Letter to prospective Students of Under Graduate and Parents Objective:
A World-View Research Orientation Friendly Environment and Larger Concerns Is IIIT-H right for you?

To Prospective Students and Parents of IIIT, Hyderabad

Jan 2018

Congratulations on your academic achievements and thank you for your interest in IIIT, Hyderabad. IIIT-H is a different institution; I want to briefly explain our core philosophy as you prepare to fill your choices for the Phase II of our admissions.

The primary objective of education at IIIT, Hyderabad is to impart a mature world-view and a long-term vision to the students. These should be about themselves as individuals, about their fields of study, about the society they live in, and about the world in general. We do not merely transmit technical skills or scientific knowledge. Providing skills for a high-profile first job after the course of study is definitely not the institute's objective.

Let me use an example to explain what I mean. Driving a car is a skill. Efficient driving (spending less fuel, reducing wear-and-tear, etc.) needs a deep understanding of the scientific and engineering principles that govern automobiles. While the skill and the knowledge are important, neither will help you choose the right destination for your journey. We want you as a student of IIIT-H to acquire a world-view that helps you choose the destination that is most fulfilling to you, in addition to the skills and scientific understanding.

IIIT, Hyderabad is a research university. It has been rated among top technology schools of the country by different sources, notably as the #3 technology school in India by Dataquest from 2012 onwards. However, we measure our success in terms of the research done at the institute and take pride in the impact we have on the society. Faculty and students at the institute work on several innovative technologies with large potential. These include language translation, speech recognition and synthesis, robotics, data mining, computer vision, VLSI, communications, information security, structural safety, energy-efficient building, computer-aided drug-design, etc. We have several research groups with the most impact in the country.

Research and UG Students:

IIIT-H provides a research option to the BTech students from the very beginning. Those opting for research get a B.Tech (Honours) degree in 4 years, and can opt for an Master of Science degrees in 5 years. We have a flexible and unique curriculum to enable UG research. Our students engage with the subject from the very start in a deep way through courses and projects. Text book knowledge provides you the skills and the scientific knowledge. Research goes beyond the known and gives you a world-view on the subject. UG research is, thus, an integral element of our design. Over a dozen top-class publications emerge from IIIT-H with undergrduate co-authors every year.

The ability to solve unstructured and unseen problems is essential to do well in a fast-changing world of tomorrow. Research exposure gives you the ability to approach problems beyond the ``syllabus'' in a systematic way. Future researchers, product designers, and entrepreneurs, need this to go beyond being mere workers. Students keen to be researchers and product designers should consider our dual-Degree programmes. You will get a B.Tech (Honours) and an Master of Science in about 5 years. And you can take part in high-end research, present papers at top conferences around the world, and rub shoulders with the best in their field, all in the next 5 years!

IIIT-H also has an exciting incubation programme with several promising companies started by our students and alumni. We actively encourage students and faculty taking their technology to the world in the form of products through it. The T-Hub initiative of Telangana governemnt is built on top of the track-record of our incubation activities. The T-Hub will be housed on our campus for its first phase, giving a big fillip to the institute in the coming years.

We have dual degree programmes that link Computer Science with domains like Natural Sciences, Linguistics, and Humanities. Computing is an enabling discipline and can produce great impact when combined with other areas. Facebook is successful because it combines computing strongly with psychology, sociology, and other disciplines to understand how people interact with each other. The new dual-degree programme on Building Science and Engineering comes looks at a building as an integrated entity in which human activity takes place. They should be designed with its whole lifecycle and its inhabitants in mind from the start.

We have an atmosphere at the Institute that promotes extra-curricular activities and deep introspection. We have a highly acclaimed course on Human Values to tempt students to contemplate on their roles in life broadly. It is important to introspect frequently on why we are doing what we are doing. It is important to set high life-goals that are compatible with one's aptitude and attitude. Our true goal is often to impact the society deeply; the immediate concerns about comforts are very minor in comparison. Each of you will have your own ideas about what your own impact should be. We want you to find your own way, without any pressure from outside.

Financial Assistance:

Bank loans are available easilty to those enrolled at IIIT-H. In addition, IIIT-H Special Financial Scheme (ISFAS) is available for very needy students, facilitated by donations from our alumni. This is an example of their concern for the environment that helped build them as professionals.

Start your own introspection today: Is IIIT-H the right institution for you? It is, if you long for a significant impact on the world through technology and other means. Studying at IIIT-H need you to work hard, have a true aptitude in the subject area, and possess the right attitude. If a deep commitment towards creating new ideas is your cup of tea, stride boldly through our portals for an exciting and fruitful journey for the next 4 or 5 years.

P J Narayanan 
Professor & Director

Page last updated on November, 2022