Author: srikanth

Adiabatic steps

Constraint is good fodder for creativity. Masayoshi Fujita makes the most of it.

What could a Space Colonisation-101 course look like?

The prospect of colonising space is no longer a pipe dream. But, are we prepared for it?

This is Photonics.

The endeavour of measurement is integral to the construction of knowledge in the natural sciences. The finer and more reliable our measuring ruler is, the more confident we can be about the evidence we present and the worldview we construct. Light provides us with such a precise ruler. It is an established fact that the…
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What Andrew Ng’s Machine Learning course teaches about Online Course design

I had been wanting to do Andrew Ng’s foundational course on Machine Learning for quite some time. I was mostly indoors over Christmas, so I thought it was good time to finally dip my toes in it. My primary apprehension was whether I would be able to complete the three-month long course given my existing…
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Stretching it a bit – Nonlinear Fibre Optics

The following is a prize-winning entry in the competition “Excellence in Communication” organised by Aston University in 2012. You can find all the prize winning entries here. Imagine that all materials are made of springs, and networks of springs. For example, if you give a blob of jelly a nudge, it wobbles around a bit and…
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The Academic Workshop Organiser’s Checklist

#PhoMedDia2018 A bit late than never! Finally found time to upload some pics taken at the #GCRF @AIPTMultiply Photonics for Medical Diagnostics Workshop at Aston University this September. It was a great learning experience, met some lovely people, and in all had fun! Till soon! — Srikanth Sugavanam (@Srikanthislive) 6 October 2018 It’s been…
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Rediscovering Chopin

Chopin Monument in Warsaw with the permission of the authors Marek and Ewa Wojciechowscy (from Wikipedia).   Literally a stone’s throw away from Aston University, the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire makes for a much needed pit stop from my weekly grind. It is a reassuring sight to see scores of eager young individuals immersing themselves in music and honing…
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Confirmation bias in the sciences – a double edged sword?

Baijayanta Roy   Confirmation bias is a tricky thing to write about. One only needs to put her guard down for a while and the biases about confirmation bias creeps in. Confirmation bias is the psychological tendency of a person to seek or interpret evidence in ways those are partial or biased to existing beliefs,…
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A proposition for incentivizing peer-review

 Srikanth Sugavanam, Baijayanta Roy How do we motivate reviewers to be more actively involved in the peer review process, and also enhance the quality of the peer review they provide? Critical, unbiased peer review is vital for scientific progress. It helps validate one’s ideas, derive constructive criticism, initiate dialogue, uncover hidden biases in one’s thinking,…
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Never eat your lunch alone

Research can be taxing, particularly when you are starting out your PhD. Given the pressure of deadlines set by grants, crunch periods take a whole new meaning. It feels like a crime to catch a breathe even for a few seconds, leading to long working hours, working lunches, diminishing social life… You can see where…
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