Women and the Institute

On the day IISc first opened its doors to students, as the Institute’s Annual Report for 1911 tells us, one hostel block was ready for occupation. What the Annual Report doesn’t mention, however, is that the “students’ hostel” was only meant for men. In 1909, plans had been made for staff quarters, two blocks of […]

The Colourful Life of Violet

Violet Bajaj, a contemporary of Anna Mani and Rajeswari Chatterjee, talks about her years at the Institute and beyond Violet Bajaj is 101 years old. She sits in her room before dinner, with the Gerald Seymour thriller she is currently reading on the table before her. Reading is her favourite hobby, and a low cupboard […]

Too Restless for Academia

A telecommunications entrepreneur on the lure of industry I joined the Department of Electrical Communication as a research student in January 1965 after completing my MSc degree in Mathematics from Mysore  University. During my PhD, I worked on a problem that drew heavily from a subject I loved, mathematics. Like many, I did not know what to expect when I joined the Institute. But […]

Remembering My Long Association with the Institute

The mathematician and first woman to be dean at IISc on wearing many hats I was exhausted after facing an interview for the PhD programme at IISc’s Applied Mathematics Department [now called the Department of Mathematics], that lasted for more than three hours. Having lost hope, my father was ready to take me back home […]

Rediscovery is a Prelude to Discovery

A computational linguist-turned-information theorist talks about the nature of research I was a Sanskrit Lecturer at Maharani’s College and BES College of Arts, Science and Commerce, while also carrying out research in language processing systems and information processing. This research was carried out in Maharani’s College in collaboration with Bangalore University. One day, I read […]

The Indian Science Congress at IISc

What old brochures of the event tell us about its purpose, and about how IISc saw itself The Indian Science Congress (ISC), an annual gathering of scientists, was begun in 1914 by two British chemists, JL Simonsen and PS MacMahon, who wanted to model it on the British Association for the Advancement of Science. In […]

An Evening with Raman at the Gymkhana

CV Raman was the Director of IISc from 1933 to 1937. It was in this period, in November 1935, that Kenneth Aston arrived as the professor and head of the Department of Electrical Technology. Uma Parameswaran, in her biography of Raman, writes that Aston was not Raman’s choice for the post and became “one of […]