Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Reports - Undergraduation

I am often asked to write non-technical detailed reports maybe because I am good at storytelling. There are two kinds of stories one can tell. One is a story which states the obvious,
I went to Chennai (in May). It was summer there. It was hot. You know, like 40 oC. In olden days, we had only oF, and that is nearly 104 oF. More than 100 is really hot. I travelled within Chennai by train. It was hot in train also. Then I went to the wedding and it was really hot. On that day, it was nearly 41 oC. In Bangalore, it is only 35 and that is really lesser than 40. Actually, 35 is only 95 in F. Thus, it is much lesser hot in Bangalore than in Chennai. You know, the other thing is humidity. Chennai has more humidity than Bangalore. This is because of the sea but because of the sea, you get sea breeze. There is no sea breeze in Bangalore because there is no sea. However, humidity is less in Bangalore because there is no sea.
If you want to learn the art of speaking about the obvious, you should listen to the IPL commentators (except for Harsha Bhogle). You will get gems, "singles add to the total", "When a team requires 12 off three balls, one should hit a boundary," "it's important to hit the ball into the gaps", "runs do not come if you do not hit the ball" "It's the other one, just like the other one","the team batting second knows their target", "Gibbs is an opener. He has to score runs" "Two overs means twelve balls", "One ball left unless it is a wide" "Cricket is an interesting game" "Not all countries play cricket" and many, many more.

The other is a story that does not go anywhere. In the Simpsons episode titled "Last exit to Springfield", the evil Monty Burns tries to break the striking employees. So, he asks Grandpa Simpson, who says,

We can’t bust heads like we used to, but we have our ways. One trick is to tell 'em stories that don’t go anywhere—like the time I caught the ferry over to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for my shoe, so, I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on 'em. 'Give me five bees for a quarter,' you’d say...(trails off).. Now where were we? Oh yeah—the important thing was that I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn’t have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones.....
I do not know in which category the following report falls, but here is the executive summary (the report is over 15 pages) of the report which I wrote on why an undergraduate program should be started in IISc. Please note that this is my idea and not the idea of IISc or other members of IISc.

1 comment:

Rainbow Science Woman said...

http://rainbow-science.blogspot.com/2009/05/undergraduate-science-education-in.html