Automating Student Grading

For the last five years now, I have been involved in teaching the bachelor course on Industrial Automation. The course focuses on discrete and logical control. Apart from the lectures, the course contains two projects, one based on low-level PLC programming. The other focuses on modeling high-level discrete control programmed in Java. At the end of the course, the students integrate the Java and PLC parts of the project to have an end-to-end automated system.

Over the last five years, I have been improving and tweaking the Java part to automate most technical administration. I have integrated the checking of assignments into a Continuous Testing framework using GitHub classrooms and Travis to reduce my load of correcting them. This post is intended to document that process.

The Idea of India

Recently, I read William Dalrymple’s Age of Kali, and one particular section caught my attention. The railways are now so much part of the everyday life of the subcontinent that it is difficult today to take in the revolution they brought about, or the degree to which they both created and destroyed the India of the Raj. Before the arrival of the railways in 1850, travel in India meant months of struggle over primitive dirt roads.

Connecting Overleaf and Github

I use overleaf for all my academic and collaborative writing. However, I am not a big fan of cloud services. I would always want to have control over my data and not be dependent on external services and access to the internet for my day to day activities. Overleaf provides a good set of features for collaborative writing. And I see no easy way of avoiding it in my workflow.

An alternative way is to leverage the Git feature of overleaf to maintain and work on a local copy of the document. Additionally, this can be used to back-up the data on a Git server such as Github, Gitlab, or self-hosted Git service. The following is the guide I use to create and sync my work between GitHub and overleaf.

Age of Kali

This was a fascinating read. The book is a series of short essays in which Dalrymple shares his experience as he travels across India as a journalist. Sort of like a Behind-The-Scenes of journalism. The underlying theme of all the essays points towards society’s decadence. Having been a child of the ’90s and reading this book in 2020 was like looking at a snapshot of life back then and allowing me cognizance of the language and symbols referenced in the book.

Emacs: an odyssey

Keywords: #post

My digital life in plaintext

Over the last few years, I have moved my complete digital life into plaintext. The idea is to store all data as simple text that can be accessed and edited by any text reader. This plaintext data can then be used with other analysis/rendering tools.

2019 in books

A list of books that I read during 2019.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Malcolm was a man of his time, shaped by the society he lived in. What is most remarkable about him is his eagerness to evolve himself. When in prison, he read everything he could lay his hand on developing his beliefs and philosophies. After prison, he spent the next 12 years in dedicating his life to the Nation of Islam, towards transforming the lives of his Afro-American brothers using the philosophy of Elijah Muhammad, as it had once transformed him.

The Anarchy

In a world plagued with misinformation, alternate facts, and whitewashed histories, William Dalrymple has done a fantastic job presenting a much needed nuanced picture of history/politics in the 18th century India. Today, the colonization of India is either glorified as a blessing or spoken as evil, depending on whom one talks to, while the Mughal rule is looked upon as evil. In this book, Dalrymple presents a nuanced history of the time, showing the politics that were played out, eventually giving rise to the British colonial project in India.

Sapiens

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind/ by Yuval Noah Harari, aims to “..explore[s] the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be ‘human.'” A rather ambitious goal to fit in less than 500 pages.

Uprootedness

As of this day, it has been almost six years since I left India to Sweden. A lot has happened in these years.

I accomplished what I came here for – obtained a Masters degree; started a Ph.D. in automation in which I have crossed the halfway mark and successfully defended my licentiate; started a relationship and upgraded it to a marriage – with a wonderful person and not my thesis!. More importantly, these years in Sweden have transformed me, at a very basic level, in more ways than I can imagine. I find it hard to locate one or more English words in my vocabulary to even express the extent to what has changed in me. If I am allowed to borrow a word from Urdu, I would say it is my ‘adaab’1 that has changed or rather evolved.

Sustainability and Ethics within Automation Research

The following essay was written as part of a course I took up. The course was titled “Sustainable Development: Values, Technology in Society, and the Researcher”. It broadly gave an overview on the ethical and sustainable framework that has been developed over the last few years and the debates present within. The participants to the course came from different research fields and hence the course too was kept as broad as possible. I can be certain that the following essay is not completely accurate and only presents my views and reflections that were a result of this 3 day course.

