Saturday, October 18, 2008

Video Lectures

A great site for video lectures related with computing:

Saturday, October 11, 2008

RFID vs Bar Code

Here's an excellent article I came across on RFID and barcode technologies. If you are thinking of a project on RFID, this article is a must read.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Change in site address

There's a change in the site address: The new address is:

The change was necessary because "elphi" is history for me. Or so it appears.

The world's 23 toughest math questions

Those DARPA guys (yes the ones that started this internet thing) have now come out with what they call as "a "Mathematical Challenge", that has the mighty goal of "dramatically revolutionizing mathematics and thereby strengthening DoD's scientific and technological capabilities."

The challenges are in fact 23 questions that if answered, would offer a high potential for major mathematical breakthroughs, DARPA said. So if you have ever wanted to settle the Riemann Hypothesis, which I won't begin to describe but it is one of the great unanswered questions in math history, experts say. Or perhaps you've always had a theory about Dark Energy, which in a nutshell holds that the universe is ever-expanding, this may be your calling.

Well, the last date for cracking these problems is over (I wonder why they have a last date for such mighty difficult problems; can they not be solved after another month, or do thse problems come with an expiry date?). But check out the list at :

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Opportunity for BSc IT/Comp Sc / Physics/ Maths / Stats graduates at Wipro

WASE (Wipro Academy of Software Excellence) has announced openings for BSC IT/CSc/Maths/Physics/Stats grads with 60% at 10th, 12th and graduation, and passed in 2008. Check out todays Times of India (Ascent supplement). Walkin interviews on 11th and 12th Oct and registration is at 9 am at Wipro Technologies, Powai.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Mad Science - Nine of the oddest experiments ever

Read here about some of the most bizarre experiments conducted in the name of science.

More Computer Notes now available online

Now that I have all the time in the world, I decided to find out where is all my information on the web? I discovered that I had, over the last 5-7 years put up a lot of info - C programs, notes on computer graphics, systems programming, numerical methods, basics, networking, etc, etc. Here are some links that I can give immediately:

King Saud University - Saudi Arabia
- They have put up many of my Java notes.
/ - You should have a Hotmail or Microsoft Live account to use this.

Notes Online at Yahoo Groups - This requires that you have a Yahoo email account.

My notes at Elphi web site.

Notes for MSc Comp Sc
(also useful for BSc and other classes)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What does one do Now?

Its something that's difficult to explain. There's no rational, no logic. Only madness behind it. How else does anybody explain that a person puts in 7-8 hours a day in his teaching job, and gets kicked out. Just because some one who is quite incapable has his own ambitions to fulfill, whether he has any relation with the subject or not. Personal ambitions can ruin other peoples' lives. And this is what is happening.

I am not in a position to engage any lectures till the clouds clear up. When and whether that will happen, only God knows. But my commitment to my students remains. So if you have doubts, pls send an email or leave a comment on this blog. Will do my best to answer your queries.

And yes, do pray for better sense to prevail.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Careers in Computing

Here's a good site for info on careers in IT and computing:

Another New Opportunity for IT Professionals

So coding in C and Java is not your cup of tea but you still like to be in computing! Well, there's animation as a career option but it does require a different kind of aptitude. Social networking (here's a new site for that: (as opposed to hardware networking) is also gradually becoming a full time occupation with many. But if green bucks is what you are looking for, why not combine your knowledge of computing, mathematics and explore a new field called " Financial Engineering".

Before you jump up with "but we are not commerce students", let me tell you this is not only for commerce or finance guys. Have a look at todays (17.9.2008) Ascent of Times Of India (Mumbai). Have a look at this web site for more on Financial Engineering:

IIM Calcutta offers a course in FE. Another one is the Institutre of Capital Markets (

Have a look at this career too!

Friday, September 12, 2008

C Assignment # 4

C Assignment # 4

1. Write a C program to compute the roots of a quadratic equation ax^2 + bx + c = 0. Coefficients a, b and c will be input by the user using scanf() function.

2. Explain the following terms with reference to C programming, and give suitable examples:
syntax error, logical error, and run-time error.

