5 years was overkill – 1-2 Years is OK.

IIT duration in 1973 was for 5 years – that too at a very fast pace. In America I decided to take GRE computer science advanced test just to see how will I can do. My interest in technical fields which had deserted me at IIT, had come back. I had very limited exposure to computer science. The subjects I had taken before taking the computer science test were

  1. Computer Programming (FORTRAN) at IIT
  2. Simulation at SIU-C
  3. IBM’s Assembly Language at SIU-C

Had completed part of 3-4 introductory subjects before I took the test in October. When I glanced at the test paper, I thought I was exposed to about 40% of the questions. That too at SIU-C, an average school, defintely not comparable to IIT’s prestige.

When the score came I had scored 750 or 91 percentile. In comparison incoming Ph.D. students around that year (1981) to Stanford had median score of 91 percentile.. Stanford was rated around #1.

When I told this to Amol Gokhale, now a senior metallurgy professor at IIT-Bombay, he didn’t look very happy. Imagine someone mastering a subject matter in one year studying at a leisurely and contemplative pace, instead of haphazardly following a stupid program as in IITs, not good for IITs. 

IIT was a waste of time for me. It is good for getting a job in companies like Google where you will be surrounded by other IITians but the learning is missing. Bur Indians do not need learning.