I have worked for about two and half years in the early stages of the Computer Science & Engineering Dept of College of Engineering, Trivandrum and I am happy to share whatever knowledge I have about that period with you. The department was started in the year 1984 with an intake of 15 students. Late Dr. S. Ramakrishnan was posted as the Professor & HoD of the Department by the Government. Other staff members were appointed on a temporary basis from the Electrical and Electronics Department and Electronics & Communication Department. As I had just completed my doctoral research program, I was appointed as the Assistant Professor. Sri. Vijayakumar T. G., Sri. Daniel Thomas of Electrical and Electronics Dept. were appointed as Lecturers.
The small computer Centre which was housing the huge IBM 1620 machine donated by ISRO was allotted for the Computer Science Department. Our first task was to dismantle IBM1620 machine and get the space ready for the staff room of the new department. Initially AL2016 by Pragathy Computers was given to the department. It was not a good machine by today’s standards. Later a Multi terminal UNIX machine by Sunray Systems was supplied by Keltron at a cost of 17 lakhs. I still remember the training given by the staff of Sunray Systems in the UNIX operating system. It was a great experience for all of us.
After one year Sri. Mathews T. Panicker and Sri.Sasidharan were appointed as Lecturers and Sri. Vijayakumar T. G. and Sri. Daniel Thomas were posted back in the Electrical and Electronics Department. I have worked in the Computer Science Department only for about two and half years. After that I returned back to my parent department of Electronics & Communication Engineering.
I am happy to inform you that I belong to the first batch of Electronics & Communication Engineering of College of Engineering, Trivandrum. It was then called Telecommunication Engineering Department. As part of doctoral research program, I did the course work in IIT, Madras. At that time, in 1982, the computer system allotted for the research scholars in the IIT was the Mainframe system IBM 360 using punch card system. We have to write the program in FORTRAN IV and for each line of program, we have to punch one card. We have to submit the
deck of cards for batch processing and we will get the results only after a few hours. If one hole punched is misplaced, then we have to submit the whole batch again. So I was happy to work with the UNIX system where we can enter the program directly through keyboards.
I had great experience in learning and teaching new subjects like Logic System Design, Computer Architecture, C Programming, Microprocessor etc. while taking classes for the CS students. The students were very brilliant and that made my task easy. In the first batch I remember a few students like Jaya G Nair, who is now occupying a top position in VSSC, Viju S Menon, Antony etc. In the second batch we had very brilliant students like Sajan Pillai(Chief Executive Officer, UST Global, USA), Arun K Narayanan(CEO, UST Global, Trivandrum), Murali Gopalan (Chief Commercial Officer, UST Global, USA), Sankar Krishnan, Bindu Thomas (VSSC), Shyam Krishnan, Raj etc. Having been a teacher for more than 40 years, I consider my students, who are occupying prominent positions in different parts of the world as my biggest asset in this life. Most of them have been kind enough to keep in touch with me all these years.
I am happy that the Computer Science & engineering department has now achieved tremendous growth in all aspects and the department is occupying a covetable position among other sister institutions. I am thankful to the students and staff of the Computer Science & Engineering department for giving me the opportunity to write about my experiences and I wish the department progress in all aspects.