Computer spoilt students’ research capabilities, expert says

CHENNAI: Former deputy director of Indian Institute of Science (IISc, Bangalore) A Sridharan on Wednesday called upon students to spend more time in labs than in front of computers.

Speaking as the chief guest at the sixth International Geotechnical Symposium at IIT-Madras, Sridharan said students should at least know the qualitative behaviour of the materials they are working on.

“You [students] should at least know the qualitative behaviour of soil and other materials. For that lab work must continue. Otherwise, you will be spending time on parametric computer generated figures without knowing their properties,” he said.

“In some ways, the computer has spoilt our research capabilities. I don’t say you should not spend time before computers. But you should spend only around 20% of your time in front of computers,” he said.

Dean of academic courses at IIT-Madras K Ramamurthy inaugurated the symposium, which is organized by IIT-M in partnership with the Indian Geotechnical Society. The theme of the two-day event is ‘Disaster Mitigation in Special Geoenvironmental Conditions.’

A talk on geotechnical hazards evaluation for the nuclear power plant in Japan by Makato Takao of the Tokyo Electric Power Company is one of the highlights of the event.

The symposium will also have a special session on landslides where leading experts from various countries will present their research outcomes and case studies.

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