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The signals are sorted for meanings so that the brain recognizes what each object is and what its presence means. From the neocortex, the old theory held, the signals are sent to the limbic brain, and from there the appropriate response radiates out through the brain and the rest of the body. That is the way it works much or most of the time—but LeDoux discovered a smaller bundle of neurons that leads directly from the thalamus to the amygdala, in addition to those going through the larger path of neurons to the cortex.
This smaller and shorter pathway—something like a neural back alley—allows the amygdala to receive some direct inputs from the senses and start a response before they are fully registered by the neocortex. This discovery overthrows the notion that the amygdala must depend entirely on signals from the neocortex to formulate its emotional reactions.
The amygdala can trigger an emotional response via this emergency route even as a parallel reverberating circuit begins between the amygdala and neocortex. The amygdala can have us spring to action while the slightly slower—but more fully informed—neocortex unfolds its more refined plan for reaction. LeDoux overturned the prevailing wisdom about the pathways traveled by emotions through his research on fear in animals. In a crucial experiment he destroyed the auditory cortex of rats, then exposed them to a tone paired with an electric shock.
The rats quickly learned to fear the tone, even though the sound of the tone could not register in their neocortex. Instead, the sound took the direct route from ear to thalamus to amygdala, skipping all higher avenues. In short, the rats had learned an emotional reaction without any higher cortical involvement: The amygdala perceived, remembered, and orchestrated their fear independently.
This bypass seems to allow the amygdala to be a repository for emotional impressions and memories that we have never known about in full awareness. Most of the message then goes to the visual cortex, where it is analyzed and assessed for meaning and appropriate response; if that response is emotional, a signal goes to the amygdala to activate the emotional centers. But a smaller portion of the original signal goes straight from the thalamus to the amygdala in a quicker transmission, allowing a faster though less precise response.
Thus the amygdala can trigger an emotional response before the cortical centers have fully understood what is happening. Other research has shown that in the first few milliseconds of our perceiving something we not only unconsciously comprehend what it is, but decide whether we like it or not; the "cognitive unconscious" presents our awareness with not just the identity of what we see, but an opinion about it.
Research by LeDoux and other neuroscientists now seems to suggest that the hippocampus, which has long been considered the key structure of the limbic system, is more involved in registering and making sense of perceptual patterns than with emotional reactions. The hippocampus's main input is in providing a keen memory of context, vital for emotional meaning; it is the hippocampus that recognizes the differing significance of, say, a bear in the zoo versus one in your backyard.
While the hippocampus remembers the dry facts, the amygdala retains the emotional flavor that goes with those facts. If we try to pass a car on a two-lane highway and narrowly miss having a head-on collision, the hippocampus retains the specifics of the incident, like what stretch of road we were on, who was with us, what the other car looked like.
But it is the amygdala that everafter will send a surge of anxiety through us whenever we try to pass a car in similar circumstances. As LeDoux put it to me, "The hippocampus is crucial in recognizing a face as that of your cousin. But it is the amygdala that adds you don't really like her.
These hormones activate receptors on the vagus nerve; while the vagus nerve carries messages from the brain to regulate the heart, it also carries signals back into the brain, triggered by epinephrine and norepinephrine. The amygdala is the main site in the brain where these signals go; they activate neurons within the amygdala to signal other brain regions to strengthen memory for what is happening.
This amygdala arousal seems to imprint in memory most moments of emotional arousal with an added degree of strength—that's why we are more likely, for example, to remember where we went on a first date, or what we were doing when we heard the news that the space shuttle Challenger had exploded.
The more intense the amygdala arousal, the stronger the imprint; the experiences that scare or thrill us the most in life are among our most indelible memories. This means that, in effect, the brain has two memory systems, one for ordinary facts and one for emotionally charged ones. A special system for emotional memories makes excellent sense in evolution, of course, ensuring that animals would have particularly vivid memories of what threatens or pleases them. But emotional memories can be faulty guides to the present.
As the repository for emotional memory, the amygdala scans experience, comparing what is happening now with what happened in the past. Its method of comparison is associative: when one key element of a present situation is similar to the past, it can call it a "match"—which is why this circuit is sloppy: it acts before there is full confirmation. It frantically commands that we react to the present in ways that were imprinted long ago, with thoughts, emotions, reactions learned in response to events perhaps only dimly similar, but close enough to alarm the amygdala.
Thus a former army nurse, traumatized by the relentless flood of ghastly wounds she once tended in wartime, is suddenly swept with a mix of dread, loathing, and panic—a repeat of her battlefield reaction triggered once again, years later, by the stench when she opens a closet door to find her toddler had stashed a stinking diaper there. A few spare elements of the situation is all that need seem similar to some past danger for the amygdala to trigger its emergency proclamation.
The trouble is that along with the emotionally charged memories that have the power to trigger this crisis response can come equally outdated ways of responding to it. The emotional brain's imprecision in such moments is added to by the fact that many potent emotional memories date from the first few years of life, in the relationship between an infant and its caretakers.
This is especially true for traumatic events, like beatings or outright neglect. During this early period of life other brain structures, particularly the hippocampus, which is crucial for narrative memories, and the neocortex, seat of rational thought, have yet to become fully developed. In memory, the amygdala and hippocampus work hand-in-hand; each stores and retrieves its special information independently.
While the hippocampus retrieves information, the amygdala determines if that information has any emotional valence. But the amygdala, which matures very quickly in the infant's brain, is much closer to fully formed at birth.
LeDoux turns to the role of the amygdala in childhood to support what has long been a basic tenet of psychoanalytic thought: that the interactions of life's earliest years lay down a set of emotional lessons based on the attunement and upsets in the contacts between infant and caretakers. One reason we can be so baffled by our emotional outbursts, then, is that they often date from a time early in our lives when things were bewildering and we did not yet have words for comprehending events.
We may have the chaotic feelings, but not the words for the memories that formed them. In a second I leapt out of bed and ran out of the room, terrified the entire ceiling would cave in. Then, realizing I was safe, I cautiously peered back in the bedroom to see what had caused all the damage—only to discover that the sound I had taken to be the ceiling caving in was actually the fall of a tall pile of boxes my wife had stacked in the corner the day before while she sorted out her closet.
Nothing had fallen from the attic: there was no attic. The ceiling was intact, and so was I. My leap from bed while half-asleep—which might have saved me from injury had it truly been the ceiling falling—illustrates the power of the amygdala to propel us to action in emergencies, vital moments before the neocortex has time to fully register what is actually going on.
The emergency route from eye or ear to thalamus to amygdala is crucial: it saves time in an emergency, when an instantaneous response is required. But this circuit from thalamus to amygdala carries only a small portion of sensory messages, with the majority taking the main route up to the neocortex.
So what registers in the amygdala via this express route is, at best, a rough signal, just enough for a warning. As LeDoux points out, "You don't need to know exactly what something is to know that it may be dangerous. The amygdala in a rat can begin a response to a perception in as little as twelve milliseconds—twelve thousandths of a second. The route from thalamus to neocortex to amygdala takes about twice as long. Similar measurements have yet to be made in the human brain, but the rough ratio would likely hold.
In evolutionary terms, the survival value of this direct route would have been great, allowing a quick-response option that shaves a few critical milliseconds in reaction time to dangers. Those milliseconds could well have saved the lives of our protomammalian ancestors in such numbers that this arrangement is now featured in every mammalian brain, including yours and mine.
In fact, while this circuit may play a relatively limited role in human mental life, largely restricted to emotional crises, much of the mental life of birds, fish, and reptiles revolves around it, since their very survival depends on constantly scanning for predators or prey. But it's a quick-and-dirty process; the cells are fast, but not very precise.
But in human emotional life that imprecision can have disastrous consequences for our relationships, since it means, figuratively speaking, we can spring at or away from the wrong thing—or person. Consider, for example, the waitress who dropped a tray of six dinners when she glimpsed a woman with a huge, curly mane of red hair—exactly like the woman her ex- husband had left her for.
Such inchoate emotional mistakes are based on feeling prior to thought. LeDoux calls it "precognitive emotion," a reaction based on neural bits and pieces of sensory information that have not been fully sorted out and integrated into a recognizable object. It's a very raw form of sensory information, something like a neural Name That Tune, where, instead of snap judgments of melody being made on the basis of just a few notes, a whole perception is grasped on the basis of the first few tentative parts.
If the amygdala senses a sensory pattern of import emerging, it jumps to a conclusion, triggering its reactions before there is full confirming evidence—or any confirmation at all. Small wonder we can have so little insight into the murk of our more explosive emotions, especially while they still hold us in thrall.
The amygdala can react in a delirium of rage or fear before the cortex knows what is going on because such raw emotion is triggered independent of, and prior to, thought. While the mother tried not to let Jessica see the intense anxiety she felt, her tension peaked near midnight that night, as she was getting ready for bed and heard the phone ring.
Dropping her toothbrush, she raced to the phone, her heart pounding, images of Jessica in terrible distress racing through her mind. The mother snatched the receiver, and blurted, "Jessica! The prefrontal cortex seems to be at work when someone is fearful or enraged, but stifles or controls the feeling in order to deal more effectively with the situation at hand, or when a reappraisal calls for a completely different response, as with the worried mother on the phone.
This neocortical area of the brain brings a more analytic or appropriate response to our emotional impulses, modulating the amygdala and other limbic areas. Ordinarily the prefrontal areas govern our emotional reactions from the start. The largest projection of sensory information from the thalamus, remember, goes not to the amygdala, but to the neocortex and its many centers for taking in and making sense of what is being perceived; that information and our response to it is coordinated by the prefrontal lobes, the seat of planning and organizing actions toward a goal, including emotional ones.