India And its Name

Currently, I am reading the book India: A history by John Keay. Some may argue the book must be called South Asia: A history, but by the end of this post I believe you will realize why India is more apt a name :grinning: . To describe its contents in one line: 5000 years of rich Indian history compressed into 700 pages of well researched, authoritative narrative tracing the evolution of its culture, religions, and peoples.

Setting up Travis

Its always fun to learn and implement new technologies. Travis-CI a FOSS for continuous integration and deployment, is one such tool I always wanted to learn. Finally, today, I did get some motivation to get started with Travis to auto build and deploy a paper I am currently writing in LaTex. The code is hosted on Github within a private repository, Travis pro provides access to build, test and deploy from private repositories.

The Last Mughal

The Last Mughal by William Dalrymple, an excellent piece of research into the time that, in many ways gave birth to the nationalist movement in India. The book recreates the one of the largest mutinies of the modern word, the 1857 uprising. Starting from the events that led to the uprising, the book covers in detail, both sides of the story. Using both European as well as Indian sources, translating the mutiny papers for almost the first time.

1984

Nineteen eighty-four by George Orwell, written in 1949, must be one of those books that come closest to prophecy. Asimov’s stories are very subtle in connection with present day events though as mentioned earlier, they do have an a question we must ask ourselves while looking at the progress of science and technology. This on the other hand was more direct.

The CFS experience

Taking about 30 hours to come up with a team goal and then the next 320 odd days to achieve this goal. That was CFS14 in a nutshell. As CFS14 comes to an end, CFS15 takes off with a new team, new management and a new goal, this time going electric. Accomplishing our goal by setting foot on the podium, became even more memorable with this being the last combustion car done at CFS.

Zindagi toh chalti rahi

Toote hue dil mein armaan the kuch jaaga, Kwaboon me ek duniya lia sajaaye, Umeed ke saayon me aashra doondte the kabhi. Zindige toh chalti gayi. Kwaab saare raaqh hue Armaan gaye kuchal, Dil tha choora choor. Zindige bas chalti gayi Na Jane kab beet gaye ghum bhare saaye Khwaabo ki barsaatein chigar uthai umeed ki nanhi kaliyaan Laut aya noor ,andhere is dil mein Kya ajeeb hai reet is duniya ki,

One course to teach it all

I have posted anything on this space, the reason for this is my involvement in the Chalmers Formula student project as I have mentioned in my previous posts. Though, this must be a reason for me to write more, its tough to find time while in this project. This project is also part of a 15 credit course here in Chalmers. Frankly, it deserves more than just 15 credits for the amount of time, dedication and work one puts into this course over the period of 11 months.

Common questions answered for aspiring chalmerists

The admission season for universities in Sweden, like it was for me during my application, the applicants of this year are anxious of what is in store for them. In the following post I will touch upon few of the most common questions, more from an Indian perspective. How is the job market after studies? Frankly,There is no guarantee. It just depends on how good you are. It is impossible to get a correct answer to this question.

A leap into Asimovian society

Boston dynamics has become quite famous after the recent take over by the internet giant Google. The work done at Boston dynamics in my opinion, is ground breaking and far ahead in technology than any other country or firm has ventured into. The complex control algorithms mimicking that of real world animals to a high accuracy.

Interview with the mind behind "Happy Auto"s

One day after the official launch of “Suguma Savari’s” first initiative called “The Happy Auto”, the buzz it has created and the reviews I get to read are impressive. There are few aspects of this project very few are aware about and I believe this could be an inspiration to many young budding engineers out there. So, to get an insight into the project, let’s talk to the man behind the project, my dear friend!

First snow

Coming from a region which always has temperate climate, the largest dip in temperature one could experience was rarely subzero and one had to travel high altitudes for this. Though I have already experience sub-zero temperatures during my stay here, snow fall was still missing. Ever since setting foot on Sweden’s soil, the weather has been a slow transition for me, from the weather back home. Never giving me a chance to feel the sudden change.

