The Arm University Program have been giving donations of Arm Education Kits including teaching materials and software to universities across India since 2013. One university that has benefited from this, is Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS). They have used content from the Arm University Program's Efficient Embedded System Design Education Kit to help teach their courses. The technology used in their classes include ARM7 LPC2148 & AMR Cortex M4 STM 32 Kits, Raspberry Pi Kits and Keil software across three of their courses, including Embedded System Design, Hardware Software Co-Design and Pervasive Computing.
One of BITS’ recent graduates is Krutika Kansara, who studied a M.Tech in Embedded Systems. She found that her using Arm’s technology during her degree has helped her in her career, giving her crucial knowledge and also practical know-how in engineering, speeding up the job onboarding process. This has proven extremely useful in finding work within an IoT startup, using Arm Processors during her projects.
Krutika’s tutor Manoj S Kakade, who is Professor at BITS also gives his take on how he has integrated Arm’s Education Kits within his current courses and how this has enabled students, like Krutika, to use her skills and experience to solve complex problems within the workplace.
Suriya Gunasekaran, Customer Service Analyst for Arm Education, based in Bangalore, interviewed both Krutika and her tutor Manoj recently, after receiving some positive feedback on Arm’s Efficient Embedded System Design Education Kit.
What are the differences after your postgraduate, compared to your undergraduate degree?
I felt technically more confident after my M. Tech degree. I feel my M. Tech has helped me to prepare myself my new job more effectively. The subjects I studied were Embedded Systems, Real-time Operating Systems, Pervasive Computing, Networking in systems and Software for Embedded systems. During my course at BITS, having studied the concepts theoretically, I could easily apply them while studying Arm technology. I also had a chance to do hands-on practical work with Arm processors. So, this combination of theoretical knowledge and hands-on practice was ideal and suitable for my job role. It helped me quickly onboard with the project without further delays.
How did learning Arm technology make a difference in your current role?
The acquaintance working with the Arm technology in my M. Tech has made it easier for me since I am currently working on a project which requires Arm technology. It gives the ease and comfort and I now have a better understanding. The amount of problems I face during the implementation are less, since I already have knowledge on Arm technology.
Can you notice a difference between you and your colleagues’ knowledge, since you are familiar with the technology?
I would say it is the depth of technical knowledge. Knowing Arm technology has indeed given me an edge over my colleagues. I can work with ease and comfort, as I am already familiar with the technology. When my colleagues are trying to fix an issue for that moment, I am able to try and understand how things are working.
What made you decide to follow a career in the engineering field?
My father is an Income Tax Officer and my mother is a Chartered Accountant, but I wasn’t interested in their fields, my love of mathematics and science coupled with my parents support inspired me to take up engineering.
What keeps you motivates you in your engineering career?
It is my interest in the engineering itself. I want to gain more knowledge about the subject, keep reading about it and apply the knowledge I have gained.
How do you think your course has improved your employability?
I completed my B.Tech in Pune Institute of Technology in Electronics and Telecommunication, after which I got a job as a software developer. My undergraduate program helped me to gain a job but that was not in my core area, whereas my M.Tech using Arm technology made me technically competent and helped me to get a job in the core area. My current job is completely focussed on electronics. I give credit to BITS for teaching me the courses which are industry relevant and Arm for the technology we used.
What motivates you to update the syllabus relevant to the industry?
BITS believe that the curriculum needs to framed in such a way, so as to meet industry requirements. It should be agile enough to adapt to the growing needs of emerging industries, more experiential learning components are inculcated in the curriculum rather making is too theoretical. Industry relevant case studies are part of our curriculum. We update our curriculum regularly to keep the students relevant in ever growing technological areas. Regular updates from Arm has helped BITS to do this as we include the latest developments that are taking place at Arm, since we are invited to webinars from Arm experts which also include security features included as a part of Arm’s core.
How were the materials received from Arm and how well did that help in improving the skills of students?
Arm is generous enough in donating Keil and Education Kits, like Embedded Systems Design, which has really helped our students to work on more complex problems and find the appropriate solution. As major of the semiconductor sector industries are using Arm cores in their applications it has really helped our students to understand the practical aspects at early stage by working on Arm tools and technology. The support system from Arm is outstanding which has really helped us to keep our students updated with the latest technology. Also, special webinars on the latest development at Arm was organized for our students which helped them in understanding the latest development in the field.
How do you think teaching students with new technology will help them in terms of their employability?
Teaching new age technology to provide real-world learning experiences will always help students to improve their employability skills. As students are aware of the technology, which is used in the industry, they can be productive with minimal specific domain level training at the respective organizations.
What difference do you think students like Krutika will make in workplace compared to other colleagues?
As Krutika has already learned the tools and technologies used in the industry while doing her M.Tech with BITS, she took no time in the on-boarding process in the technological company and started delivering the outputs with minimal hand-holding. This might not be the case with her colleagues, because to make them aware of the latest tools and technology, organizations will again have to spend a certain amount of time training them, which is not the case with Krutika. This is because the curriculum at BITS is more focused on experiential learning components so Krutika worked on hands on, on LPC2148 boards, STM32 based hardware platforms which was using Arm cores and the Keil compiler was used for programming and debugging, hence she was already aware of the industry standard tools and technology which was provided by Arm.
The Arm University Program, India have been offering Education Kit donations to many institutions across India since 2013 and have been receiving consistent feedback on how Arm technology is positively impacting student’s career prospects. In the upcoming months we will have more case studies highlighting this including more from both a faculty and student perspective.
Find out more about how you can adopt Arm’s Education Kits within your university’s computing courses:
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