In the neocortex a cascading series of circuits registers and analyzes that information, comprehends it, and, through the prefrontal lobes, orchestrates a reaction. If in the process an emotional response is called for, the prefrontal lobes dictate it, working hand-in-hand with the amygdala and other circuits in the emotional brain. This progression, which allows for discernment in emotional response, is the standard arrangement, with the significant exception of emotional emergencies. And for we humans.
The neocortical response is slower in brain time than the hijack mechanism because it involves more circuitry. It can also be more judicious and considered, since more thought precedes feeling. When we register a loss and become sad, or feel happy after a triumph, or mull over something someone has said or done and then get hurt or angry, the neocortex is at work.
Just as with the amygdala, absent the workings of the prefrontal lobes, much of emotional life would fall away; lacking an understanding that something merits an emotional response, none comes. This role of the prefrontal lobes in emotions has been suspected by neurologists since the advent in the s of that rather desperate—and sadly misguided—surgical "cure" for mental illness: the prefrontal lobotomy, which often sloppily removed part of the prefrontal lobes or otherwise cut connections between the prefrontal cortex and the lower brain.
The key circuitry had been destroyed. Emotional hijackings presumably involve two dynamics: triggering of the amygdala and a failure to activate the neocortical processes that usually keep emotional response in balance—or a recruitment of the neocortical zones to the emotional urgency. One way the prefrontal cortex acts as an efficient manager of emotion—weighing reactions before acting—is by dampening the signals for activation sent out by the amygdala and other limbic centers— something like a parent who stops an impulsive child from grabbing and tells the child to ask properly or wait for what it wants instead.
Neuropsychologists studying moods in patients with injuries to parts of the frontal lobes have determined that one of the tasks of the left frontal lobe is to act as a neural thermostat, regulating unpleasant emotions. The right prefrontal lobes are a seat of negative feelings like fear and aggression, while the left lobes keep those raw emotions in check, probably by inhibiting the right lobe. His wife told physicians that after the operation he underwent a dramatic personality change, becoming less easily upset and, she was happy to say, more affectionate.
These prefrontal-limbic connections are crucial in mental life far beyond fine-tuning emotion; they are essential for navigating us through the decisions that matter most in life. Take the power of emotions to disrupt thinking itself. Neuroscientists use the term "working memory" for the capacity of attention that holds in mind the facts essential for completing a given task or problem, whether it be the ideal features one seeks in a house while touring several prospects, or the elements of a reasoning problem on a test.
The prefrontal cortex is the brain region responsible for working memory. That is why when we are emotionally upset we say we "just can't think straight"—and why continual emotional distress can create deficits in a child's intellectual abilities, crippling the capacity to learn. These deficits, if more subtle, are not always tapped by IQ testing, though they show up through more targeted neuropsychological measures, as well as in a child's continual agitation and impulsivity.
In one study, for example, primary school boys who had above-average IQ scores but nevertheless were doing poorly in school were found via these neuropsychological tests to have impaired frontal cortex functioning. Despite their intellectual potential, these are the children at highest risk for problems like academic failure, alcoholism, and criminality—not because their intellect is deficient, but because their control over their emotional life is impaired.
The emotional brain, quite separate from those cortical areas tapped by IQ tests, controls rage and compassion alike. These emotional circuits are sculpted by experience throughout childhood—and we leave those experiences utterly to chance at our peril. Consider, too, the role of emotions in even the most "rational" decision-making.
In work with far-reaching implications for understanding mental life, Dr. Antonio Damasio, a neurologist at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, has made careful studies of just what is impaired in patients with damage to the prefrontal-amygdala circuit. Despite their intact intelligence, they make disastrous choices in business and their personal lives, and can even obsess endlessly over a decision so simple as when to make an appointment.
Damasio argues that their decisions are so bad because they have lost access to their emotional learning. As the meeting point between thought and emotion, the prefrontal-amygdala circuit is a crucial doorway to the repository for the likes and dislikes we acquire over the course of a lifetime. Cut off from emotional memory in the amygdala, whatever the neocortex mulls over no longer triggers the emotional reactions that have been associated with it in the past—everything takes on a gray neutrality.
Evidence like this leads Dr. Damasio to the counter-intuitive position that feelings are typically indispensable for rational decisions; they point us in the proper direction, where dry logic can then be of best use. While the world often confronts us with an unwieldy array of choices How should you invest your retirement savings?
Whom should you marry? In this way, Dr. Damasio argues, the emotional brain is as involved in reasoning as is the thinking brain. The emotions, then, matter for rationality. In the dance of feeling and thought the emotional faculty guides our moment-to-moment decisions, working hand-in-hand with the rational mind, enabling—or disabling—thought itself. Likewise, the thinking brain plays an executive role in our emotions—except in those moments when emotions surge out of control and the emotional brain runs rampant.
In a sense we have two brains, two minds—and two different kinds of intelligence: rational and emotional. How we do in life is determined by both—it is not just IQ, but emotional intelligence that matters. Indeed, intellect cannot work at its best without emotional intelligence. Ordinarily the complementarity of limbic system and neocortex, amygdala and prefrontal lobes, means each is a full partner in mental life.
When these partners interact well, emotional intelligence rises—as does intellectual ability. This turns the old understanding of the tension between reason and feeling on its head: it is not that we want to do away with emotion and put reason in its place, as Erasmus had it, but instead find the intelligent balance of the two. The old paradigm held an ideal of reason freed of the pull of emotion. The new paradigm urges us to harmonize head and heart. To do that well in our lives means we must first understand more exactly what it means to use emotion intelligently.
But the facts as widely reported are these: Jason H. Not just any medical school—he dreamt of Harvard. But Pologruto, his physics teacher, had given Jason an 80 on a quiz. Believing the grade—a mere B—put his dream in jeopardy, Jason took a butcher knife to school and, in a confrontation with Pologruto in the physics lab, stabbed his teacher in the collarbone before being subdued in a struggle.
A judge found Jason innocent, temporarily insane during the incident—a panel of four psychologists and psychiatrists swore he was psychotic during the fight. Jason claimed he had been planning to commit suicide because of the test score, and had gone to Pologruto to tell him he was killing himself because of the bad grade. Pologruto told a different story: "I think he tried to completely do me in with the knife" because he was infuriated over the bad grade.
After transferring to a private school, Jason graduated two years later at the top of his class. A perfect grade in regular classes would have given him a straight-A, 4. Even as Jason graduated with highest honors, his old physics teacher, David Pologruto, complained that Jason had never apologized or even taken responsibility for the attack. The answer: Academic intelligence has little to do with emotional life. The brightest among us can founder on the shoals of unbridled passions and unruly impulses; people with high IQs can be stunningly poor pilots of their private lives.
One of psychology's open secrets is the relative inability of grades, IQ, or SAT scores, despite their popular mystique, to predict unerringly who will succeed in life. To be sure, there is a relationship between IQ and life circumstances for large groups as a whole: many people with very low IQs end up in menial jobs, and those with high IQs tend to become well-paid—but by no means always.
There are widespread exceptions to the rule that IQ predicts success—many or more exceptions than cases that fit the rule. As one observer notes, "The vast majority of one's ultimate niche in society is determined by non-IQ factors, ranging from social class to luck. Senator or make a million dollars, he should not put aside his dreams The link between test scores and those achievements is dwarfed by the totality of other characteristics that he brings to life.
Unlike IQ, with its nearly one- hundred-year history of research with hundreds of thousands of people, emotional intelligence is a new concept. No one can yet say exactly how much of the variability from person to person in life's course it accounts for. But what data exist suggest it can be as powerful, and at times more powerful, than IQ.
And while there are those who argue that IQ cannot be changed much by experience or education, I will show in Part Five that the crucial emotional competencies can indeed be learned and improved upon by children—if we bother to teach them. Despite his formidable intellectual abilities, he spent most of his time hanging out, staying up late, and missing classes by sleeping until noon. It took him almost ten years to finally get his degree. IQ offers little to explain the different destinies of people with roughly equal promises, schooling, and opportunity.
When ninety-five Harvard students from the classes of the s—a time when people with a wider spread of IQ were at Ivy League schools than is presently the case—were followed into middle age, the men with the highest test scores in college were not particularly successful compared to their lower-scoring peers in terms of salary, productivity, or status in their field. Nor did they have the greatest life satisfaction, nor the most happiness with friendships, family, and romantic relationships.
A third had IQs below But again IQ had little relationship to how well they had done at work or in the rest of their lives; for instance, 7 percent of men with IQs under 80 were unemployed for ten or more years, but so were 7 percent of men with IQs over To be sure, there was a general link as there always is between IQ and socioeconomic level at age forty-seven.
But childhood abilities such as being able to handle frustrations, control emotions, and get on with other people made the greater difference. All, of course, had the highest grade-point averages in their schools.
But while they continued to achieve well in college, getting excellent grades, by their late twenties they had climbed to only average levels of success. Ten years after graduating from high school, only one in four were at the highest level of young people of comparable age in their chosen profession, and many were doing much less well. Karen Arnold, professor of education at Boston University, one of the researchers tracking the valedictorians, explains, "I think we've discovered the 'dutiful'—people who know how to achieve in the system.
But valedictorians struggle as surely as we all do. To know that a person is a valedictorian is to know only that he or she is exceedingly good at achievement as measured by grades. It tells you nothing about how they react to the vicissitudes of life. Yet even though a high IQ is no guarantee of prosperity, prestige, or happiness in life, our schools and our culture fixate on academic abilities, ignoring emotional intelligence, a set of traits—some might call it character—that also matters immensely for our personal destiny.
