There are around 3000+ engineering colleges in India today. Engineering now a days is not a specialization that bright people opt for, it has become more or less a default degree for most students. At least in south India most parents think that engineering is the default degree that their kids have to do. So it is not incorrect if I say a majority of Indian higher education students are actually in engineering today.
In these 3000 and odd colleges, we can say at least 20 to 50 colleges are top world class, which can probably compete with the best of the decent colleges across the world. Myself and my friends had an opportunity to visit 10% of these colleges in the past 10 years. We visited we talked to the management, professors and worked with the students in various capacities (it could be one day workshop, one hour seminar or just a meeting).
From all our experience what we have found is that around (10 – 20)% of the students in these colleges that is approximately 400 students per college (consider all four years) are extremely bright students, we don’t have to worry about them. From the remaining students, around 60% study engineering just because their parents demanded them to study, or their friends are trying for it, or get some degree which will get a job.
The remaining 20% of students who really are capable of doing a lot, joined engineering because they had lots of dreams and aspirations. These are getting confused by the time they left the college. They are loosing all that inspiration, enthusiasm by the end of the last year. Let us not worry too much about the reasons, I am not doing this to criticize any one here. Whatever reasons, the system is successfully deskilling these 20% who have lot of potential, who could be excellent engineers.
In campus interview a large IT major comes and hire’s them along with the bottom 50 or 60% they continue do routine jobs. So, ~1.2 million (400*3000) students who are highly capable are constantly being deskilled and becoming into mere programmers or job doers.
I along with my colleagues started BEyond to help these students to achieve their potential. If you are really keen enthusiastic about becoming a very good engineer, there are many things this site can offer you. Our backgrounds and pictures are given in Authors page. Our vision is what you hear in the lectures.
We think that there are three different ways in which we can help you. One is Essential Skills Toolkit. The Essential Skills Toolkit helps engineers to look at an immensely complex problem and come up with a very intuitive intelligent work around or Come up with a trick to break it or come up with a cleaver solution to conquer the problem.
That ability to identify workable solutions to extremely complex problems is what keeps the field and you exciting. It is not difficult it is just that cleverness. you will say God! why dint I think of it before, it is so simple :-). It’s that kind of Essential Skills that you have to find whether you are taking a course or you are doing a job. Unfortunately throughout our educational system (not in engineering anywhere) that is last.
The enthusiasm of engineering is what I found immensely in Carnegie Mellon University. On the first day I felt, ‘man this how I have to think’, the expression came to me was ‘Wow! it’s so cool‘. I want you guys to feel like that. Curiosity, enthusiasm, excitement are the first steps, mastery of the subject comes later. This site strives really hard to get you that enthusiasm. In Essential Skills Toolkit we only focus on that.
In the second section we want to introduce you to the latest and the greatest new disciplines and inter disciplinary areas, that are so exciting to work with. Some examples are: Machine Learning, solving energy crises, creating a new hardware that can store petabyte of information in laptop, create a medicine that actually intelligently figures what composition of it should excrete into the human body so that disease of that person goes down, etc..
The third one is about building a career in these areas. An engineer has to constantly sell himself or herself. How best do you communicate yourself? How best do you position yourself to people who matter? How do you build a very good career? How do you get an admission in top university in the US or UK or Australia? etc..
Realizing your dream is at least three parts:
- Enjoying, exciting and getting enthusiastic about it
- Learning more about what are all the things that you can do
- Position yourself to those things really well
BEyond tries to serve you all these three.
As time goes we might add more subsections more modules but the goal remains the same to help this 20% of the engineering students. So by definition we will not be very formal (there won’t be homework, there won’t be examinations, corrections etc.). Occasionally we might ask you a question or we might give a notes or we might conduct a test..… we don’t know what we will do.
But majority is going to be informal. Come here sit relax and enjoy, get excited, get inspired and move on. So that is the tone and at this point are in the fore seeable future we want to keep it all free. We will not be charging any money from you for attending any of these lectures. So as far as videos are concerned we don’t have any plans of adding any tuition fee to that. So feel free any one should be able to see it. All you should need is internet connection with audio listening facility and video viewing facility. 🙂 Enjoy.