for current and future students

Students at CMS: congratulations you have landed at the right place. Trust the curriculum and the professors. Give your 100% to this course. Even if in the beginning you are doubtful as to what have you signed up for, stay there and take help (its always available) and you will get the reward for your efforts.

It is difficult for a new student to understand or fully grasp the "scope" of this course, be assured it will open up new opportunities that you had not previous explored.

Keep your mind open along with your eyes and ears, there is lot to gain from even the everyday interactions at the centre. The systematic way in which this department runs and the discipline of faculty members will not only help you in your academic endeavours but will also prepare you to face the professional world.

It is a two years course and you will feel its a long time, it is not! Try to plan it efficiently, try and the reap maximum benefits from the resources available, trust me at the end of it you won't realise how it all ended.

Which direction should CMS grow in?

I would love to see CMS becomes a widely popular and celebrated institute in the field on modeling and simulation. This course is already unique in this country and I wish it remains the way it is structured currently with only the technology subjects updated from time to time. I really wish the university should provide fellowship to the masters students at the centre, this will encourage more students to opt for this course.

Apart from this, CMS should have a proper outreach programme to increase its visibility and if you could reach to school kids it will help young minds look at maths in different way rather than shying away from it. CMS also has an unique opportunity being a niche institute in applied mathematics to contribute towards gender equality in field of mathematics. Few ways are to have more number of female faculty, consciously inviting more female speakers to your guest lectures and colloquiums. The centre can make a real difference if you could help the school kids to connect with female researchers in this field and I know CMS is associated with wonderful researchers that I was fortunate enough to get to interact with.



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