Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Digital Photography – a blessing in disguise

More than half the people, who own an expensive DSLR these days, do so because somehow they think it is the new style statement – a necessary item to be possessed by anyone who wants to feel ‘accepted’. The worst part is that most of the people who own a DSLR have no real knowledge of how to properly use their device, but just because they own one, their entire self being exalts them to the level of some great photographer.

Suddenly, a picture of the sky will seem beautiful. A perfect picture will include a stray dog on the corner of your street. Naturally, you run around everywhere with your camera – poking it into random areas and trying to look sophisticated adjusting settings (of course you are just fiddling with the buttons figuring out their functions). Possessing a high end camera is going to make you feel like a god.

It doesn’t matter whether you take a picture of your friends striking awkward poses or a picture of an open sewer line, they will be filed under the same folder. That folder will ingeniously be named ‘Randoms’. No matter what picture you upload, it will be showered with praise. The pixels will transcend all worldly boundaries and attain a level of absolute beauty.

Why everyone with a camera call themselves a photographer these days? Is photography gear more affordable or Digital system has made everything easier? Free Apps for phone like Instagram and Flickr? It’s hard to know the actual reason but Facebook has opened many gates to people, direct access to people and above reasons may be true but “A Professional is always a Professional”. Buying a second hand camera from Chandni Chowk and creating a page on Facebook with 1000 likes or putting a word ‘Photographer’ on twitter bio and clicking 10-20 pictures of rotten leaves on ground does not make you a photographer.

The aesthetic claims of photography, from the modernist era to our time, have been based on the peculiar synthesis of art and science that was articulated most cogently by Paul Strand in a 1922 essay called "Photography and the New God": the camera was, in the right hands, the perfect amalgam of imagination and representation, intuition and craft, in short an idealized model of our mastery of technology. As such, he argued, it was a counter-symbol to the God of the Machine, opposing the latter's indifferent and destructive materialism and the demands it made upon the body of the worker. Essential to his argument was the aesthetic control the artist could exercise over the machine, an implicitly heroic power.

If we are now, in the twenty-first century, beyond the age of the machine and well into a digital age that is dominated by electronic media, then we are also, in some ways, beyond the age of the heroic photographer. And in these changed conditions for the production of visual imagery, we must inquire whether the place of the aesthetic has not also changed. In fact, we are in the midst of such change, one that requires us to look at photography within a broader spectrum of visual culture, both in terms of the production of visual imagery and its consumption. Strand, in the modernist era, invoked an image of the photographer as the exemplary master of the machine.

Among many of the documentary photographers known, Jim Nachtwey has an unshakeable belief in the power of images, and that there is a real social value in people being able to see what happened.  As quoted by him, “What sustains me is the overall value in communicating. People need to know and they need to understand in a human way. Photography is a language, with its own limitations and strengths, but these are my tools, so I have to try and use them well. I want my pictures to be powerful and eloquent. I want to reach people on a deep level. Because I’m presenting my images to a mass audience, I have to have faith that people care about things. People are innately generous, and if they have a channel for their generosity, they’ll respond. People know when something unacceptable is going on, and they want to see it change. I think that’s the basis of communication. Mass awareness is one element of change, but it has to be combined with political will.”

On September 11, 2001, Jim Nachtwey woke up early in the morning hearing sounds outside. From his window he saw the north tower of the World Trade Center in flames. A few minutes later, the second plane hit the south tower. He packed up his cameras, loaded all the film he had, and ran toward the burning towers. He was going to do his job, to get to the spot and document what was happening.

The photographs that Nachtwey took that day, over the next twelve hours, are some of the most iconic images of 9/11: the south tower collapsing behind the cross atop the Church of Saint Peter on Church Street and Barclay; ghostly figures coated in white dust emerging from the smoke; three firemen working around their leader, on his knees, bareheaded, looking back to see the flames sweeping toward them; and the twisted, otherworldly ruins of  World Trade Center, looking like the “set of a silent film of the apocalypse.”

Years and years of practice and continuous process of learning make one become a professional.  Very few will ever go through the hassle of learning techniques and improving skills to turn the hobby into a career. But for the majority, this niche of individuals will be forgotten. Their expensive Nikons and Canons are the loves of their lives – for a while. And yes it is nor the camera nor the techniques which makes a good photograph. One should have the knowledge of camera and also the aesthetic sense, and framing to click a good picture. All pictures are not always appealing, have you ever tried to find out. Is it the subject, is it the colours, is it the frame or composition? 

