Special Correspondent

Open House this weekend for the second time in its 50 years

It aims to attract more students to pursue their Masters and Ph.D degrees at IIT

Sunday’s show will be for college students

CHENNAI: For the second time in its 50-year history, the Indian Institute of Technology is opening its gates and showcasing its technology and research to school and college students, corporates and the general public.

“We want to demystify IIT,” says director M.S. Ananth. Open House, to be held on Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm, features something for everybody.

Make sure you take your water bottles to the Civil Engineering department, where they offer a free testing of water quality. They’re also using global positioning systems to track the IIT buses that will take you around the forested campus.

Kids will enjoy the creation of thunder and lighting at the High Voltage laboratory and the fountain dancing to the tune of music at the Electrical Engineering department. The Ocean Engineering department will create a variety of waves in its own mini ocean.

Are you an aero fanatic? Live demonstrations at the Aerospace Engineering department include a wind tunnel test section, the firing of a hybrid rocket motor apart from a display of a Sea Hawk, vintage aircraft engines and students’ model planes.

Or maybe you’re in love with cars? The automotive engineering and engineering design team have a full display showing how each part of a car works.

And that’s apart from the Renault Logan that is daily being stripped and reassembled and the display of the Renault Formula 1 car used by Giancarlo Fisichello to win the Constructors championship.

For the military buffs, there’s a T72 tank and an Arjun on display.

For the energy and environment-conscious, there are plenty of displays on IIT’s energy research, from the model car running on fuel cells at the Metallurgical and Materials Engineering department to the solar photovoltaic rooms and seawater desalination plant on display at the Central Electronics Centre.

Or you can calculate your own carbon footprint and take part in a carbon trading game at the Humanities and Social Sciences department.

Avid quizzers can find competition at that department, as well as at the Management Studies, Mathematics and Biotechnology departments.

Computer geeks can get a sneak peek of the second most powerful supercluster in an Indian educational institution at the PG Senapathy Centre for Computing Resources and check out lab demonstrations of artificial intelligence, character recognition for Indian scripts and human face tracking software.

Experiments in progress at the Physics, Mechanical Engineering and Chemical Engineering departments will be on view.

Maybe you’re tired of all the technology. The Humanities department offers a film on Afghanistan and a discussion of Bob Dylan as a poet.

“We want to attract more college students to come here to pursue their Masters and Ph.D degrees,” says Dr. Ananth. Programmes on Sunday will be geared toward college students, while Saturday’s show will be for high school students.

For more details and a full schedule, check out www. iitmopenhouse2008.org.