Worlds obsession with Indian poverty and the Mangalyaan project

On November 5th this year India took a giant leap into space exploration by launching the PSLV C 25 to inject Mangalyaan Orbiter (Mars orbiter). Officially, this is supposed to scan for presence of methane to detect the possibility of life on mars. The successful launch of this project has sparked a debate around the world: “How could India, with all its poverty support a $75m project”, being the gist of the debate.

End of phase one!

Its been a month into the CFS project, work has increased from what I had expected, and not to mention the excitement has equally risen. The last month was quite eventful and this post is to sum up the last month. As I have chalked in my previous post this project is not only about building a formula student vehicle, it starts with building the team. Well, this is what we started off with.

On the team,CFS14

I have traveled about 7000 odd kilometers away from home to study,learn and broaden my horizons. What could be more gratifying than being selected to the Chalmers Formula Student 2014 team as a project engineer for vehicle electronics domain. Making a student formula race car as a project which is part of the course, and competing with it on an international platform is just one small part of Chalmers formula student Project.

Educational systems, A contrasting view

As mentioned in the previous post, In this post I shall present some of the thoughts which have accumulated over the past month. The points I shall present here are a result of my observations and interactions with the local as well as other international students who come form a diverse set of educational cultural and economic backgrounds coupled with my own experiences and interactions back in India. Education, a topic I take keen interest in.

Reflections: A Month in Sweden

Passed it has, A month in Sweden. From being a lazy blob of fat, to-now doing almost everything by myself is quite a drastic change i never expected. But yes, life always has its own set of perks coming at a cost. Meeting varied people from across borders, coming from various educational and cultural backgrounds is one of the most unique experience in the past one month. A more serious aspect of this I hope to take up in another post.

A week old in Sweden

—-loving it and looking forward to it….. Well its been a little more than a week here in Sweden, and I’m already in love with this place! yes, everyone does warn me about the coming winter, but hey, such beautiful summers need to be balanced out somewhere. Coming from a tropical country, India I look forward for the snowy winters. The first two days here were more of settling down and cooling off after all the extra work done on the last few days back home.

The thinkpad T430

After running a few hundred google searches and pushing up the budget I finally bought myself a Lenovo thinkpad t430. It was quite heavy on the pocket given the configuration but its worth every penny. Looks The ThinkPad will never win a beauty competition, but who cares, It more or less looks like any other thinkpad you have seen. Matt black finish, so its not a finger print magnet, but yes sweaty and oily touches leave prints tough to clean up.

Fix for acer backlight

This is a quick post on fixing my laptops backlight. Everytime i reinstall a newer version of linux the back light is on full brightness or low brightness for my acer aspire 5741. the only fix for it on first time start up is to shut the lid and open it, this must be performed before the xorg starts. The fix for this is to make modifications in the grub,

And the mountains echoed

After “Kite runner” and “A thousand splendid suns” Khalid Hosseini’s" third novel “And the mountains echoed” was released last month. I am a fan of the way he brings out emotions in his books, story is just a part of what I like.  The first book highlights the relationship of father and son, the second mother and daughter, the third brother and sister. All three beautifully woven in their own ways.

SwaTaha'13

After the huge success of WinterWorkshop conducted by Free software movement Karnataka during the last week of January, FSMK along with its growing number of volunteers have on their toes with future events. The recent one was Swataha-short for “ಸ್ವಾತಂತ್ರ್ಯತಂತ್ರಾಂಶ habba”(Free Software Fest).  Swataha was I think the first of its kind fest to be conducted at a state level. It was 3 days of freedom,technology,hacking and fun-Conducted at PES college of engineering, Mandya.

Nagarhole-another memorable trip

With the old crew back in action, this was our second trip in a short span of 40-50 days! This time it was back to the origins. With no confirmed reservations or a defined period of stay we headed out towards our favorite location-Nagarhole. With the regular breakfast stop near one of the farms on the way for breakfast, we headed towards nagarhole. Reaching there at peak noon the heat was much more bearable- unlike the current Bangalore heat.