3. What is the filename extension of a program in C language?

4. Which software do you use to run C programs? Study this software and prepare a report on the following features of this software:
a. Editing Options
b. Debugging options
c. Compiling and running options
d. Window options
e. Environment options.

5. Write a program in C to convert distance in kms to equivalent distance in mts. E.g. if input is 267 kms, output should by 267000 mts. Be careful with the data types you use!

6. Banks pay an interest on the money you keep with them. Assume that the banks compute interest using the simple interest formula I = PRT/100. Compute the amount of money receivable at the end of T years when a principal sum of P is kept at an interest rate of R.

7. How will you modify the above problem if interest is paid using compound interest formula (interest compounded quarterly)? Look up the formula for compound interest on the Net or derive it on your own.

C Assignment # 3

Unit 2:

1. A C program contains the following declarations:
int i = 8, j = 5;
float x = 0.005, y = -0.01;
char c = 'c', d = 'd';

Determine the value of each of the following expressions. Use the values initially assigned to the variables for each expression.
(a) -(i + j)
(b) ++x
(c) c == 99
(d) y--
(e) --j
(f) j != 6
(g) 2 * x + ( y == 0)
(h) !(c == 99)
(i) (i > 0) && (j <> 0) || (j < i =" j" style="font-style: italic;">getchar() and the putchar() function in C.

3. Write a program in C to read in a line of lower-case text and convert it into upper-case text. Use the getchar() and putchar() functions. Assume that the line is terminated by the newline ('\n') character.

4. What is the purpose of the scanf() function? What is the purpose of the control string in a scanf() function? What is the use of the ampersand symbol in scanf()? If & symbol is not used with a variable in scanf() will it result in a syntax error?

5. What is the purpose of the printf() function? In printf() function, must the variable names be preceded by the ampersand function?

C Assignments # 2

Unit 1:

1. Describe the 5 arithmetic operators in C.

2. Consider an arithmetic expression where the operands are of different types. What are the rules that apply to such expressions?
[Ans: Consider the expression a + b, where a and b are variables.
(i) If a is floating point and b is double, then float variable is converted into double and the result is in the data type double.
(ii) If a is a floating point variable and b is an int data type, then b is converted into float type and then the expression is evaluated.
(iii) If a is int and b is long int, then a is converted into data type long int before the calculation is done.

3. What are the unary operators in C?

4. State the relational operators in C. What is the output an expression containing relational operators? Give appropriate examples.

5. State the logical operators in C. Give appropriate examples.

6. With the help of an examples, explain the use of the conditional operator (ternary operator) in C.

7. With appropriate examples, explain the pre-increment and post-increment operators.

8. With appropriate examples, explain the pre-decrement and post-decrement operators.

9. What are pre-processor directives? Give two pre-processor directives that you have used in C programs.

10. What are library functions in C? Give 5 examples and explain in brief.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008



The binary search algorithm is used to find out whether an element 'x' is present in a set of data which is in ascending order.

Consider a numeric array of size '
which is sorted in ascending order. We have to search for an element 'x´in this array.

Elements of this array can be written as A(1), A(2), A(3), … A(n). First find the middle value in the array, as follows:

If the array contains even number of elements, then:

Middle element = (n + 1) DIV 2

Compare the value of x with this middle element.

If the value of x is greater than the value of the middle element, adjust the lower limit like this:

Lower = middle + 1

Calculate middle element:

Middle = (lower + upper) DIV 2

If the value of x is less than the value of the middle element, adjust the lower limit like this:

Upper = middle - 1

Thus, each time one half of the array is not searched.


1. Establish the sorted array of size n and element to be found x.

2. Set upper and lower limits.

3. Repeatedly:

a) Calculate the middle position of the array.

b) If value to be found (x), is greater than middle value, then

Adjust lower limit as:

Lower = middle + 1

Else adjust upper limit as:

Upper = middle - 1

Until sought value is found or lower > upper.


Sunday, August 31, 2008

Any ideas for B. Sc IT Projects?

OK so we all know about the inventory project, the library management system, accounts receivable, websites for colleges, etc. Do YOU have a new idea to try out? If you are in FY or SY, start thinking of your projects now.

