Dr Shanthi Pavan is not one of the people who sways easily. Steadfast in his opinions, he has been teaching at IIT Madras since 2002. Dr Pavan is the recipient of the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society Darlington Best Paper Award (2009), the Swarnajayanthi Fellowship (2010), the Young Faculty Recognition Award from IIT Madras, the Technomentor Award and the Young Engineer Award from the Indian National Academy of Engineering (2006). He is the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems (Regular Papers).

Experiences as a student

I enjoyed some of the courses as far as academics was concerned. During summers , we used to sleep on the terrace. Sometime we used to go and sleep even on the water tank! I used to play cricket in the hostel. One of my most memorable experience was going to the movie Baashha, a Rajinikanth movie in Jayanthi. The area outside Tharamani gate was not as lively as it is today. I remember coming back when it was pitch dark,the journey was scary.

Electrical Engineering department as it was then and how it has changed

The department has grown in size and depth. We have ongoing research in many different areas and have many new labs. The classes  however have become very big. This however makes it difficult both for the teachers and the students. The overall motivation of the students has gone down. During our time,jobs were difficult to get and a government job meant that we had to study really hard. However, today the students feel that they can get a job even if they don’t study as there are numerous job opportunities.

Professors who taught him and are now his colleagues

Professor Bhaskar Ramamurthi and Professor Mathiazhagan are the members of the department who were there at the time when I was a student and are still working.

Returning to the Institute as a faculty member

I wanted to become a teacher right from the beginning, which shaped my research path. I teach undergraduates because I want to shape their minds and build the concepts from scratch.

Extracurricular Activities

I used to go and attend LM. Saarang was not as big as they are today. There are definitely many more events now which is good for the festival. Proshows and Rockshows used to be the highlights of Saarang at that time. However now there are many shows and a lot of money involved hardly giving the feeling of a student run festival.

Message to students

There is nothing like a free lunch. You cannot afford to goof up all the time. You have to work at some point or the other as there is no shortcut in life. Don’t form impressions about the importance of courses. Just as cricketers run on treadmill to improve fitness , various courses are aimed at sharpening your mind. Do not miss classes and take your stay here for granted. The faculty take a pay-cut to teach you. The fees you pay is very low and most of you education needs come from taxpayer’s money. They hope that you study well and become good engineers so serve the country. So whether you like it or not, you are obliged to study. Hope you enjoy your education at IIT and become good engineers ahead.

– Professor Shanthi Pavan obtained the B.Tech degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras in 1995 and the M.S and Sc.D degrees from Columbia University, New York in 1997 and 1999 respectively. From 1997 to 2000, he was with Texas Instruments in Warren, New Jersey, where he worked on high speed analog filters and data converters. From 2000 to June 2002, he worked on microwave ICs for data communication at Bigbear Networks in Sunnyvale, California.