First Symposuim of this Semester-MSEC Asthra’08

I got to know of this symposium from Vinod.Last years Asthra was supposedly good. Only I didn’t hear about it till the event got over. (normally people talking about an event after it’s over is some indication that it’s actually good.) So I decided to check it out this time. My friend from Coimbatore, Shyam is in IT final year. So I got to meet him there.

The build up to it:

I checked out their site. (Which wasn’t all that great looking, but must say had the bare minimum details atleast.) Me and Abhi (Abhishek from IT dept. of my college) decided to go and check it out anyway inspite of project concerns on both sides. (Both of us are working in different projects without much assistance fro anyone. So loads of issues there) Abhi and I have had great times in the past with many a qualifications and a few wins as well.

This morning however, I couldn’t get up owing to the tablets I had taken the previous night. I have cold. (still 😦 ) So instead of going to the bus stand by 7:00 , I ended up calling Abhi at 7:30 and telling him that I just got up. As livid as he was, (sorry mate) Abhi said we could go by bike. (He’s got a Discover 135 recently. Nice bike) So I hopped on his bike and we left from my house by around 8:05.

The symposium:

Turns out, we went there early. I managed to see Shyam finally and we chatted for a while. He took us to have refreshments. The decoration was impressive. They have nice open spaces in Meenakshi college. That plus trees. And the college is actually built like a maze which adds to the looks. (I hate neatly arranged buildings in a college campus.) Registration was done pretty efficiently, nice ID card system and all.

The events:

Now this was a weak link. The events weren’t upto the standards. I could attend only two events. Gaming was Counter Strike and only 2 of us had gone. (Not that we are any good at it, just that we needed a minimum of 5 to even enter.) So we were ultimately left with Quiz and Code Debugging.

Code Debugging:

Well , the modules were all impressive with VB and stuff. (Which meant they shouldn’t have to spend time evaluating) But the questions weren’t. Whoever set the questions had no idea how long it would take to complete it. We were given 20 minutes for 25 questions. We managed about 10 in the allotted time. I must confess here that I never was any good at Code Debugging. (I am a EEE bugger 😉 ) But I am out of touch with C. You need to be pretty sure about syntax and nuances and I have long forgotten those things. I can still code, but debugging is a far cry 😉

Having said that about debugging, events everywhere are like that, so no offence to these guys here.

Quiz:

Quiz was even more disappointing. We met up with a couple of Symposium regulars from Sairam and SSN. So we knew we had contest, but then we were sure of doing well. Sadly though, the question paper was shitty!! they had aptitude questions in there and worst of all Multiple choice questions. (95% of them were multiple choice.) Multiple choice questions defeat the very purpose of holding a prelims. You might as well, pick the finalists names form a drop box or something. Multiple choice has never worked for me in any quiz.

A typical question:

‘Hayabusa’ space probe by Japan was directed at

a) Saturn

b) Saturn’s Moon(s)

c) Asteroid

d) None of the above

Well, my grouse is chances that someone not knowing its actually (c) will still tick c for some arbit reason. And that gives him an edge over me. Suppose it was a normal question, the same question would have been. Hayabusa space probe was directed at________. And people who wrote meteorite would get 1/2 points and people who wrote Itokawa would get 1. Now that’s more like a quiz.

So we didn’t make it. We also had technical questions with multiple choice. And whoever asks aptitude questions in quizzes?? What , you are going to give us jobs ?

On a concluding note, a sad event for us. We didn’t make it to any finals. (Except the lunch, which was pretty decent. Nothing great, but it keeps you from starving atleast.) And we can’t even attend other symposiums this semester thanks to the progress we have made with our projects.

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2 thoughts on “First Symposuim of this Semester-MSEC Asthra’08

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