Here are a few ideas you may wish to think about:
1. Implementing bar code in library mgt systems.
2. Applications of RFID
3. Finance Management system (for an individual or a family)
4. Examination results system for B. Sc (IT) students (with all the provisions for linking multiple attempts at n-number of ATKTs !)
5. Personal Information Managers (PIM)
6. Attendance Management system
7. Steganography (Try this site:

Come and share your ideas for other projects...

Computational Mathematics through Excel

Computational Mathematics through Excel:

This is the first in a series of workshops I intend to organise in the B. Sc (IT) department, and this one is specifically meant for Second Year B. Sc (IT) students of the current batch of Elphinstone College only. Depending upon the success of this, we may keep it open for others as well!

The idea is this: The syllabus plays its role in defining what a student MUST know. But is there something else that a student CAN know or is WILLING to learn beyond the syllabus? I believe many students have the burning desire to explore more and find newer ways of doing things. This workshop is intended to help them achieve something beyond the syllabi.

Contents: This first workshop will cover topics related with computational mathematics: interpolation techniques, solutions of linear equations by graphical, and other techniques such as cramer's rule, Gauss method, matrix calculations, etc, eventually leading to the solution of LPP and transportation problems.

Input (Your Effort): - It's assumed that you are self-motivated and are WILLING to learn. So you must devote time to this course. Officially, this course will last just 4 days (2 hrs a day). But assignments have to be done by you after the course.

Methodology: Completely hands-on approach. I will provide the basic notes that are needed to get started, so there should be no problem.

Prerequisite: Its assumed that you have used atleast the basic features of Excel.

When: First week of September 2008.

Whom to Contact: Register immediately with Sandeep of SYBSc (IT). We have only 20 seats available.

Fees: Commitment and time from the student.

Is it compulsory to join this course to pass in SYBSc Computational Maths? Ofcourse NOT.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Computational Mathematics - Examples on Difference Operators

Ex 1. For the function f(x) = x3 - x2 + 5, create the forward difference table. Range of values of x is -2 ≤ x ≤ 3

Ex 2. If y = x3 + x2 - 2x + 1, calculate values of y for x = 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and form the difference table. Find the value of y at x = 6 by extending the table and verify that the same value is obtained by substitution.

Ex 3. Form the forward difference table for the function f(x) = x3 + 5x - 7 for x = -1, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Continue the table to obtain f(6) and f(7).

Ex 4. Construct the table of differences for the data given below:
f(0) = 1.0, f(1) = 1.5, f(2) = 2.2, f(3) = 3.1, f(4) = 4.
Evaluate Δ3f(2).

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Computational Mathematics - Algorithms

Newton-Raphson Method - Algorithm

Step 1. Read the initial approximation x0, and the number of iterations 'n'.

Step 2. Define f(x), the given function and f'(x), its derivative.

Step 3. Calculate f(x0) and f'(x0).

Step 4. Calculate the next approximation x1 by using NR formula.

Step 5. For the next iteration, replace x0 by x1.

Step 6. Repeat steps 3, 4, and 5 for n iterations.

Step 7. The approximate value of the root is obtained in x1 in the last iteration.

Step 8. Display the root and stop.

Computational Mathematics - Assignment #1

1. Find the real root of the equation x3 - x - 1 = 0 between 1 and 2 by using the bisection method.

2. Find the root of f(x) = ex - 4x = 0 using the Regula-Falsi method.

3. Use the R-F method to find the roots of the equation e-x - x = 0. Assume the two initial guess values as 0 and 1.

4. Using Newton-Raphson method, solve the equation x - e-x = 0.

5. Develop a C program to evaluate the root of a function of the form f(x) = 0 using the Newton-Raphson method.

6. Derive the relation E = 1 + Δ

7. Derive the relation E-1 = 1 - ∇

8. Show that Enf(x) = f(x + nh)

9. Show that E-nf(x) = f(x - nh)

10. Show that EE-1 = 1

11. Show that the nth difference of a polynomial of degree n is constant.

12. Find the polynomial of degree 3 which takes the values as shown below:
f(0) = 1, f(1) = 1, f(2) = 2, and f(4) = 5.
[Hint: Since points are equally spaced, use Lagrange's Interpolation technique.]

