Department of Computer Science and Automation Department of Computer Science and Automation, IISc, Bangalore, India Indian Institute of Science



The duration of the Ph.D. program is usually 4-5 years. The students are expected to be self-motivated and should be able to work well in teams as well as individually.

First term

1. Getting acquainted with the people, facilities in CSA specifically and IISc in general.
2. Selection of courses: The courses you select depend on your intended area of research. It is compulsory that you should select at least one mathematics or mathematically-oriented course. A Direct Ph.D. student after finishing their B.E./B.Tech. should gain at least 24 credits (which may mean usually 6-8 courses) to complete their Research Training Programme (RTP) whereas a Ph.D. student who already has a Masters degree needs to gain only 12 credits (i.e. 3-4 courses). Students are usually advised to take a maximum of 4 courses in the first semester.
3. Selection of research area and guide: Take help from Departmental Curriculum Committee (DCC), faculty and senior research students in the department in this regard. A special DCC meeting will be arranged for this purpose shortly after the semester starts.
4. Work hard to complete your RTP with good grades. Award of fellowships for PhD also depend on your CGPA that you obtain in the first semester besides progress in research work. These fellowships are normally awarded in the beginning of every calendar year.

Second Term

1. If you haven't yet finished the required number of courses in the first semester itself, select the remaining number of courses to complete the requirements of RTP. Take any advanced course useful for your research if required or suggested.
2. Select the problem and take seek the assistance of students working in the same area.
3. Start literature survey.

Third term

1. Deliver a 'Perspective Seminar', a comprehensive survey of your area of work from the standpoint of the specific problem under investigation.
2. Start concrete work on solving your research problem.
3. A Ph.D. student has to pass the comprehensive examination. You may appear for the comprehensive examination either in the third semester or in the fourth semester (before the end of two years), depending on the progress in your research work and in consultation with your advisor. In the comprehensive examination, the candidate is first expected to give a brief presentation of his/her research work. This is followed by questions on the syllabus for the RTP undergone by the student.
4. Writing of research paper/technical reports, etc.

Fourth Term

1. Complete the comprehensive examination if you haven't already completed it.
2. Continue with your research work.
3. Write more research papers.

Fifth term onwards

1. Complete the remaining work to conclude your research.
2. Once you have enough results, start writing your thesis. (You may want to consult your advisor regarding when to start writing your thesis.)
3. Colloquium, Thesis defense, etc.

Faculty Advisor

While we are sure that all of you have the inherent motivation and abilities to get through the Programme with flying colours, we believe a little extra guidance from us will go a long way in smoothing out your adjustment to a new academic environment and in enhancing your academic performance. Your primary source of academic guidance and counseling is the faculty advisor assigned to you. You should make it a point to get to know your advisor well, and meet your advisor frequently in the early part of your stay here, and especially whenever you face any problems. The distinction between students and faculty is more blurred: you will find faculty willing to deal with you on a more equal level, to listen to and value ideas from you that might be contradictory to their current knowledge and viewpoints, etc.
Another person who can help you will be the TA (Teaching Assistant) for each course. The TA is likely to be a student just one year senior to you; occasionally, the TA can be someone from your batch who has done the course a semester before you! This is because graduate studies are also meant to teach you things such as honest and critical evaluation of work done by peers.

Student Advisor

There will also be a student advisor assigned to each student. He/She is someone with whom you can interact closely in a friendly and informal way to help yourself acclimatize to the environment here. Apart from the Faculty Advisor, the Student Advisor is another avenue for helping you in adjusting with the environment in the CSA department and the IISc campus in general.

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