So if you’re not on the bandwagon yet, save yourself the 15 minutes of air-headedness you’ll feel as you race around town taking pictures of stray cats as part of your ‘Wildlife’ catalogue. Knowing how to use all the buttons on the camera and not needing big cameras to make yourself look like a tourist makes you a photographer.

These institutes are good for learning about photography and learn how to use your camera in an apt way:
     Delhi School of Photography
     Delhi college of Photography
     Apex Academy

And of course College of Art, where one can learn to become a professional designer, photographer and gather aesthetic values.

Mr. Ashish Chaterjee
Assistant Professor
Deptt. of Mass Communication

A New approach to Education: E-Learning

Brain theory is the foundation of study theory- "Tell me and I will forget, Show me and I will remember, Involve me and I will understand." Today, it is imperative that we couple the process of learning with fun and interest.

E-learning means electronic learning which helps in gaining knowledge through electronic medium which can serve various learner groups. With the gaining evolution of IT and web technologies e-learning is acquiring great popularity and is proving to be helpful in tertiary education and also in lifelong learning.

Compared to other forms of training, e-learning promises to provide a single platform that accommodates all the three distinct learning styles of auditory learners, visual learners and kinesthetic learners. Other unique prospects generated by the arrival and expansion of e-learning are, more well-organized training of a globally dispersed audience, reduced publishing and distribution costs.

E-learning also offers individual specific instruction, which is lacked by print media. And by using learning style tests, e-learning can locate and target individual learning preferences. In these ways, e-learning is inclusive of a maximum number of participants with a maximum range of learning styles, preferences, and needs.

Collaborative learning theory contends that human interaction is central to learning. Consideration of this is pivotal, when designing e-learning, keeping its importance to isolate learners. With well-developed and connected distance education, and modern technology like e-mail, tele-conferencing etc. this lacuna is taken care of.

Advantages of e-Learning

  • Reduced overall cost
It is the most encouraging factor in adopting e-learning. The elimination of costs associated with many heads like instructor’s salaries, room rentals, student travel, lodging, and meals can be observed directly.
  • Any time education
It enables students to avail learning conveniently at off-hours or from home
  • Expert Educators
Experts from various domains can provide their valuable learning which the students can gain
  • Interactivity
Elearning engages users, pushing them to the learning rather than pulling them through training.

Disadvantages of Elearning

e-learning is not, however, the only platform for learning It has some limitations which are stated below
  • Initial investment
investment is required to create an e-learning  portal because of high development costs.
  • Technology issues
The Elearning portals require latest technology and training to the trainers to impart learning which requires expenditure and also latest hardware and software.
  • Cultural compatibility
It is an issue in socities where student are not friendlier using computers.
  • Training Portability
Portability of learning is a strength of e-learning with the PDA, notebook computers and mobile phones, but still the traditional way of learning through reference material and books is unmatchable.

The advantages and disadvantages of e-learning vary depending on user’s goal, organizational culture and infrastructure. But it is indisputable that e-learning is rapidly emerging as form of new and innovative platform for learning and most are finding that the benefits of e-learning will guarantee improving knowledge and skills of the new generation.

Following are few elearning portals which can be helpful in various learning environments

Ms. Puja Munjal
Assistant Professor
Deptt. of Information Technology

Career in Accounting

Among various fields of studies finance sector is considered as one of the most important sector. Accounting is considered as one of the most crucial discipline under finance and it is treated as the backbone of all other discipline in the finance sector. Accounting is considered as the language of business. Accounting is treated as a process of analyzing the raw data, summarizing it and then reporting the final results dealing in financial information to all the interested parties such as an organization itself, may be government, investors, individuals etc. It shows that as the time moves how an organization tracks with their income, assets and liabilities. On the other hand, recording and maintaining the financial records of day to day transactions that take place in business in order to calculate the success or the failure of business is known as accountancy.

Accounting is playing a vital role in the daily life due to growth of trade and industry in an economy. Every business requires an accountant; maybe it is startups, small business or a large one. Thus, accounting business is flourishing and the career opportunities exist approximately everywhere. Accountant is a person who will be responsible to maintain the books of the business. In olden days it was considered that the job of an accountant is just to do book keeping but now the scope of an accountant is broadened. Now a day’s accountant also deals with the planning for the future activities such as planning for the budget, preparing and filing the tax returns. These days all the future decisions on the various projects to be undertaken by an organization is dependent on the financial records maintained by an accountant. Accounting not only deals with an organization it also deals to an individual. Even an individual needs the help of an accountant to maintain its finance, investment options and its tax planning.

