Professor M.R. Ravi


Professor – Dr. M.R. Ravi

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I don’t really have any wild stories. I was a pretty sober guy back in the day.


Lesser known facets of his personality…

That’s quite an open ended question. I think it’s pretty much all out there. I have been interacting and teaching so many students over these years. They already know about my eccentricities, and I guess they’d be a much better people to answer that question.

On his escapades as a college student

I’m not a usual combination of a B. Tech and M. Tech degree. I did a B.Sc, followed by an M.E. and a Doctorate. Back when I was in Madras University, doing my B.Sc, our 5th semester exams got delayed by 2 months, due to a strike in the college. This was a really big problem, as we would miss the deadlines for placements and admissions to other universities. To handle this, we decided to pool some money. A couple of other students and I were nominated to go and talk to the director of technical education and the education minister of the state, to resolve the impasse. He said that he’ll look into the issue. Unfortunately, the exams did ultimately get late, and finished in late July. After that, I got accepted in IISc, but wasn’t able to furnish the certificate or mark-sheet, as the results had also been delayed. IISc did give me some time, without which I would’ve been removed from the college. Eventually though, thinks worked out and I got the results and all the relevant documents from Madras University. So this, although not a ‘wild’ story in the conventional sense that you’re looking for, was a rather offbeat incident during my college days. 

 Academic and teaching interests…

I only teach courses that pertain to my specialization and areas of interest. So, pretty much everything that I teach is of great interest to me. Also, teaching is something that I really enjoy, and I didn’t give it up even when I had the added responsibility of a dean. I believe that it is my moral responsibility to properly do whatever work I am assigned, otherwise there is no point of doing it at all. 

 About his hobbies…

I was the eldest child in my family, so a lot of my interests really evolved with age. When I was a kid, I used to play with tops a lot. I’d wind up a string and try to make it rotate as fast as possible. Later, in my preteens, my constant companion was my younger brother, with whom I’d fly kites. I also was interested in cricket in high school, but never played competitively as such. One of my hobbies, which developed into my adulthood, has been Carnatic Classical music. When my family got a tape recorder, I would spend hours and hours listening to some great Carnatic music, and recording it. As a faculty member in IITB, I also learnt vocal Carnatic music for a couple of years. A couple of other students, one who played the violin and another who sang, performed and practiced with me from time to time. Even in IITD, I was involved with SPIC MACAY, as a coordinator and as a volunteer too.

Proudest moment as a professor…

There is no one such moment. I feel extremely happy when I get to know about some of my students who get tenured positions in foreign universities, when they get jobs in prestigious companies, or when they share their experiences. I especially like it when former students come and appreciate the courses I conducted and what I taught. Some students even told me that they developed an interest in the course after I taught it. It is incidents like these that really make me happy. 

On meeting Dr. Kohli…

I met her in IISc. She joined after working for a few years, so she was a junior in college. I started interacting with her in college itself. 

On what he expects from IIT in the future…

 I really want to see the student community becoming self-sufficient and self-regulatory. It has happened already, to a certain extent. Whenever something negative happens, the student community is quick to condemn it. What I want, is for them to become mature enough to be able to control whatever is good or bad, and to have the right amount of autonomy and independence, with the appropriate amount of responsibility.  

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