Celebrating recent graduates: Alfred Festus Davidson (BTech (Honours) + MTech, 2020)
Alfred hails from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. His dual degree thesis advisor, Prof. Aniruddhan writes:
“Alfred has been an excellent student in many ways. He is at the top of his graduating DD Class of 2020. For his DDP, he designed, fabricated and measured a 28GHz receiver for 5G applications, which is a tough ask for even many MS or PhD students. Finally, he has been a model Teaching Assistant for my Analog and RF courses in his final year.”
Moving on, Alfred will be joining the PhD program at Columbia University. Here are excerpts of a brief interview, where he highlights his journey through IIT Madras.
Were there any specific reasons you chose IIT Madras instead of other IITs?
I was more inclined to IIT Madras, mostly due to its reputation and proximity to my hometown. I did not know anything more concrete to decide on at that time.
Can you tell us about the influences that shaped you and your career path during your stay at IIT Madras?
I have had many memorable instances and influences at IIT Madras that have drastically shaped my academic/student life and career path.
The courses and labs offered at the EE department, although demanding, always piqued my interest and kept spurring me to learn further. This stimulating environment in the department, resulting from interactions with faculty and students working in diverse fields, allowed me to explore multiple domains both in breadth and depth, and has set the foundation of my academic career.
I have also had the opportunity to be a teaching assistant, and it was one of the most fulfilling experiences I have ever had. The joy of being able to share knowledge and sparking interest in others always led me into putting long hours into my TA work. These interactions and discussions have also strengthened my understanding and appreciation of the subject.
My Dual Degree project took the better part of my final two years at IIT Madras, but it was worth every moment. Prof. Aniruddhan, my research advisor, had guided me throughout the project with his constant support, encouragement, and insights. My research advisor, the ICS Group faculty & staff, and my labmates & batchmates have all, in their own ways, been inspirational and instrumental throughout my journey in IIT Madras. I have learned a lot from them, and I believe that this has prepared me for the kind of research and nature of work I need to do as a graduate researcher.
If you were to do it all over again, would you choose IIT Madras? If so, why?
Yes, definitely. IIT Madras had molded my research interests and inquisitiveness, and has equipped me with the foundation I need to progress further. I have had the opportunity to interact with amazing faculty and students, and have made wonderful friends & memories to cherish forever. Even though most of the semester was always about working against multiple deadlines and juggling classes, coursework, project work, and TA work simultaneously, I enjoyed every moment of it. If I were to do it all over again, I would readily choose EE at IIT Madras.