Emotional life is a domain that, as surely as math or reading, can be handled with greater or lesser skill, and requires its unique set of competencies. And how adept a person is at those is crucial to understanding why one person thrives in life while another, of equal intellect, dead-ends: emotional aptitude is a meta-ability, determining how well we can use whatever other skills we have, including raw intellect.
Of course, there are many paths to success in life, and many domains in which other aptitudes are rewarded. In our increasingly knowledge-based society, technical skill is certainly one. There is a children's joke: "What do you call a nerd fifteen years from now? People with well-developed emotional skills are also more likely to be content and effective in their lives, mastering the habits of mind that foster their own productivity; people who cannot marshal some control over their emotional life fight inner battles that sabotage their ability for focused work and clear thought.
She hangs back from the action at playtime, staying on the margins of games rather than plunging into the center. But Judy is actually a keen observer of the social politics of her preschool classroom, perhaps the most sophisticated of her playmates in her insights into the tides of feeling within the others. Her sophistication is not apparent until Judy's teacher gathers the four-year-olds around to play what they call the Classroom Game.
The Classroom Game—a dollhouse replica of Judy's own preschool classroom, with stick figures who have for heads small photos of the students and teachers—is a test of social perceptiveness. When Judy's teacher asks her to put each girl and boy in the part of the room they like to play in most —the art corner, the blocks corner, and so on—Judy does so with complete accuracy.
And when asked to put each boy and girl with the children they like to play with most, Judy shows she can match best friends for the entire class. Judy's accuracy reveals that she has a perfect social map of her class, a level of perceptiveness exceptional for a four-year-old. These are the skills that, in later life, might allow Judy to blossom into a star in any of the fields where "people skills" count, from sales and management to diplomacy. That Judy's social brilliance was spotted at all, let alone this early, was due to her being a student at the Eliot-Pearson Preschool on the campus of Tufts University, where Project Spectrum, a curriculum that intentionally cultivates a variety of kinds of intelligence, was then being developed.
Project Spectrum recognizes that the human repertoire of abilities goes far beyond the three R's, the narrow band of word-and- number skills that schools traditionally focus on. It acknowledges that capacities such as Judy's social perceptiveness are talents that an education can nurture rather than ignore or even frustrate.
By encouraging children to develop a full range of the abilities that they will actually draw on to succeed, or use simply to be fulfilled in what they do, school becomes an education in life skills. We've completely lost sight of that. Instead we subject everyone to an education where, if you succeed, you will be best suited to be a college professor. And we evaluate everyone along the way according to whether they meet that narrow standard of success.
We should spend less time ranking children and more time helping them to identify their natural competencies and gifts, and cultivate those. There are hundreds and hundreds of ways to succeed, and many, many different abilities that will help you get there. He points out that the glory days of the IQ tests began during World War I, when two million American men were sorted out through the first mass paper-and-pencil form of the IQ test, freshly developed by Lewis Terman, a psychologist at Stanford.
This led to decades of what Gardner calls the "IQ way of thinking": "that people are either smart or not, are born that way, that there's nothing much you can do about it, and that tests can tell you if you are one of the smart ones or not. The SAT test for college admissions is based on the same notion of a single kind of aptitude that determines your future. This way of thinking permeates society. His list includes the two standard academic kinds, verbal and mathematical- logical alacrity, but it goes on to include the spatial capacity seen in, say, an outstanding artist or architect; the kinesthetic genius displayed in the physical fluidity and grace of a Martha Graham or Magic Johnson; and the musical gifts of a Mozart or YoYo Ma.
Rounding out the list are two faces of what Gardner calls "the personal intelligences": interpersonal skills, like those of a great therapist such as Carl Rogers or a world-class leader such as Martin Luther King, Jr.
The operative word in this view of intelligences is multiple: Gardner's model pushes way beyond the standard concept of IQ as a single, immutable factor. It recognizes that the tests that tyrannized us as we went through school—from the achievement tests that sorted us out into those who would be shunted toward technical schools and those destined for college, to the SATs that determined what, if any, college we would be allowed to attend—are based on a limited notion of intelligence, one out of touch with the true range of skills and abilities that matter for life over and beyond IQ.
At one point, Gardner and his research colleagues had stretched these seven to a list of twenty different varieties of intelligence. Interpersonal intelligence, for example, broke down into four distinct abilities: leadership, the ability to nurture relationships and keep friends, the ability to resolve conflicts, and skill at the kind of social analysis that four- year-old Judy excels at.
This multifaceted view of intelligence offers a richer picture of a child's ability and potential for success than the standard IQ. When Spectrum students were evaluated on the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale—once the gold standard of IQ tests—and again by a battery designed to measure Gardner's spectrum of intelligences, there was no significant relationship between children's scores on the two tests.
For example, of the five "smartest" children according to the IQ tests, one was strong in three areas, three had strengths in two areas, and one "smart" child had just one Spectrum strength. Those strengths were scattered: four of these children's strengths were in music, two in the visual arts, one in social understanding, one in logic, two in language. None of the five high-IQ kids were strong in movement, numbers, or mechanics; movement and numbers were actually weak spots for two of these five.
Gardner's conclusion was that "the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale did not predict successful performance across or on a consistent subset of Spectrum activities. Gardner's thinking about the multiplicity of intelligence continues to evolve. Some ten years after he first published his theory, Gardner gave these nutshell summaries of the personal intelligences: Inter personal intelligence is the ability to understand other people: what motivates them, how they work, how to work cooperatively with them.
Successful salespeople, politicians, teachers, clinicians, and religious leaders are all likely to be individuals with high degrees of interpersonal intelligence, Intrapersonal intelligence. It is a capacity to form an accurate, veridical model of oneself and to be able to use that model to operate effectively in life.
Perhaps this is so because, as Gardner suggested to me, his work is so strongly informed by a cognitive-science model of mind. Thus his view of these intelligences emphasizes cognition—the understanding of oneself and of others in motives, in habits of working, and in putting that insight into use in conducting one's own life and getting along with others.
But like the kinesthetic realm, where physical brilliance manifests itself nonverbally, the realm of the emotions extends, too, beyond the reach of language and cognition. While there is ample room in Gardner's descriptions of the personal intelligences for insight into the play of emotions and mastery in managing them, Gardner and those who work with him have not pursued in great detail the role of feeling in these intelligences, focusing more on cognitions about feeling.
This focus, perhaps unintentionally, leaves unexplored the rich sea of emotions that makes the inner life and relationships so complex, so compelling, and so often puzzling. And it leaves yet to be plumbed both the sense in which there is intelligence in the emotions and the sense in which intelligence can be brought to emotions. Gardner's emphasis on the cognitive elements in the personal intelligences reflects the Zeitgeist of psychology that has shaped his views. Psychology's overemphasis on cognition even in the realm of emotion is, in part, due to a quirk in the history of that science.
During the middle decades of this century academic psychology was dominated by behaviorists in the mold of B. Skinner, who felt that only behavior that could be seen objectively, from the outside, could be studied with scientific accuracy.
The behaviorists ruled all inner life, including emotions, out-of-bounds for science. Then, with the coming in the late s of the "cognitive revolution," the focus of psychological science turned to how the mind registers and stores information, and the nature of intelligence. But emotions were still off-limits. Conventional wisdom among cognitive scientists held that intelligence entails a cold, hard-nosed processing of fact. It is hyperrational, rather like Star Treks Mr. Spock, the archetype of dry information bytes unmuddied by feeling, embodying the idea that emotions have no place in intelligence and only muddle our picture of mental life.
The cognitive scientists who embraced this view have been seduced by the computer as the operative model of mind, forgetting that, in reality, the brain's wetware is awash in a messy, pulsating puddle of neurochemicals, nothing like the sanitized, orderly silicon that has spawned the guiding metaphor for mind. The predominant models among cognitive scientists of how the mind processes information have lacked an acknowledgment that rationality is guided by—and can be swamped by—feeling.
The cognitive model is, in this regard, an impoverished view of the mind, one that fails to explain the Sturm und Drang of feelings that brings flavor to the intellect. In order to persist in this view, cognitive scientists themselves have had to ignore the relevance for their models of mind of their personal hopes and fears, their marital squabbles and professional jealousies—the wash of feeling that gives life its flavor and its urgencies, and which in every moment biases exactly how and how well or poorly information is processed.
The lopsided scientific vision of an emotionally flat mental life—which has guided the last eighty years of research on intelligence—is gradually changing as psychology has begun to recognize the essential role of feeling in thinking. Rather like the Spockish character Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation, psychology is coming to appreciate the power and virtues of emotions in mental life, as well as their dangers. After all, as Data sees to his own dismay, could he feel dismay , his cool logic fails to bring the right human solution.
Our humanity is most evident in our feelings; Data seeks to feel, knowing that something essential is missing. Lacking the lyrical sense that feeling brings, Data can play music or write poetry with technical virtuosity, but not feel its passion. The lesson of Data's yearning for yearning itself is that the higher values of the human heart—faith, hope, devotion, love—are missing entirely from the coldly cognitive view.
Emotions enrich; a model of mind that leaves them out is impoverished. When I asked Gardner about his emphasis on thoughts about feelings, or metacognition, more than on emotions themselves, he acknowledged that he tended to view intelligence in a cognitive way, but told me, "When I first wrote about the personal intelligences, I was talking about emotion, especially in my notion of intrapersonal intelligence—one component is emotionally tuning in to yourself.