Now after doing an accounting course an individual can work as an auditor, taxation agent, as a management accountant, can become a budget analyst, forensic accounting, financial accountant etc. An auditor is a person who checks the books of accounts. Taxation agent is a person who does the taxation planning for the business or for an individual and prepares the tax statements. Management accountant is a person who helps the business in taking decisions such as expansion of business, launching a new product or replacing the older one etc. Financial accountant deals only in recording and analyzing the financial transactions. Forensic accounting is a new emerging carrier in India. Forensic accounting means the accountant used his skills to examine about the frauds taking place in the business and then to analyze the financial information so that it can be used in the legal proceeding. Forensic accountants can also be famous as forensic auditor or investigating auditor. Forensic accountant mainly uses their knowledge of math’s, auditing and their skills of investigating so that they can help the law agencies in solving the crime.

Ms. Himani Gupta
Assistant Professor
Deptt. of Management Studies
Tips for NO Stress during Exams

As it is natural to be stressed physically or mentally during the exam time however with certain good hygiene, we can get away with that. Mentioned below are some of the tips for the same.

1.)    Set realistic goals: You should plan in advance what and when to complete. Always respect the time and keep a cushion for final revision.

2.)    Arrange study material:  All the related material (notes, reference books etc) should be handy subject wise>Chapter Wise>Topic Wise.

3.)    Eat Healthy:  Have a proper balanced nutritional diet and avoid junk foods which reduces body metabolism. Also take plenty of water to keep you fresh.

4.)    Get proper sleep: Do not burn lots of midnight oil. Have a decent 6-7 hours of daily sleep.

5.)    Stay Positive: Always have self-confidence and do not panic because of peer pressure about what others know or don’t know about the subject.

6.)    Take Breaks: It is advised to take mini breaks, power naps in between the hours of your study to keep you fresh.

7.)    Solve Sample Papers/Last Year’s Question Papers: Keep some time for solving previous year question papers/sample papers to give an idea about expected questions.

8.)     Doubt Clarification: Keep on writing all your doubts and clarify them with faculty members or through group discussion with fellow classmates.

9.)    Do not leave anything for the 11th Hour: Chances is whatever you leave can appear in the question paper. Instead of leaving it, get your doubts clarified to ensure scoring better marks.

10.) Avoid Multitasking: Don’t do many things at the same time, instead focus on achieving your targets with baby steps.

11.) Avoid people with negative mindset: Keep your spirits high and motivate others.

12.) Say no to Gadgets: Gadgets leads to distraction, so avoid them. World is not going to end and this can be done later also. 

13.) Prioritize your questions: Smartly see which questions to attempt and prioritize based on your comfort level, which means the ones which you know well should be answered first followed by others.

14.) Avoid verbose: Your exam results are not proportionate to words you write per answer instead it is based on knowledge you have on the subject.

15.) Don’t think what others are doing:  It is common to get distracted when other people are filling in additional sheets during the exam; chances are they may be writing unwanted things too or may be their handwriting is such. So don’t let that disturb you. Keep calm.

16.) Avoid untidy sheets: Do not overwrite, cut or write in in comprehensive handwriting. It distracts the attention of the examiner unnecessarily.

17.) Substantiate your answers: Write in a point wise manner and also try to use graphs, diagrams, flow charts, etc wherever necessary.  This will show your subject knowledge and leave a good impression on the examiner.

18.) If in doubt ask invigilator: In case you have any queries, always approach the invigilator. Do not ask others who are giving the exam.

Feel free to share your feedback and ask your queries. Wish you all the best for your upcoming examination.
Stay Happy, Stay Blessed, Stay Motivated!!!