Rahein

Anjaani rahoon par chal pada, Duniya ke reet se lad pada. Kal ka tha ek ajeeb sa darr, Par dil se na mukar saka. Manzil ki na fikr thi Jeet ka tha, matlab kuch aur Zindagi ke shor me, Sanate ki talaash thi. Raat ke andheron me, Ek saaye ki aas thi. Tanhai basi mehfilo mein,jahaan Yaar bhi bane anjaane yahaan Umeed ke bal chalte hai, Kaaton bhari rah par. Khili hain kaliyaan nanhi si, Inhi ki mehek le, chalte chale

In the midst of beauty

After ditching Melukote plans with Aravind, I Was on my way to Lakovalli forest range located on Bhadra dam. We left early in the morning around 7, Relishing Tatte idlis and Dosa’s on road side stores cruising towards River Tern resort. Reaching around 12pm, turned off my phone keeping my watch and camara as the only electronic gadget with me, starting another awesome weekend. we settled in our luxurious rooms(no Sarcasm).

Riding with the convoy

I’ve always dreamt of being in the armed forces, one reason for that- is you get to drive in a convoy :) Well today something special happened, on my way to office(I was late-not the usual late.Very late!) . So on my way when i got onto the main airport road the road was empty and i was so happy to see an empty road, and then in front of me i see a convoy moving.

Why one must Blog

Modern development in technology has given us the internet connectivity, super friendly mobile phone, portable computers and much more. With all this sharing has become easier, but still-blogs seem to be the least used. All that we share seems to die out on the walls of facebook. This post lists few reason why I feel we all must Blog. To share Sharing is one of the most humane acts one can do.

WinterWorkshop'13-Memories Made!

I guess January is my memory-making time, right after hibernation(As Aravind puts it). Last year as a participant at IIT kanpur and this year on the other side, as an organizer for FSMK-winter workshop conducted at SVIT,Rajunkunte. As part of FSMK, I have, as i say ‘evolved’ in many aspects. It has been a catalyst and a platform in bridging my passion of technology and my hope to help society in my own way.

Where do the children play?

/Well you roll on roads over fresh green grass. For your lorry loads pumping petrol gas. And you make them long, and you make them tough. But they just go on and on, and it seems that you can’t get off. Oh, I know we’ve come a long way, We’re changing day to day, But tell me, where do the children play? / Those were the lyrics of “where do the children play” by cat stevens.

The picture of Dorian Gray

My last read was “The picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde. Suggested and given to me Raghu, this was one interesting read. The book takes you through the life of Dorian, a handsome youth who wishes never to grow old. This particular wish of his comes true, his soul resides in one of his portraits, So the portrait grows old while he remains young forever. A very interesting character in the book, is Lord Henry.

Movie List

Listing down some of my favorite movies, to help me remember: v for vendetta Trueman show goodwill hunting dead poets society saving private Ryan golmaal-old Dosti pyaasa kagazz ke phool corpse bride up wall e pay it forward hachiko gattaca upkaar two brothers lion of the desert my autograph Anbe shivam kanathil muthamutai bicentinial man aramane prestige illusionist great escape guide devils advocate topgun scent of a woman behind enemy lines enemy at the gates Anjali Halo-hindi Amelia chaplin-life million dollar baby the departed chaundvi ka chand sahib biwi aur gulam A beautiful mind Deiva tirumagal Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy how to train your dragon Identity Lion king The man from earth Shawshank redemption Schindler’s List the Machinist  Masoom

Kanpur-The journey of a lifetime

Finally giving words to one of the best travel experience of my life till date. This post is more of a collection of few of my memories of the great trip. November 2011, the semester about to end. I was gearing up for semester end, Aravind registers me up for the tech Fest held by IIT kanpur. The fest was to be held during end of January, but we started working our asses off right from December i guess.