It's the visceral- feeling signals you get that are essential for interpersonal intelligence. But as it has developed in practice, the theory of multiple intelligence has evolved to focus more on meta-cognition"—that is, awareness of one's mental processes—"rather than on the full range of emotional abilities. And in the day-to-day world no intelligence is more important than the interpersonal. If you don't have it, you'll make poor choices about who to marry, what job to take, and so on.
We need to train children in the personal intelligences in school. To get a fuller understanding of just what such training might be like, we must turn to other theorists who are following Gardner's intellectual lead—most notably a Yale psychologist, Peter Salovey, who has mapped in great detail the ways in which we can bring intelligence to our emotions.
Thus E. Thorndike, an eminent psychologist who was also influential in popularizing the notion of IQ in the s and s, proposed in a Harper's Magazine article that one aspect of emotional intelligence, "social" intelligence—the ability to understand others and "act wisely in human relations"—was itself an aspect of a person's IQ.
Other psychologists of the time took a more cynical view of social intelligence, seeing it in terms of skills for manipulating other people— getting them to do what you want, whether they want to or not. But neither of these formulations of social intelligence held much sway with theorists of IQ, and by an influential textbook on intelligence tests pronounced social intelligence a "useless" concept.
But personal intelligence would not be ignored, mainly because it makes both intuitive and common sense. For example, when Robert Steinberg, another Yale psychologist, asked people to describe an "intelligent person," practical people skills were among the main traits listed. More systematic research by Sternberg led him back to Thorndike's conclusion: that social intelligence is both distinct from academic abilities and a key part of what makes people do well in the practicalities of life.
Among the practical intelligences that are, for instance, so highly valued in the workplace is the kind of sensitivity that allows effective managers to pick up tacit messages. These psychologists—Sternberg and Salovey among them— have taken a wider view of intelligence, trying to reinvent it in terms of what it takes to lead life successfully. Salovey subsumes Gardner's personal intelligences in his basic definition of emotional intelligence, expanding these abilities into five main domains 1.
Knowing one's emotions. Self-awareness—recognizing a feeling as it happens — is the keystone of emotional intelligence. As we will see in Chapter 4, the ability to monitor feelings from moment to moment is crucial to psychological insight and self- understanding.
An inability to notice our true feelings leaves us at their mercy. People with greater certainty about their feelings are better pilots of their lives, having a surer sense of how they really feel about personal decisions from whom to marry to what job to take.
Managing emotions. Handling feelings so they are appropriate is an ability that builds on self-awareness. Chapter 5 will examine the capacity to soothe oneself, to shake off rampant anxiety, gloom, or irritability—and the consequences of failure at this basic emotional skill. People who are poor in this ability are constantly battling feelings of distress, while those who excel in it can bounce back far more quickly from life's setbacks and upsets.
Motivating oneself. As Chapter 6 will show, marshaling emotions in the service of a goal is essential for paying attention, for self-motivation and mastery, and for creativity. Emotional self-control—delaying gratification and stifling impulsiveness— underlies accomplishment of every sort.
And being able to get into the "flow" state enables outstanding performance of all kinds. People who have this skill tend to be more highly productive and effective in whatever they undertake. Recognizing emotions in others. Empathy, another ability that builds on emotional self-awareness, is the fundamental "people skill. People who are empathic are more attuned to the subtle social signals that indicate what others need or want. This makes them better at callings such as the caring professions, teaching, sales, and management.
Handling relationships. The art of relationships is, in large part, skill in managing emotions in others. Chapter 8 looks at social competence and incompetence, and the specific skills involved. These are the abilities that undergird popularity, leadership, and interpersonal effectiveness. People who excel in these skills do well at anything that relies on interacting smoothly with others; they are social stars.
Of course, people differ in their abilities in each of these domains; some of us may be quite adept at handling, say, our own anxiety, but relatively inept at soothing someone else's upsets. Lapses in emotional skills can be remedied: to a great extent each of these domains represents a body of habit and response that, with the right effort, can be improved on.
We all mix intellect and emotional acuity; people with a high IQ but low emotional intelligence or low IQ and high emotional intelligence are, despite the stereotypes, relatively rare. Indeed, there is a slight correlation between IQ and some aspects of emotional intelligence—though small enough to make clear these are largely independent entities.
Unlike the familiar tests for IQ, there is, as yet, no single paper-and-pencil test that yields an "emotional intelligence score" and there may never be one. Although there is ample research on each of its components, some of them, such as empathy, are best tested by sampling a person's actual ability at the task—for example, by having them read a person's feelings from a video of their facial expressions.
Still, using a measure for what he calls "ego resilience" which is quite similar to emotional intelligence it includes the main social and emotional competences , Jack Block, a psychologist at the University of California at Berkeley, has made a comparison of two theoretical pure types: people high in IQ versus people high in emotional aptitudes. The high-IQ pure type that is, setting aside emotional intelligence is almost a caricature of the intellectual, adept in the realm of mind but inept in the personal world.
The profiles differ slightly for men and women. The high-IQ male is typified—no surprise—by a wide range of intellectual interests and abilities. He is ambitious and productive, predictable and dogged, and untroubled by concerns about himself.
He also tends to be critical and condescending, fastidious and inhibited, uneasy with sexuality and sensual experience, unexpressive and detached, and emotionally bland and cold. By contrast, men who are high in emotional intelligence are socially poised, outgoing and cheerful, not prone to fearfulness or worried rumination.
They have a notable capacity for commitment to people or causes, for taking responsibility, and for having an ethical outlook; they are sympathetic and caring in their relationships. Their emotional life is rich, but appropriate; they are comfortable with themselves, others, and the social universe they live in. Purely high-IQ women have the expected intellectual confidence, are fluent in expressing their thoughts, value intellectual matters, and have a wide range of intellectual and aesthetic interests.
Emotionally intelligent women, by contrast, tend to be assertive and express their feelings directly, and to feel positive about themselves; life holds meaning for them. Like the men, they are outgoing and gregarious, and express their feelings appropriately rather than, say, in outbursts they later regret ; they adapt well to stress. Their social poise lets them easily reach out to new people; they are comfortable enough with themselves to be playful, spontaneous, and open to sensual experience.
Unlike the women purely high in IQ, they rarely feel anxious or guilty, or sink into rumination. These portraits, of course, are extremes—all of us mix IQ and emotional intelligence in varying degrees. But they offer an instructive look at what each of these dimensions adds separately to a person's qualities. To the degree a person has both cognitive and emotional intelligence, these pictures merge.
Still, of the two, emotional intelligence adds far more of the qualities that make us more fully human. But the monk replied with scorn, "You're nothing but a lout—I can't waste my time with the likes of you! Socrates's injunction "Know thyself speaks to this keystone of emotional intelligence: awareness of one's own feelings as they occur. It might seem at first glance that our feelings are obvious; more thoughtful reflection reminds us of times we have been all too oblivious to what we really felt about something, or awoke to these feelings late in the game.
Psychologists use the rather ponderous term metacognition to refer to an awareness of thought process, and metamood to mean awareness of one's own emotions. I prefer the term self-awareness, in the sense of an ongoing attention to one's internal states. Such attention takes in whatever passes through awareness with impartiality, as an interested yet unreactive witness.
Some psychoanalysts call it the "observing ego," the capacity of self-awareness that allows the analyst to monitor his own reactions to what the patient is saying, and which the process of free association nurtures in the patient. Self- awareness is not an attention that gets carried away by emotions, overreacting and amplifying what is perceived. Rather, it is a neutral mode that maintains self- reflectiveness even amidst turbulent emotions.
At a minimum, it manifests itself simply as a slight stepping-back from experience, a parallel stream of consciousness that is "meta": hovering above or beside the main flow, aware of what is happening rather than being immersed and lost in it. It is the difference between, for example, being murderously enraged at someone and having the self-reflexive thought "This is anger I'm feeling" even as you are enraged. In terms of the neural mechanics of awareness, this subtle shift in mental activity presumably signals that neocortical circuits are actively monitoring the emotion, a first step in gaining some control.
This awareness of emotions is the fundamental emotional competence on which others, such as emotional self-control, build. Self-awareness, in short, means being "aware of both our mood and our thoughts about that mood," in the words of John Mayer, a University of New Hampshire psychologist who, with Yale's Peter Salovey, is a coformulator of the theory of emotional intelligence.
But Mayer finds that this sensibility also can be less equanimous; typical thoughts bespeaking emotional self-awareness include "I shouldn't feel this way," "I'm thinking good things to cheer up," and, for a more restricted self-awareness, the fleeting thought "Don't think about it" in reaction to something highly upsetting.
Although there is a logical distinction between being aware of feelings and acting to change them, Mayer finds that for all practical purposes the two usually go hand-in- hand: to recognize a foul mood is to want to get out of it. This recognition, however, is distinct from the efforts we make to keep from acting on an emotional impulse. When we say "Stop that! The child's thoughts are still fixated on the trigger for the anger—"But he stole my toy!
Self-awareness has a more powerful effect on strong, aversive feelings: the realization "This is anger I'm feeling" offers a greater degree of freedom—not just the option not to act on it, but the added option to try to let go of it. Aware of their moods as they are having them, these people understandably have some sophistication about their emotional lives. When they get into a bad mood, they don't ruminate and obsess about it, and are able to get out of it sooner.
In short, their mindfulness helps them manage their emotions. These are people who often feel swamped by their emotions and helpless to escape them, as though their moods have taken charge. They are mercurial and not very aware of their feelings, so that they are lost in them rather than having some perspective.
As a result, they do little to try to escape bad moods, feeling that they have no control over their emotional life. They often feel overwhelmed and emotionally out of control. While these people are often clear about what they are feeling, they also tend to be accepting of their moods, and so don't try to change them.
