The Road Less Taken



Humanity has since its dawn, believed in the challenge to accomplish something more than just the ordinary, the thing which we call extraordinary. It has risen above anonymity and has achieved remarkable things. And the ones who have actually done so are the ones who have conventionally followed the unconventional. The Road Less Taken, is an effort by BufferedReader to bring out some of the unconventional career choices that a student of Computer Science might embark upon, post graduation.

Albert Einstein once remarked that imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions. The thing that goes hand in hand with imagination is Design. Design is the method of putting form and content together. Design, just like art, has multiple definitions. Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. And Design today, is one of the areas in which the computer science graduates are making foray into.

The leading institutes in India that offer post-graduate courses in Design are the National Institutes (NIDs) of Design and the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). NIDs are internationally acclaimed as one of the finest educational and research institutions for Industrial, Communication, Textile and IT Integrated Design. They are Institutes of National Importance under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. Amongst the host of programmes that the institute offers, Graphics Design, Animation Film Design, Digital Game Design are the ones that are more likely to be of interest to a graduate of computer science.

The rapid changes in the way communication is happening in recent context of technological advancement has made the understanding of Graphics Design much more important than ever before. During their period of study, students in Graphics Design are encouraged to work on a variety of projects, majoring in the selected sub-domain of Graphics Design. The areas covered range from image making to illustration, photography, information & communication systems in digital domain and much more.

Likewise, the objective of Animation Film Design is to enable students to find solutions to complex problems in various fields of communication design using animation film making as a creative medium. They experiment with various mediums like 2D, 3D, mixed media, pixilation, experimental, graphic narratives etc. to tell animation stories of many kinds. Graduates of this programme find rewarding careers as animators, character designers, story-board artists as well as creative directors, producers, consultants and designers in many organizations such as Channel [V], MTV, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, etc.

Digital Game Design educates students in the areas of digital media, digital arts, history and theory of gaming, 2D and 3D graphics, simulation and modelling and user interface design. The programme provides inputs in the areas of interactive digital storytelling, visual effects and motion graphics, 2D and 3D character animation and digital renderings. The course inputs are planned in strategic manner that the graduates can join as professionals in game industries and related domains like entertainment, visualisation etc.

The Department of Design at IIT Guwahati offers a more research oriented Master of Design (M.Des) programme that includes courses on visual design, system analysis and information design, interaction design, graphic design and design semantics etc. On the similar lines, the Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay offers a Master of Design programme in Visual Communication, Animation and Interaction Design. This design programme coexists in an active triadic relationship with design education, design research and design practice. IIT Kanpur offers a multi-disciplinary design programme that draws subjects from varied fields of engineering like mechanical, computer science, bio sciences, electrical and chemical engineering and humanities. This design programme is unique in offering its students an opportunity to get soaked in all the elements and principles of design. They are introduced to the core aspects of user interface design, visual design and product design through class room sessions and workshops.

National Insititute of Design, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India National Insititute of Design, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

These design programmes offer well-structured course-templates for students to synthesize technology and aesthetics in the service of human-needs. They encourage creativity, innovation, craftsmanship, and personal expression leading to evolution of products and services in the field of engineering design and visual communications. The projects interspersed between the courses provide adequate opportunities for brain-storming yielding product and services to meet social, environmental and business needs.

List of Top 10 Design schools in the World

  1. Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, USA
  2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab Cambridge, USA
  3. College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning, University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, USA
  4. Carnegie Mellon University School of Design, Pittsburgh, USA
  5. Parsons The New School for Design, New York, USA
  6. Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, USA
  7. Royal College of Art, London, UK
  8. D School: Institute of Design at Stanford University, Stanford, USA
  9. Carnegie Mellon Human Computer Interaction Institute, Pittsburgh, USA
  10. Art Centre College of Design, Pasadena, USA

They Made It Big

Professor Randy Pausch Prof. Randy Pausch consulted with Google on user interface design and also consulted with PARC, Imagineering, and Media Metrix.

Professor Randy Pausch

Prof. Randy Pausch was an assistant and associate professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Virginia's School of Engineering and Applied Science from 1988 until 1997. While there, he completed sabbaticals at Walt Disney Imagineering and Electronic Arts (EA). In 1997, Pausch became Associate Professor of Computer Science, Human-Computer Interaction, and Design at Carnegie Mellon University. In 1998, he was a co-founder, along with Don Marinelli, of CMU's Entertainment Technology Center (ETC). He consulted with Google on user interface design and also consulted with PARC, Imagineering, and Media Metrix. Pausch is also the founder of the Alice software project. He received the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award and was a Lilly Foundation Teaching Fellow. Pausch was the author or co-author of five books and over 70 articles.

Pausch received two awards from ACM in 2007 for his achievements in computing education: the Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award and the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education Award for Outstanding Contributions to Computer Science Education. He was also inducted as a Fellow of the ACM in 2007. Pausch died of complications from pancreatic cancer at the age of 47 on July 25, 2008.

Udaya Kumar Dharmalingam Udaya Kumar Dharmalingam is the designer of the Indian Rupee Sign.

Udaya Kumar Dharmalingam

Mr. Udaya Kumar obtained a bachelor's degree in architecture (B.Arch) from the School of Architecture and Planning  at Anna University, Chennai in 2001. Subsequently he received his master's degree, an M.Des in Visual Communication, from the Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay in 2003. He also did his doctoral studies at the IDC, receiving his PhD in 2010. His areas of interest include graphics design, typography, type design and design research with special focus on Tamil typography. The then Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Ambika Soni approved the new Indian currency rupee symbol design conceptualized by Kumar on July 15, 2010. Kumar was awarded prize money of  INR 250,000 for his efforts. His design was selected from among five short listed symbols. According to Kumar the design is based on the Indian tricolour.