Dr. Gauri Dhingra
Associate Professor
Deptt. of Management Studies
Confusion Riddikulus
Riddikulus is a popular Harry Potter spell used to get rid of a Boggart (a creature that becomes the thing you are most scared of upon coming in contact with a person) . When you say the spell think about a comical object/person, and then the boggart will become that.
Early on in life, when we chart out a new course for ourselves, we often feel stressed. There are doubts about Do’s and Dont’s. About the choices we make, about the way to take, about sacrifices that may be needed, about decisions -however hard they may be- that need to be taken. Then there are people out there who question, scrutinize, review, comment upon and confuse you. There might be a doubting family, a trusting friend, a confident companion, a disagreeable elder. In short, there might be many people who try to pull you down – intentionally or inadvertently. There are many Boggarts to beat.
How do you cope with that? How do we know that we have taken the right path? How do we know if the road we have taken is the one that goes to the place where we want to be? The answer is simple–PASSION!
Passion to be what you want to be, to do whatever it takes, to work as hard as you can, to take along as many people as you can together on the journey, to do justice to your vision and capabilities. It is important to love what you do. You should realise that to be with something lifelong, you should love it enough. The same principle applies to work.
 Work is love made visible. and if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work & sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.”- Kahil Gibran

Use love and passion to get rid of confusion. Be bold & beat the Boggart. Sometimes our passions are apparent to us and at times we need to dig deep and search our souls for understanding what it is that makes our day worthwhile!

Now you may ask what if my passion is gardening. Is it worthwhile as a career? To you I will say, yes it is! When you set yourself down the path of passion don’t worry about what it can give you. Even Lord Sri Krishna has espoused this dictum.

The first and foremost thing you can do in situation of confusion is Relax. Think about what makes you happy, excited? What is it that you cannot live without? If you are still confused ask yourself what is it that you cannot do at all? Some people cannot bear with maths at all, others find creative writing difficult, some enjoy outdoor and traveling type of jobs, and others prefer a fixed regular work schedule. Therefore, choose wisely as per your likes and dislikes.

Ms. Aakanksha Sharma
Assistant Professor
Deptt. of Mass Communication

Monday, 28 March 2016

What is Big about Big Data

In present days, we often keep hearing about the IT buzzword Big Data. Everyone is talking about it. But many of us are not aware of what it actually is and how it is having a big (great) impact on our daily life. Some of the things are so big and have big implications in our life with or without our will that we must be aware of it. Some of the essentials explained here.

Size of Big data

Big data can be treated as huge amount of data. We generally talk about size of data in our personal computers and mobiles in terms of gigabytes(GB) but the normal size in big data is terabytes (1Terabyte=1024GB), petabytes (1 peta byte =1024  terabyte)  and even bigger size of  data.

Source of Big Data

The next question comes in mind is from where are we getting this data? Unknowingly we the common users of internet, search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo etc), mobile phones, various apps on our phones, social networking sites (Facebook , Twitter, Instagram etc) are generating this data. Our all actions are recorded by these applications. Some of common activities of an individual which provide big data are

1.      Search: Whichever site we visit and whatever we search.
2.      Age and Gender: We usually do not give this information but on the basis of our searches and browsing pattern it can be analyzed.
3.      Relationship: Based on the status and activities on social networking sites it can be predicted with accuracy.
4.      Travelling details: This is very easy to find for Android Users. Even the speed with which we are travelling is also recorded by our phones. And obviously our Home and Workplace address is also known to the apps on our mobiles.
5.      Item Purchased: If we are using credit or debit card for our shopping, the products which we have bought are known to the issuer bank.
6.      Area of interest: From the videos we watched at youtube, it is easy to find.
7.      Job satisfaction level or family life: By analyzing our likes at different social networking sites or groups we have joined, our intelligence level and our satisfaction level at our workplace and in our family can also be predicted.
8.      Financial status: If we are doing online transactions or net banking then even our user ids or passwords are also exposed to some of the applications installed on our systems or mobiles. 

Application of Big data

The above mentioned activities are then analyzed by using statistical and predictive tools for various purposes such as marketing, fraud detection, predictions, diagnosis etc. “No wonder one gets advertisements related to their searches.”

The following are some of the applications of big data analytics:

1.      To identify potential customers
The most publicized and biggest area of usage of big data today is analyzing customers buying habits, their behaviors and preferences. To get complete picture of the customers, companies are keen to expand their traditional data sets with social media data, browser logs as well as text analytics and sensor data.

2.      To identify business processes for optimization
This is another area where Big data is increasingly being used to optimize business processes. Merchants are optimizing their stock based on predictions generated from social media data, web search trends and weather forecasts.

3.       For Personal Quantification and Performance Optimization
These days, Big data is not just for companies and governments but also for all of us individually. The data generated from wearable devices such as smart watches or smart bracelets can be beneficial to us. 