There seem to be two branches of the accepting type: those who are usually in good moods and so have little motivation to change them, and people who, despite their clarity about their moods, are susceptible to bad ones but accept them with a laissez-faire attitude, doing nothing to change them despite their distress—a pattern found among, say, depressed people who are resigned to their despair.
It's been a smooth flight, but as you approach the Rockies the pilot's voice comes over the plane intercom. Please return to your seats and fasten your seat-belts. The question is, what do you do? Are you the kind of person who buries yourself in your book or magazine, or continues watching the movie, tuning out the turbulence? Or are you likely to take out the emergency card and review the precautions, or watch the flight attendants to see if they show signs of panic, or strain to hear the engines to see if there's anything worrisome?
Which of these responses comes more naturally to us is a sign of our favored attentional stance under duress. The airplane scenario itself is an item from a psychological test developed by Suzanne Miller, a psychologist at Temple University, to assess whether people tend to be vigilant, attending carefully to every detail of a distressing predicament, or, in contrast, deal with such anxious moments by trying to distract themselves.
These two attentional stances toward distress have very different consequences for how people experience their own emotional reactions. Those who tune in under duress can, by the very act of attending so carefully, unwittingly amplify the magnitude of their own reactions—especially if their tuning in is devoid of the equanimity of self-awareness.
Those who tune out, who distract themselves, notice less about their own reactions, and so minimize the experience of their emotional response, if not the size of the response itself. At the extremes, this means that for some people emotional awareness is overwhelming, while for others it barely exists.
Consider the college student who, one evening, spotted a fire that had broken out in his dorm, went to get a fire extinguisher, and put the fire out. Nothing unusual—except that on his way to get the extinguisher and then on the way back to the fire, he walked instead of running. The reason? He didn't feel there was any urgency.
This story was told to me by Edward Diener, a University of Illinois at Urbana psychologist who has been studying the intensity with which people experience their emotions. He was, essentially, a man without passions, someone who goes through life feeling little or nothing, even about an emergency like a fire.
By contrast, consider a woman at the opposite end of Diener's spectrum. Skirts have well what kind of character become shorter to appeal to men, students should have. Those who which should be appreciated. Was it not? This will protect thus spreading dissatisfaction women. I wonder how the girls he crowd the streets and participate. Surprisingly, some of the most bizarre comments came for the Women Reservation Bill.
Remember this, you rural women will not get a chance. Our rural women did not have that much attraction. I am sure both of them have contributed remarkably to the development of rural women since then. Biases of a racial kind have always been a feature of our public life. But the most injurious manifestation of Indian racism is against fellow citizens from north-east and against Africans. This will grievously harm India, by encouraging secessionist thoughts in north-eastern India and by making India a hated name in economically burgeoning Africa.
But most other countries do something about it. The fight against Apartheid in South Africa is now part of the history of political heroism. In America, the northern half went to war against the southern half over the issue of slavery.
But the most hilarious comment in this genre belongs to Mr Modi again. Replying to a question on what he was doing to check malnutrition, he seemed to imply that Gujarati girls are malnourished because they diet to appear fashionably thin. The middle-class is more beauty conscious than health conscious — that is a challenge.
In fact it fat. Racist India Partition left the north-eastern Are we being judgemental? Other countries except for an umbilical cord-like do something about racism; our corridor. The physical isolation indifference grievously harms demanded special attention, but India. Migration from West Bengal and Bangladesh, allowed by the authorities for vote-bank politics, turned the locals in Tripura into a minority; Assamese-speakers in Assam who were, naturally, the overwhelming majority in their state became simply the largest group.
Small wonder then that there are 26 active armed groups in the north-east. In five states armed separatist movements are active. This turned the local governments into clients of the Centre and prevented any meaningful economic progress. The result: thousands of local people, English-educated, modernistic and capable, went to other parts of India looking for employment. The beating to death of Nido was in broad daylight.
The shopkeepers who teased him and then attacked him were identified, and yet the police took no action for days. Then came the twist that there was no conclusive proof that Nido died of the beating. This was typical of Delhi and Delhi police. In Delhi University announced a dress code for women students from the north-east avowedly to help them avoid sexual harassment.
When BRICS nations held a summit in Delhi last year, the police harassed Assamese, Manipuris, Mizos, Meghalayans et al in buses, roads and houses until they produced documents to prove their citizenship status; they were mistaken for Tibetan. When a bunch of hooligans not only attacked a Mangalore pub, but also beat the girls who were partying, India was left with a big question- do we need moral policing and even if we do, does this morality stand for beating girls for having a night out, or walking arm-in-arm with a guy or even sitting in the park?
Delhi is a cruel place. As novelist Rana Dasgupta says in his acclaimed new biography of the city, Capital: A Portrait of 21st Century Delhi, if there is an earthquake in Delhi or if the water supply stops, people will not help but slaughter one another. After all, killing of Nido has shocked the office affairs are nothing new? But the politicians preserving the Indian culture but merely make predictable noises sheer hypocrisy.
If these people about action. A sensible India to clean the environment? But then and health centers? But how can diversity. We as Indian citizens have been given In December , innocent the right to freedom then how girls were brutally beaten by the can some stupid hooligans teach Meerut police. These girls were us how to behave. What is more accused of sitting with boys, disappointing is the behavior and were dragged to the police of the national commission of station, where their parents women - what is their motive?
In from eve teasing, etc but is this March girls and boys sitting the only way left? A couple of years back a police complaint was lodged against Mrs. Renuka Choudhary for giving a provoking speech - she had said that some people were trying to Talibanize the Indian society. Taliban justifies its laws about not allowing women to move in the streets without being accompanied by a male close relative, as a protection measure for them. So what are we supposed to do next- ask our brothers and fathers to accompany us to the grocery shops next to our houses?
Let these people have their way and this will be asked of us soon. And another question for this moral police is that if they feel that consuming alcohol is not right, ban it straight away. Form pressure groups, etc, you might even get the support of the public.
But all has to be done under a certain limit, and according to the law, because if you have the right to express your views, others have it too. Because if they are, it is very shameful for the government, all our protectors of the law, for us, the people and most important the democracy called India.
I wish I could just sit at home. Sohan name changed is a six year old boy living in Jaipur. Cute as a button, wearing authentic Rajasthani attire and a smile on his face, he is accompanied by his father who plays the tabla. The sheer lack of apathy was appalling. Kamala is an eight year old girl, dwelling in a small slum in the heart of Bangalore - the city of fun, frolic, shopping and fine dining. Taking care of her two year old sister by day, and washing utensils by night, she is wanting of a normal childhood — one that is carefree, oblivious to hardships.
Yet she carries on her face a perennial smile, so innocent, so pure; a veil that shrouds her reality. A group of college students teach her and the other These are just three stories of the millions all children in her slum, numbers and letters of the En- over the world. Throwing tantrums over college, glish alphabet.
Nothing comes close to the joy of and twisting our faces in disappointment over the learning for them. Eight years old now, he was pushed to work in the We are a generation that has the power to fight, carpet industry to support himself and his siblings. The depth galvanized into action. Join an NGO, teach children of sadness in his eyes goes unnoticed. He lives in a locally, or contribute to society somehow.
Share the small hut with a thatched roof. Wake up, look around you, and be the change. We got tons of surprising, downright sentimental, wacky and…well, unique answers. Samarpana, ICare and CSR are different social service groups on campus, doing their bit for the society. While Samarpana acts as a medium to show our gratitude to the Indian Army, those who risk their lives every day for our safety, iCare and CSR are involved in helping the less fortunate in our society.
From blood donation drives to fundraisers and marathons, these groups stop at nothing to achieve their goal of making a difference. Student Quote: It feels like such an honour to be part of such groups. Spanning from June to mid August, the long summer break opens doors to a million possibilities and opportunities. Last year, I went abroad for a summer course and I did it without having to miss college! The summer break allows us to go for internships that last 2 months long instead of the usual one.
It looks great on the resume and you also have time for a break. Strategically or not? We prefer studying here before the exams as we can discuss, and help each other out freely without having to worry about making too much noise or disturbing others. Having a friend in your professor. Student Quote: Well, according to me a family comprises of a bunch of quirky people who have your back no matter what, care about you and only wish for your happiness. This was the most popular answer to the syllabus, the professors are more than helpful.
The discounts. Having a family in college We spend more than half of our day in college; we spend all our time in college with them and we hang out with them after college as well. People say your college friends are the ones. We all know at least one - and probably many more - people who have become victim to compulsive social networking.
They include friends, family, and even colleagues who seem to spend hour after hour sharing and communicating over social networks like Facebook. Fear of Missing Out, popularly referred to as FoMO, is defined as a pervasive apprehension that others might have rewarding experiences from which one is absent. FoMO is characterized by the desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing - teens and adults text while driving, because the possibility of a social connection is more important than their own lives and the lives of others.
They check their Twitter stream while out with their friends, because something more interesting or entertaining just might be happening. Count how many times you check your email or smartphone for messages, texts, status updates, etc.
You may be surprised. It would understand and complement natural human social behaviour. We may think we get it — that technology is a natural extension of our social lives. We stay up all night waiting for the next status update. We are so connected with one another through our Twitter streams and Foursquare check-ins, through our Facebook and LinkedIn updates,.
No matter how many times we confess the desire to simply disconnect from social media, the act is easier said than done. It is a definitive action, an acquiescence that we desperately miss the luxury of privacy. The image we give off on our Facebook page may not reflect who we are, but who we want others to see. For better or for worse, such is the reality of the millennial generation.
