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Footprints 2016, MS University, Baroda, Gujarat, India

I spent two days as speaker and guest at the 'Footprints' conference at Maharaja Sayajirao ('MS') University in Baroda, Gujarat. This is three-day festival of technology and science that's entirely run by students in the engineering department. I gave a talk about New Horizons on Saturday afternoon, and spent a lot of the rest of the weekend talking informally with students. When the organizers asked me to give a seminar, I really had no idea what to expect. It turned out to be really well run (the students do everything, with minimal professorial input), large (allegedly 25,000 participants), and super interesting. Although it's an engineering school, many of the programs and installations had a strong artistic and creative bent, and the festival has a strong outreach program to rural villages as well.

I've put up a few photos of my trip below. Thank you to everyone I interacted with: the organizers, the other speakers, and the students!

NB: One difference between the US and India that I hadn't appreciated: it is much easier to change tracks in the US. Both here and at last week's Astronomy @ Taj conference, I talked with a number of students who wanted to do science research, but were in engineering. In India, it's very difficult to enter an MSc / PhD research program with an engineering background -- much less get employment. For both admissions and hiring, decisions here are made with the vast majority of the weight on the degree and marks alone.

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Henry Throop

Last modified Wed Feb 24 23:25:55 2016