Miles from Nowhere

Life!!Something that I’ve always loved and am intrigued by the way it goes. Disappointing at times though, but when looked at the bigger picture it just makes me laugh at my disappointments. The reason these thoughts suddenly came up, was after pondering about the latest group.The PhotoElectricChefs. The idea of the group started way back in December 2011, I guess. Finally after discussions over discussions by the end of January it was decided.

NEET! An upcoming challenge

Our deteriorating education system has taken another plunge, atleast in Karnataka. As i always complain about the education system we have here, here is another post which points at the blunders, which are about to set the dreams of many students ablaze. The recent supreme court verdict, to have a common all India medical examination. Though this sounds like a positive step towards National integration and promoting development to some, it poses a major threat to student studying/studied under the State university board.

The true measure of TIME

Time has always been a mystery to everyone of us.The very fact,that it you cannot slow it down, speed it up or even stop it makes it quite impossible to understand. Many of us complain ‘time has passed very fast’ and some of us complain ‘it has been too slow’. Einstein giving an example for his theory of relativity explains this feeling in a beautiful manner. / / /“Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour.

Aakri Din

Aankhon me kuch sapne sajake, Dil me armaan jagaye, Lia humne,pehla khadam -kabhi aaj us zindagi ka hai aakri din Waqt ke saath daud lagate, hawaoo me udte khwaab jagaate chale the kaanton par-kabhi Aaj us zindagi ka hai, aakri din hasi ki hum bazaar hote, sab ki muskaan ki wajah hote, dukh me sukh dhoondte hum,sabhi aaj us zindagi ka hai,aakri din Khel khel me bheet gaye Sunehre pallo ke din,

Growth of the Mavrick's

Its been two years now!It started about two years back, in October. A group of 7 of us, who were bored of the regular monotonous classroom life, wanted to do something different,things which were beyond the scope of the syllabus, outside academics, stuff that would make us different, and we make a difference in the world.Initiated by Raghavendra in October,2010 today this group has evolved into one massive group, and also branched out into different groups with specific interests.

Taking ownership!

In the last couple of years I have been part of couple of groups in college and outside college. There were a couple of them i had initiated, but they failed. In the process I have learn’t alot. The most important thing for all members of the group is for them to take ownership of the group and work as a group, and not for individual gains, though individual gain will be a by-product.

Bachpan

Kidki par kadhe,Bheeten dino ki yaadein lia Paani ki naali deekhe,Kaagaz ki naun banaali Baarish ki boonden padhi,Bheegne bhaag chale Panchiyon ko udte dekha,Unke ke saath kuch khaab bhi udhe Baadal leheraati hui nazar aayen,toh socha zindagi yun leheraagayi. Chamakte taaron ki tarah kuch puraani dil ki tamanna yaad aayi. by Komal K Kubsad & ME

सच

रात के अँधेरे में, उजाला देता चला सूरज के रौशनी से, रातें सजाता चला| हर लैला का आइना हूँ, हर फनकार की माज़मुं हूँ| बच्चों का मामा बना, तन्हाई में सबका सहारा बना| देखा सबने, रौशन चेहरा मेरा, अँधेरे हिस्सों में छुपा है गहरा सच मेरा| Transliterated by Aditya G Raat ke andhero mein- ujala deeta chala, Suraj ki roshni lia - raatein sajaata chala. Har laila ka aainaa huu

workshop experience!

Obstacles in life always teach us something./ _ - prof Chatterjee_ Though not the same words as those used by prof Chatterjee(thanks to my frail memory) i think the meaning is conveyed! The last few days have been very eventful, conducted my first robotic workshop under fsmk along with a team consisting of Aravind,Varun,Harshita nd mike. As usual nothing went the way it was planned. The pcb’s which were supposed to arrive on Monday, came late night on Thursday.

Open day!

This Saturday was indeed fun filled and tiring at the same time! being a volunteer at FSMK, i was asked with a couple of other friends and senior members to be a part of the stall put up in IISC, Bangalore as part of their open day. We were supposed to educate and enable people about the philosophy of free software and activities related to FSMK. At the same time also help them to switch over to free platforms.