Have Facebook and other social media hijacked our lives? Perhaps it is time to disconnect or at the very least, give ourselves some limits; after all, there is far more to each of us than what appears on a Facebook page. The question is — will we ever settle for what we have, rather than cling to the fear that we may be missing out on something better?
Indian music has no doubt been one of the most influential, evolved species of music in the world, especially on its classical front. It was no coincidence that the iconic act The Beatles, were often compelled to add that Indian zing to their songs. George Harrison started, as early as , by writing three songs that featured in their albums.
Well, we know what happened next; he developed a strong affinity to the sitar. Later that year, he recorded Norwegian Wood for Rubber Soul. The North American version of the Help! Then there was the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi episode. After a brief interaction with him during a lecture in Wales, in , The Beatles travelled to Rishikesh, India, to attend the Transcendental Meditation course, headed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. John flew back to taught John and George a style Yoko in England and I went to Maof finger picking on the guitar, dras and the south of India to see which they implemented in Dear Ravi Shankar and spent another The course consisted of lec- Prudence and Julia few weeks there.
During this period there For Ringo, the stay in India cause, while Ringo would say resulted some remarkable songs. John wrote Dear Prudence in a fortnight he was back home. Of course The Beatles later Bungalow Bill was written about a certain Jungle Jim who used to Paul left a month later, went on to record Across The Unitake breaks to shoot tigers, com- relatively unimpressed by the verse, with the chorus Jai Guru bined with Buffalo Bill.
The story is that. One of my favorite tracks. I just like the sound of it, and I sing it well. Metaphorically speaking… or not! To what extent do metaphors shape and distort our understanding of reality? Metaphors are phrases that use concrete objects and qualities to describe abstractions. They are the lenses we use to interpret and understand our reality. However, recently a new group of people have started to take an intense interest in metaphors: psychologists.
They believe metaphors when used as mental shortcuts pose hidden dangers. By allowing us to grasp unfamiliar concepts by imagining them in terms of concepts already understood, metaphors can obscure or distort our understanding, a pitfall that makes us act in bizarre ways. We take metaphors from the society and culture around us and without realizing it, we are looking through them, using them to interpret our world and govern our actions. Drawing on philosophy and linguistics, cognitive scientists have begun to see the basic metaphors that we use all the time not just as turns of phrase, but as keys to the structure of thought.
By taking these everyday metaphors as literally as possible, psychologists are upending traditional ideas of how we learn, reason, and make sense of the world around us. The result has been a torrent of research testing the links between metaphors and their physical roots, raising many questions. To what extent do metaphors shape the way we conceive our world? To what extent do they mask our surroundings and alter our perception?
How much of our understanding is constructed purely from our imagination through metaphors? What they have found is that, in fact, we do. Ackerman, for example, is looking at the impact of perceptions of hardness on our sense of difficulty. The study is ongoing, but he says he is finding that something as simple as sitting on a hard chair makes people think of a task as harder. If those results hold up, he suggests, it might make sense for future treaty negotiators to take a closer look at everything from the desks to the upholstery of the places where they meet.
Nils Jostmann, the lead author of the weight study, suggests that pollsters might want to take his findings to heart: heavier clipboards and heavier pens for issues that they want considered answers for, lighter ones for questions that they want gut reactions on. How much of an effect these tweaks might have in a real-world setting, researchers emphasize, remains to be seen.
When inviting a new friend over, suggest a cup of hot tea rather than a cold soda, or keep a supply of soft, smooth objects on hand at work - polished pebbles, maybe, or a silk handkerchief - in case things start to feel too daunting. However, one thing is for certain, with a change to the lenses through which we view the world, the things we thought were there vanish like desert mirages and the things that remain become the things that matter! He had the right ambitions perhaps, but genocide was wholly impractical.
No, it was far better to let prejudice insidiously seep into society. No revolution, no bloodshed. The people would find it very hard indeed to protest against ideals which would never be openly acknowledged. They could try to revolt- but against whom? They could try to fight- but for what? Gradually, the proud straight lines of their shoulders would hunch with defeat as they learnt - no, they were not special; no, they were not destined for any great or grand destiny for life to bestow upon them; they were just the dust to be crushed under the heels of society.
They would never be told they were lesser of course. To outline it in regulations or policies of any kind would be inviting trouble, the boy knew that. No, it would simply be shown in the flash of disdain when they entered the more reputable establishments. We do not seem to have any available positions right now. He could almost taste his victory. However, one only needed a ruling class in so far as to give them a chance to establish their own superiority.
The boy understood this - the deep-seated human desire to be special. It made men so very easy to exploit. Perfect tools to shape the world. As he understood it, only two things controlled the developed world- money and technology. And if he could control them both, he could hold the fates of millions in his hands. He had already ruined one man in this way, a man who had been something of a rival and a dear friend in his childhood.
His friend had found all his bank accounts to be frozen, his identity erased from existence, a long list of creditors who seemed to have sprung up from the ground. The boy made sure his machinations were kept carefully hidden, ruminating with his friend about this terrible twist of fate, repeatedly offering financial assistance in a way that his friends pride would not allow him to accept…and mourning his friends loss suitably when the time came.
A brave man, he said with regret at the funeral, a man who died far too young. The corpse being lowered into the ground represented everything to the boy- days spent drenched in warm summer sun, taunts and mockery which were playful yet somehow cruel in a way that only children can achieve and pure history, years and years of things past written in the fading films of memory- it was all lost forever with every clump of dirt being shovelled on the casket.
Here was the proof not living proof per se, the boy inwardly snickered, as un-living as it got that he could rule the lives of men. Here was the proof of how easy it would be, to make or break or mould humanity in his image. The world was all his for the taking. Then why did this victory feel so hollow? He sighed as he cast his gaze to the heavens above, for he found that the world was not enough. But you, my lady, with your smile so tender,. Just the froth, the moon, the wind, me and you — my muse.
We were outlaws in our own country, accused Of crimes we never committed, of freedom we never used. And made their eyes quell with fear. You were my sole solace all those years, The only reason I shed no tear. One night we escaped under cover of the rain. The darkness lit our way as we ran from that haven of pain. And our prayers were heeded; we were finally allowed to be free.
We got back what was ours — from the vales to the shimmering sea. And as I live freely — with salvation acquired with a fee — I wonder, I wonder if you ever think of me. Just Another Snowflake I am just another snowflake flitting by, That had its origins in the sky; And in all this vast expanse on Earth, I wonder if anyone can see my worth.
The wind shall take me where it will All around me, the life is still I surely see no valid reason For one to admire me in this season. I wait for sunshine to melt me down For death alone can wipe my frown And even then, when I shall die, I wonder who for me shall cry. And as I brood deep in my thought Wishing for a twist in the plot, I am jolted suddenly wide awake By the sight of another snowflake.
The loveliest snowflake I have seen It gives me a smile most serene I am taken by great surprise To see the happiness in its eyes. And it is your greatest happiness to seek To embrace yourself as you are Heed my words, you will go far! Do not be ashamed of yourself, O please!
Just think how silent would be the trees If the birds that sang there did not sing Thinking their songs were not appealing. How can it be so happy like this? Is there something innate I did miss? To it I vent my deepest feeling And for some sound advice appealing. You were so lovely You were one of a kind; you were one apart You were the first snowflake that took my heart. I lie formless beside my friend The snowflake that was a godsend It smiles so bright at me The loveliest smile I can see.
Why on Earth do you feel so meek? She writes with a broken nib Every curvaceous word breaks twice before it ends. While the broken legs squirm Under the weight of the broken glass tabletop which pretends. Otherwise, just like the broken door That she locks every night, ceremoniously, hiding the key Inside the hideous broken vase with Its long-wilted flowers, that heirloom of a broken family. He drives a swanky new car With a broken stereo set, and every lyric breaks twice Before overcoming the erratic waves And gliding past the streets broken from jagged malice.
One day at daybreak, they will meet Under the broken billboard, walking gingerly and vexed Around the fringes of the broken earth, Unromantic and sullen, hoping, hoping to be fixed. Under the keen guidance of its director Dr. Seetharamu , it has already made its presence felt in the emerging multi-disciplinary areas of ontological engineering and knowledge management. KAnOE is the only research centre in the world that focuses on Knowledge Analytics in combination with Ontological Engineering and through this, its vision is to make a defining contribution to knowledge management.
Its key objectives are to explore research opportunities that have opened in the intersecting fields of knowledge analytics and ontological engineering and to apply the research findings to the social context of India. He believes that although the buzzword of the day is big data, to combine ontology and data to produce meaningful semantics is what the need of the hour really is.
There are a number of projects that have been undertaken and successfully completed within the centre and several others that are in progress. The impact has been tremendous, with the publication of sixteen papers, not to mention two books. A number of workshops have been held on topics including Informetrics and data visualization.
Renowned speakers have been invited to share their knowledge and experiences. Further, KAnOE is expected to provide a vibrant environment for nurturing research in knowledge analytics and ontological engineering, being located in the heart of Bangalore - the Information Technology capital of India.
With PES now having acquired the status of a university, there will not be any immediate change in direction of the research efforts of KAnOE. It will continue to strive towards the goal that it had set out to achieve. With all this and more under its belt, KAnOE has kept Several efforts have been true to its title as a centre of made to incite awareness excellence. PES Centre for Intelligent Systems The analysis and design of system that perceive, reason, learn and act intelligently is the thrust area of research within the Centre for Intelligent Systems.