4.       To Improve Healthcare and Public Health
The data analytics and computing power of big data enables us to decode entire DNA strings in minutes and will allow us to find new cures and better understand and predict disease patterns. It is unimaginable that what happens when all the individual data from smart watches and wearable devices can be used to apply it to millions of people and their various diseases. 

5.       To Improve Sports Performance
Big data analytics is being used to improve sports performance. IBM SlamTracker tool for tennis tournaments; video analytics to track the performance of every player in a football or baseball game, and sensor technology in sports equipment such as basket balls or golf clubs allows us to get feedback (using smart phones and cloud servers) on our game and how to improve it.

6.       To bring Improvement in Science and Research
Big data is also transforming new possibilities in the field of Science and research. For example, CERN, the Swiss nuclear physics lab with its Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator. 

7.       To Optimize performance of Machines and other Devices
Machines and devices are becoming smarter and more autonomous with the help of big data analytics. Google’s self-driving car is an example of it.

8.       To Improve Security and enforcement of Law
This is one of the area which has improved drastically with Big data analytics. It is  being used to foil terrorist plots ,to detect and prevent cyber attacks, to catch criminals and even predict criminal activity.Credit card companies use big data to detect fraudulent transactions.

9.       To Improve and Optimize Cities and Countries
Big data also allows cities to optimize traffic flows based on real time traffic information as well as social media and weather data. 

10.   Financial Trading
Excessive use of big data analytics is done in High-Frequency Trading (HFT). Big data algorithms are used to make trading decisions. Majority of equity trading now takes place using data algorithms which increasingly take into account signals from social media networks and news websites to make, buy and sell decisions in split seconds.

These are some of the applications of big data.There are so many other applications of big data and there will be many new categories as the tools become more widespread.

Ms. Meenakshi Narula

Brief survey and importance of Discrete mathematics

The mathematics is a basic tool to understand science and engineering. Generally mathematics can be divided into two categories discrete mathematics and continuous mathematics. The branch of mathematics in which we deal mostly with only those real numbers which are multiple of some basic units, if the basic unit is 1 then the discrete variable can assume only integral values, is known as discrete mathematics. Therefore the variables which we use in discrete mathematics, are known as discrete variables, thus in continuous mathematics number system is usually real numbers while for discrete mathematics it is an integer. As a result a discrete variable can not become infinitely small, and as such concept like instantaneous rate of change is not available in discrete mathematics, but this is the basic concept in continuous mathematics. Hence discrete mathematics is the branch of mathematics devoted to the study of discrete objects whose main concern is with continuous functions. Of course neither the discrete nor the continuous mathematics is a watertight compartment. Some branches of mathematics, like numerical analysis and linear algebra, have both continuous and discrete functions. some typical example of discrete mathematics includes.

1. A drawer contains ten black and ten white balls. What is the least number of balls one must pull out to be sure to get a matched pair?

2. How can a circuit that adds two integers and a circuit that compares two integers be designed ?.

3. A variable name in a programming language must be either a letter or a letter followed by a decimal digit. How many different variable names are there in this language?

4. A computer system consists of five subsystems. Each subsystem might fail independently with probability of 0.2. The failure of any subsystem will lead to a failure of the whole computer system. Given that the computer system fails, what is the probability that the subsystem 1 and only subsystem 1 fails.

Importance of discrete mathematics.

The discrete mathematics has played an important role to deal some practical problems in daily life. For example the topic of relation and functions, helps us to discuss the general relations of our lives. If we test relation “fatherhood” by discrete mathematics this is an equivalence relation. Or generally in daily lives a father can not be equivalence to his son and vice versa. Discrete mathematics shows the relation of brotherhood is an equivalence relation, so is true in daily lives. Because a brother could be equivalence to his brother. Therefore discrete mathematics is rapidly growing an increasingly used area of mathematics with many practical and relevant applications.It is an excellent tool for improving problem solving and reasoning skills, and is appropriate for all at al levels and of all abilities. The knowledge of discrete mathematics is the key for advanced work in many branches of mathematics and computer science, which includes data structure, database theory, automata theory, compiler design, operating system, and many others. Thus the idea of discrete mathematics are the fundamental to the science and technology specific to the computer age.

Dr. Hakimuddin Khan
Associate Professor
Deptt. of Management Studies