Contest by Oracle Education Foundation

Oracle Education Foundation Invites Students And Teachers To Take Part In ThinkQuest International 2008. Details are available at this site.

Students interested in participating in this International competition must immediately contact me by email or personally.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

FYBSc IT First Test TimeTable - Sept 2008



For all subjects:

Duration: 1 hour

Max Mks: 25

Date Time Subject

1.9.08 (Mon) 12.30 – 1.30 PM IITA

1.9.08 (Mon) 2.00 PM – 3.00 PM DE

2.9.08 (Tues) 12.30 PM– 1.30 PM DCF

2.9.08 (Tues) 2.00 PM – 3.00 PM C Programming

3.9.2008 (Wed) H O L I D A Y

4.9.2008 (Thurs) 12.30 PM– 1.30 PM Maths - I

C Assignments #1

Review Questions:

1. What are some uses for comments?
2. Why is indentation important?
3. What are the largest & smallest values that can be stored in an int type variable?
4. What is the difference between the constants 7, '7', and "7"?
5. What is the difference between the constants 123 and "123"?
6. What is the function of the semicolon in a C statement?
7. State the various data types in C language.
8. Explain why the largest value that can be stored in an int type variable is 32767?

Programming Exercises:

1. Write a program to print the numbers from 1 to 10 and their squares:

1 1
2 4
3 9
10 100

2. Write a program to print this triangle:


Don't use ten printf statements.

3. What would be the equivalent code, using a while loop, for the following example ?

for(i = 0; i < i =" i" i =" 0;" i =" i" style="font-weight: bold;">Programming exrcises 5, 7 and 8 are for journal.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Campus Placements 21st Aug 2008

Patni Computers will be visiting the IT department on Thursday, 21st Aug at 9 AM for campus placements. Students of TYBSc (IT), TYBSc (Physics / Maths / Stats) are welcome to attend a presentation and an aptitude test at 9 AM.

Please bring an updated resume. Please remain seated in Room 112 latest by 8.45 AM.

Congratulations to TYBSc (IT) - Sem VI First Class Holders

Congratulations to NARA SHRAVAN for securing a DISTINCTION at the TYBSc IT. With 77% marks, he has done Elphinstone proud.

There's also the complete list of all those students who have secured a FIRST CLASS. Check out the list on the College Web site.

CONGRATS to all of you and all the best in your future endeavours too.

IT Fest

IT students are a restless lot. If its not sports or dancing or music or singing, then there MUST be something else to keep them busy! OK, we are talking of the IT Fest here. The demand has been there for some time, and we all envy other colleges that have the IT fest, so why not Elphi? Indeed, why not?

But hey, we need VOLUNTEERS. Students who can run around, come up with new ideas, and of course collect a lot of money. Who will do this? Of course the students.

So if you want your own IT fest, get started NOW. First lets discuss this - come up with ideas for events (OK I know about the DJ part, but aur kya ?) . Lets also plan out when to have this - Dec seems to be the best time as we will all be free from exams ka tension by then. The weather around this time is also pleasant so running around isn't taxing. We need teams, team heads, we need ideas, posters, we also need lots of money. So you need to use all your contacts and pull the right strings to get this money.

OK so if you are game for this, just send me an email (elphiit at better still meet me to discuss how YOU can help. But we have very little time, so it needs to be planned meticulously and immediately. Get going.

Can IT be misused for teaching?

Teaching hasn't undergone many changes inspite of recent advances in information technology. Nor has learning for that matter. But one of the most noticeable effects of IT on teaching has been the use of powerpoint presentations in the classroom.

Now I must state emphatically that I am one of the strongest advocates of use of IT in teaching-learning process. But using powerpoint presentations for teaching subjects such as C programming, Java programming, mathematics? I am not sure that helps at all. The only person it helps is the teacher who doesnot have to prepare the subject but only prepare the powerpoint presentations. I mean, its one thing to know a subject and come and discuss it in the class on a blackboard with nothing but chalk and duster. It shows the mastery of the teacher on the subject. Programs do not suddenly appear on the mind's screen, rather they develop gradually, as on the blackboard, as the teacher writes out each statement and encourages the student to think (or guess) of the next step. That is how programs develop, isn't it? On a powerpoint presentation its all too easy to see one step after the other appear magically; where's the thought process? OK I know you can use custom animation to bring one step at a time, but still it does not reflect the thought process that goes on in the mind of the teacher, something I know that even students can appreciate.