The interconnection of simple systems can lead to seemingly inexplicable complex overall behaviour with the causes and effects not obviously related. All systems that surround us today consist of diverse, interconnected and interdependent entities that adapt to their environments. The overall behaviour of such systems is often unpredictable as a system of systems is inherently complex, nonlinear and time-varying.
Obviously, the identification and control of systems that are possibly nonlinear and time-varying — with decisions taken intelligently — are two major areas of research. Results include simultaneous identification of multiple nonlinear systems, identification and control of rapidly time-varying systems, support vector machines to identify and control nonlinear systems, identifying and control of unknown systems through a wireless network despite packet loss and delay, improved tracking performance using model predictive control with time-varying prediction win-.
Systems meant for these purposes require the abilCooperative systems are a ity to discern the environment class of system of systems with in which they operate as well as each system being autonomous. Such systems are examples the ability to handle dynamical- of resource constrained real-time ly changing environments. Pat- systems where performance mettern recognition is a key area of rics have to be traded-off for the research. A result in this area is intended payload.
The scope of a technique to detect and track work towards design and implevery fast moving objects. Such mentation of autonomous sysautonomous systems may be de- tems includes exploratory rovers ployed in a hostile area. A tech- equipped with the capability of nique to simultaneously cancel in-motion mapping and localinterference signals and extract ization.
Light-weight functionthe signals-of-interest when the al computer vision algorithms directions-of-arrival of all signals amenable to real-time impleare time-varying and unknown is mentation using system-on-chip one result. Detection of very weak paradigm and embedded compusignals as low as dB us- tational architectures is the focus ing neural-network based pulse of work in developing autonocompression is another result.
ReThe possibility of integrating hu- configuration at various levels of man and machine abilities is well abstraction, and learning mechwithin the scope of this research. An applications in planetary sur- integral part of this would be creface exploration, search and ating state-of-art medical devices rescue missions after disaster, for non-invasive sensing.
Work is automated vehicle drive assist. An exclusive study on non-invasive methods for the diagnosis of several cardiovascular diseases is also being carried out with the help of eminent cardiologists. The continual support from the management towards these activities has resulted in about 70 peer-reviewed publications from the Centre since It is a unique space, which covers the entire universe in knowledge.
It is a place where creative minds converge, interact with each other and construct visions of new realities. Established notions of truth are challenged in the pursuit of knowledge. It ought to be thematic with the students learning the key concepts of each theme. Each theme is built over several courses, and taught like a well-coordinated relay, with each course-instructor carrying the baton well and passing it on to the next course-instructor within the same theme, changing the focus from rote-learning to critical and creative thinking.
PES University has the potential to be a place of higher learning, and the Centre for Intelligent Systems can achieve greater heights in such an ambience. The main research areas include embedded systems and VLSI, electrical systems and battery, communication systems, satellite technology, data mining, web banking and cloud computing, sensor technology, robotics, mechanical and control systems.
CORI has produced some outstanding research projects in its respective fields of work, with every project having its own im-. They have managed to miniaturize the transceiver that is attached to each package. Space based Automatic Identification System AIS is a system for supervising ships, managing traffic flow into harbours and preventing accidental collisions of ships in the high seas.
It is aimed at providing important ship monitoring services to coastal guards and search and rescue organizations. It has also undertaken a joint project with Renalyx, Bangalore to develop a haemodialysis machine. This is just a glimpse of the myriad projects that are undertaken in CORI.
CORI provides an excellent working environment. Interaction with various companies is also an integral part of working in CORI. There are many professors with years of professional experience and subject expertise to help and guide those interested. Manikandan oversees a 2-credit course, where students from different departments colCORI is working on a Library laborate on mini projects based Maintenance Robot that is be- on Arduino, Matlab, Simulink and ing designed specifically for the System Generator.
PESIT library, to transport books from collection points to the re-. PES Open Source Community was conceptualized in June and was started officially on July 16, ; that was when we created the Facebook group and we consider that as our birth date. Do you encourage knowledge. We do that by having that too? And Node IRC , events,etc. As I said, Open Source is technology as well. So on quite a range of technologies yes, open source hardware does have scope. In fact, as a part of over the years.
Well honestly speaking, considering that we are an open source community, a student community and moreover in India, where the environment is a bit different, coming this far and still growing is a very big achievement for us. The management has been supportive indeed! That said, we have made quite a big impact, foremost in our college and colleges in Bangalore.
We have a very strong online presence, since most of our work is done online, except for the workshops or talks we arrange. Open Source contributions been very supportive! We as a community we enable that. Is the community backed by any authority, like a teacher, HoD or Principal? Or is it a completely student-run body? If so how do you get all the funding for the various events that you do? A Srinivas, the Dean of Research, is our point of contact. Ah, I have quite a bit of stuff to share here.
Students, especially freshers, must realize the important role Open Source plays in their education. Richard Stallman, the father of the Free Software Movement urges every institute in the world to switch to Free and Open Source software for the very reason that students are surrounded with knowledge. Keeping this fact aside, our community is always ready to help budding developers explore technology.
We want to push more people every year to enrol and get through the Google Summer of Code pro-. I, personally, am thrilled about it! We the batch of , driven by the have also received global recognifounder and head, Ram Kashyap. We were awardThis community was envisaged ed with the Duke Choice Award at to provide an opportunity and a the Java One conference at San platform for student mobile de- Francisco for being an influential velopers to realise their ideas.
The student developer community. The com- and bring in developer culture to munity aims to reach out to many students everywhere. The last year has seen a commendable improvement in the quality of projects being undertaken. The summer internship program was well received by the students at PESIT - we had six teams working on a wide array of projects.
Expanding out of mobile, we offered web platforms as well and each project was given maximum exposure. We also made an app that lists every Rajnikanth joke - this crossed a million downloads. There are many such success stories in the global community which is more than members strong. All in all, we did cross an overall 5 million downloads with the apps developed.
Why is it difficult to find traction for your apps? Perception plays an important role. People look at student developers first as students and then as developers. They thus lower their expectations, because what we observe is that student-developed apps lack in some user design aspects as compared to professional apps, even though they may be as technically sound as their professional counterparts.
Full-time professional developers have certain advantages and disadvantages of their own, which must be taken into account. If we can change this mindset and help. What are your plans for the future? With P. S becoming a University, our projects are being scaled up to match the curriculum and the intellectual capabilities of the students.
We plan to offer exclusive paid projects to a few students during the semester along with the Summer Internship Program which we run every year. We will be conducting SND Conclave to bring together students and faculty from. Nokia Labs of other colleges. We are bringing out an online device library portal for the students all across India to request devices from our repository, to aid them in their app development process.
We aim to partner with different institutes all over the world. We are also planning to conduct workshops in rural colleges to expose those students to the environment here, and follow up with mentorship to help them develop apps. We are planning to bring in new research level projects, taking inspiration from the work that is undertaken at places like the MIT Media Lab. Monthly tech talks in different domains, by eminent individuals from the industry are on the cards. We are initiating hackathons on the second Saturday of every month in the Nokia Lab.
Our existing events like Incito and Hashcode are going to be bigger and better. In short, we have an action packed line-up of events and are looking forward to your participation! It inculcates a more driven by a passion for racing.
We practical approach to engineerbuild cars based on the design ing. Even though FSAE cars do not involve high end technology as in F1; building a car itself is a major challenge. Bringing about a good blend of good handling, speed balance, etc and building a car based on the constraints of ferences between the two?
BAJA buyer in mind. This year we know about the problems encountered by the cars made by our seniors and we have taken all the measures to prevent them. We have also decided to complete the car one month before the final event and subject it to rigorous testing. The main aim of our marketing team would be to bring in more sponsors for our team. Its current goal is to sustain our title sponsors.
Again as a part of the marketing team, students directly interact with the industry. They learn to communicate with the customers and get a firsthand What is the role of non-meexperience of how marketing is chanical students in HAYA? The recent car had some problems during the dynamic round where grade of fuel used was different- this had some cor-.
CS and IS students also help us in creating interfaces for monitoring car performance. Does HAYA have any alumni network? What role do the alumni have in the team? Our seniors are the only source of practical knowledge to us. Alumni have helped us by bagging sponsors and any advice or help is always appreciated. What are your expectations from the college? As the team grows, it would be nice to see the workspace expand. What was joining Aeolus like?
When I was in my first year , the team along with their captain Nishanth were loading a huge plane into their car. The very sight inspired me. Right then , I asked if I could help out. They were quick and I started sanding wood immediately. Just like any college fraternity , joining Aeolus is all about overcoming the contact resistance , about pushing yourself further along the journey to becoming technically sound. Even today , we administer tests which test the mettle of aspirants.
However , we see to it that the probationers work with true passion before they become full fledged members. The sheer joy of working together to make something fascinating is what drives us ang a member of Aeolus fundamentally makes you a stronger engineer , and as you move onto bigger projects , the experience transforms you and gives you a collective identity among a group of passionate co-workers.
Aeolus instills in a member the right attitude to tackle problems , a passion to work and an ultimate incuWhat has been the inspiration for Aeolus? Ananthswamy had built some good planes. A freak. What are the current projects you are working on? We, at Aeolus recently completed work on a range of exciting projects - spud cannons , gliders , and water rockets, that won the top positions at various National level inter-college events.
In retrospect , the past year saw major wins for the team, including an impeccable performance at SAE In the future , we are gearing up to begin work on autonomous planes , quadcopters , path planning and optimisation, bringing the development of drone technology to our college. We even have this wild dream of using the PISAT dish atop the F-block as a giant transmitter receiver for our aircraft. Where do you see Aeolus in the next 10 years? We have worked exceedingly well as an SAE Aero Design team and have established quite a network as of now.