Such powerpoint presentations may be good for discussing topics such as systems analysis and design, MIS, CRM, and to some extent networking (provided you involve some simulations of the networking process). Even there, the presentation becomes useful if each point/slide is discussed in detail. But merely displaying the slides and reading out what is already there for all to see is a big NO-NO. Students CAN read, but they may need help in understanding, so DISCUSS and DONT READ. But using PPTs for teaching programming is just not done, unless you want to show a form (as in VB or Java) or certain aspects of web designing.

Technology is a double-edged sword, and the misuse of PPTs in the classroom is one of the disadvantages of powerpoint presentations.

(Note I have deliberately used small letters for powerpoint presentation - generally, nowadays, this term encompasses all types of presentations, not necessarily those created with Microsoft PowerPoint).

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

ITonians Celebrate Friendship Day on 4th Aug

The enthusiasm was there for all to see. Friendship day was celebrated and right from morning 8 am the IT department wore a festive look. Last minute practice, tying friendship ribbons, eating "wada pav", photographs, etc. It was truly a department come alive!

Not to be outdone by students, our young faculty members Sheetal and Shivranjani, helped by Edith and Suraj Naik joined in the celebrations and made sure that this would be a day to remember.

And indeed what a day it turned out to be! Music and dance dominated the evening's function in the College Hall and there was dumb charades too. Of course our studious ITonians had also "planned" a quiz, a debate, etc, etc. But I think the music and dance were too good. After all when you have salsa and folk dance from, among others, Manjushree and Swati, you couldn't care to trouble your brains with a quiz or spoil a lovely evening with a debate, would you? I must say that students organised the function very well. Our office staff, especially Shri Ramane was most co-operative, looking after the audio equipment. Staff of the IT dept Sandeep, Gaikwad, Munna, Vitthal and Nikhil were present right till the end of the function at 7 pm.

Inspite of being very busy with her administrative and teaching duties, our Principal, Dr Lakshmi Vyas was kind enough to grace the occasion and all the ITonians were very appreciative of this fine gesture on her part.

It was well past 7 pm by the time we packed up and went back home with the feeling that this was indeed a great day. New friends were made, old friendships renewed and a great time had by all.

Keep it up ITonians.

Campus Placement - Aug 21, 2008

Patni Computers will be visiting the IT department for campus placement on 21 Aug 2008 at 9 am. Students of B. Sc (IT) (3rd year) and also of TYBSc -Physics, Maths, or Stats are eligible to appear for an aptitude test on 21st Aug. Please be present in Room 112 in IT dept by 8.45 am. Come with your updated resume and photocopies of marksheets.

Camous Placements - Student Volunteers Needed

Many companies approach the College for conducting Campus Placements. Student volunteers are needed to manage the process of campus placement. Those interested may send me an email at Students of SY preferred but others are also welcome.

TYBSc (IT) VI Results

Mumbai University has finally declared the results of Sem VI exam that was held in April 2008. Check out your result at

What's This About?

This blog is all about the B. Sc (IT) course at Elphinstone College, Mumbai. B. Sc (IT) is a 3-year full time degree course of the University of Mumbai. Based on semester pattern, the course has a tremendous market value and is among the most sought after courses in Mumbai Univesrity.

The need for this blog arose because I felt that as the Co-ordinator for B. Sc (IT), I needed to communicate lot of information to students pursuing this course. Although I meet my students everyday in College, there are occasions when I need to pass on some information but my hectic schedule does not allow that liberty. Also, many a times, certain information comes in late or is of such a nature that I cannot put it all up on the department notice boards. So, what better way to communicate with the tech savvy students of Elphi then this blog!

So what goes here? Well, everything that I feel is important; notices, messages, lecture notes, questions, answers, campus placement news, your doubts, your feedback, your fears, apprehensions, your likes and dislikes and your DREAMS!

So come and share all these through this blog. It's purpose is primarily academic in nature but ofcourse we can discuss other matters as well.

Join the bandwagon and start rolling!!