The next step would ideally be to compete in longer competitions , ace SAE and live up to our standards. We also dream of commercialising our own product line. This student run body has had the chance to not only help build but also skilfully enhance the capabilities and talent of its members. The primary goal is reaching out to a far greater audience with the benefits that an IEEE Membership has to offer.
Here, students got a platform to interact with IEEE leaders and students from other sections and were enlightened about emerging computer technologies. This event saw students from different parts of the country coming in to participate. With two successful editions, it makes this student branch stand out from the rest. Circuithon and Scrapheap Challenge showcased the technical and creative skills of the contestants. Other than the events, a student branch is known for its mem-.
In less than 6 months, the branch has seen an exponential rise in the number of members. IEEE is a platform to showcase not just your technical skills but to inculcate and enhance your leadership and networking abilities. With events, workshops and conferences being organized globally, members get an opportunity to work in a professional environment and personally interact with the industry members providing a greater industry exposure.
PES University has been taking part actively in all PACE Forums that were held from its commencement in and has been successful in impressing the judging panel every year with their innovative and smart ideas which could revolutionize the automotive sector. The objective of the Year 1 team was to design a PAMD vehicle that would help in easier transportation of the general public of India. Many new concepts like hubless wheel and a convertible model evolved as result of this.
For its design and the concept, the team bagged 2nd prize in the competition in the design category. The objective for Year 2 team is to fabricate a fully functional prototype that was designed in 1st year. Last year, the problem statement that was given to all the Universities was to design and develop a portable vehicle that can be used as a substitute for the existing conventional vehicles. A rigorous procedure of written test, group discussion and personal interview was conducted to shortlist students for this project.
And hence the objective was to design a portable assisted mobility device PAMD that would help in a hassle free transport in an ever growing population like India. PES University being the lead team is responsible for manufacturing of swing arm and designing steering and suspension for the vehicle. PSG College of Technology is responsible for the fabrication of the mechanical components.
SJCE, Mysore is responsible for the electronics of the vehicle. These vehicles will compete amongst each other in PACE Annual Forum where the best idea will be chosen by an elite panel of judges based on various parameters like design ingenuity, product feasibility, collaborative skills and overall functionality.
There were six world class universities across the globe under Team 3. The testing model has been manufactured by the students of PES University and preliminary testing has been successfully completed. With their aerodynamic shape of all-out racing might be a hard sell, but all the othand state-of-the-art technology ,each car in FOR- er numbers seem enticing. And not to forget that MULA1 is worth approximately 60 million.
The popularity and fan support is immense. All teams come from a al warming, a new variety of racing has emerged variety of top, global championships. No hybrids here, no flywheels or kinetic energy recovery system KERS either!
Currencies Decrypted So you think that money is the root of all evil. Have you ever asked what is the root of all money? Pure math? Theoretical physics, maybe? Automata theory? Now that you come to think of it, think a little more in the context of this article. Basically crypto-currency is a digital medium of exchange, in which the transactions are encrypted using cryptographic techniques.
Hence, the name. Etymology of the word currency currency n. Currency is basically flow of value from one person to another. In earlier days, they used to exchange goods with other goods or services Barter system. Later, a standard unit of currency evolved. People used that unit to exchange with goods and services.
Thus, the concept of money originated out of the value that the goods and services generated. So, who decides what should be the value of a unit of currency? A central authority usually. Anyway, that should serve as enough introduction as to what currency is, I guess. So, what is crypto-currency?
Sounds cryptic, right? Who created crypto-currency? The idea of crypto-currency took birth in a mailing list, called Cypherpunks. A guy named Wei Dai, suggested the idea of decentralizing the currency system, by using cryptography for transactions. Later this idea was implemented in the form of Bitcoins.
A person, with pseudonym Satoshi Nakomoto, who is to this day, unknown although, there are various conspiracy theories about who he is. How does this work? Like any other currencies that exist, Bitcoins have value because a group of people agree that it has value. However, the value of the Bitcoin depends on the demand and supply. For example, if more people start buying Bitcoins, the demand increases and hence its value.
And when people lose trust in the Bitcoins, they start withdrawing their money and the value decreas-. Bitcoins are decentralized, meaning no one owns Bitcoins. However, like any other protocol, you can add more features such that it still agrees with the basic protocol. This can lead to various interesting possibilities. To spend money, the receiver should prove that he is the true owner of the public key to which money was sent.
The signature also has various other uses. Since the signature is generated by combining both private key and message, a change in the signature somewhere along the network would result in an an invalid transaction. Hence, providing security to the transactions. Well, Bitcoins are really deep and mathematical. I am not smart enough to explain all the details, but I will give an outline of the details. Then, how is the balance of an account calculated? Balances in Bitcoins are maintained in an interesting way.
If the sum of the amount of BTCs received is greater, the transaction is allowed to go through. So, basically it just looks for the earlier transactions made in the block chain. However, this is a tedious process, since all the nodes are to be checked for each transaction. Each transaction that you do using Bitcoins is considered a block. The block contains the details of your transaction, which is encrypted using a private key. This is added into a block-chain which a chain of ALL the transactions is made using Bitcoins, by everyone.
This block-chain is stored in a shared ledger that is decentralized. How do you send money to someone? Sending money to someone basically means that you are sending it to their public key. This can be done in the following way. This is accomplished by various complex mathematical functions.
In other words, you are sending your private key in an encrypted way a combination of message and private key. When all the nodes containing the public key is processed, a transaction is said to have happened. Who processes these blocks in blockchain? Anyone can process Bitcoins. This is called mining.
Once a block is processed, it is added to the blockchain. However, as the number of transactions in the network increases, the mining requires more time and processing power. This is usually done by dedicated people with dedicated hardware. How are bitcoins created? Above process also explains how Bitcoins are created. The protocol is built in such a way, that, for each block processed, a certain number of Bitcoins are generated and awarded. Bitcoins are very volatile.
Even though it has all the properties that a currency should have as mathematical functions , it is defined by the demand and supply. If people hear good thing about Bitcoins, they start investing in it, suddenly the price rises. People lose Bitcoins due to some data loss, they start panicking and withdrawing, price decreases. Back in the day , actually. But technology runs past fast! If you calculate. Another recent example as to how raw the technology is, is the Mt.
Gox issue. Gox and it filed for bankruptcy protection. Later, it was found that the theft happened due to a bug in the Bitcoin transactions. Other exchange companies who had patched this bug were unaffected. Does it have a future?
But like any other open-source project, give it some time and it might just become the future currency. We interviewed 2 alumni, both research students in hallowed research institutions. Both of them know the pleasures and perils of being a PESITian, and are on their way to realise their dreams. Jnaneshwar Das a. He is pursuing his M. He is a widely published researcher in robotics and machine learning.
He managed to secure a direct Ph. He pursues research in the areas of information theory and communication systems, while managing to publish his work in reputed conferences. How has your experience been so far?
JD: It has been an extremely enriching experience, broadening my outlook on both culture and technology. Shashank: My experience in IISc has been great. The atmosphere here is very good. Seeing people around you do great work inspires you to do better. What differences do you find in the education you received in PESIT, and that you are currently receiving?
I learned from fellow students by working on projects, participating in inter-college competitions, and by interacting with faculty outside regular course requirements. Although things must have changed through the years since I graduated, it seemed the B. In general, higher education in the US is geared towards critical thinking and creativity. Students are encouraged to ask questions, and majority of courses have a significant portion of the grade reserved for a substantial project.
Professors have autonomy in designing the curriculum, and choosing grading schemes for exams. Exams are sometimes take-home especially for graduate level courses, so integrity is critical to gain the most out of the system. Shashank: BE was all about acquiring breadth in engineering, and a graduate programme is about acquiring depth.
PESIT is an institution that focuses on undergraduate studies whereas the main objective at IISc is research, and it would perhaps not be fair to compare the two. The faculty at IISc are masters in their respective fields, and yet are very helpful. Most of the courses are also oriented towards research. So you can choose courses based on your interests, and take advanced courses as you proceed. Moreover, you can take courses in any department you want! The atmosphere is more informal, and you can just sit through courses you are interested without enrolling in it.
JD: Be passionate and multi-dimensional. Devote time on challenging hobbies and work on projects outside the curriculum. Your communication skills will be extremely important when you finish your bachelors and get a job, or pursue a higher degree. So, try to collaborate with friends and faculty on whatever you care about. Shashank: Take courses seriously. Your grades do matter when you want to apply for jobs or higher studies. Talk to people in the industry, your seniors, develop contacts, and find out what skills are required to help you thrive.
If you are interested in pursuing higher studies, do some good projects, and get your hands dirty. Identify an area you are interested in, approach faculty who do good research in that area and would be willing to help you. If you can do some good work and have a research paper or two by the time you graduate, it would really, really help you. Moreover, if you decide early on whether you want to pursue higher studies or not, you can prioritize on preparing for placements or entrance exams.
You can devote more time to what you want most, and believe me, it helps! But whatever you want to pursue, always remember to have a backup in hand. The world is very competitive, and sometimes you have to settle for something less. Be patient, you may not get the results you want immediately. But most importantly, take time off, and enjoy life too! How should one go about doing undergraduate research? JD: Passionately. If you want to work on research projects, at no other time in your life will you find the enthusiasm from friends to form meaningful bonds to work together.
Shashank: Find out what subjects interest you, and talk to your professors if they are interested in advising you on a project. A lot of such institutions offer summer projects. But note that the advice from your supervisor would be very limited if you work outside. A key factor is to start early. If you can latch on to a problem by your 3rd year, you get 1.
If you get the opportunity, publish at a good conference.
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