User Stories

VPKBIET, Baramati Provides Open Access to MATLAB and Simulink to Prepare Students in Rural Areas for Careers in Industry

Challenge

Equip students in rural areas with the software skills they need to succeed in industry

Solution

Acquire a Campus-Wide License, develop a comprehensive campaign to promote the use of MATLAB and Simulink, and integrate the tools throughout the engineering curriculum

Results

  • Access to industry-standard software provided
  • Awareness of technological megatrends fostered
  • Institute successes in student competitions achieved

“The interactive online training courses available with the Campus-Wide License motivate our students to learn MATLAB and Simulink, increase their confidence, and enhance their skills. As a result, students at our campus now think in a MATLAB way.”

Dr. R. S. Bichkar, Principal, VPKBIET
VPKBIET Main Academic Building.

VPKBIET Main Academic Building.


The core mission of Vidya Pratishthan’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Institute of Engineering and Technology (VPKBIET), Baramati, Dist.: Pune, Maharashtra, is to provide a quality technical education, at an affordable cost, that both prepares students for careers in industry and turns them into lifelong learners and problem solvers.

Because the institute is in a tier 2 city in India, most of its students come from rural or low-income backgrounds. To ensure that these students developed the skills they would need, VPKBIET acquired a Campus-Wide License for MATLAB® and Simulink®. All students now have access to MATLAB. As a result, the institute has been able to integrate MATLAB and Simulink into its teaching and learning activities.

“Skills-based learning is essential to preparing graduates to meet the needs of industry, and MATLAB and Simulink literacy is vital to that effort,” says Dr. R. S. Bichkar, VPKBIET Principal. “The online training courses provided with the Campus-Wide License have been a boon, enabling our students not only to understand MATLAB fundamentals but also to keep pace with technological advances such as deep learning and machine learning.”

Challenge

VPKBIET faculty wanted to establish the institute as one of the best in the state and to ensure the holistic development of its students. However, the location of the institute in a tier 2 city brought several obstacles to this objective: First, most of the students came from low-income backgrounds, which meant that they could not afford the resources and software they would need. Second, although the faculty were familiar with the basics of MATLAB and Simulink, they had limited access to resources that would enable them to develop their own skills and teach them to the students. Third, the location of the institute made it difficult to form connections with industry, and limited industry-faculty interactions.

Solution

The institution acquired a Campus-Wide License for MATLAB and Simulink, along with the Online Training Suite (OTS). They integrated MATLAB and Simulink throughout the curriculum in all departments—Electronics and Telecommunication, Electrical, Computer, Information Technology, and Mechanical, and to some extent, in Civil Engineering.

The students are introduced to MATLAB in the first year of their studies via the MATLAB Fundamentals course in the OTS. Students listen to live or prerecorded webinars and then complete assignments in the lab. Instructors use live scripts to engage the students in learning core programming concepts, and use MATLAB Grader to create interactive, project-based assignments. Assignments are graded automatically, providing instant feedback and motivating students to continue learning.

To ensure that both faculty and students gained maximum benefit from the investment, Mr. Shashank D. Biradar, MATLAB Admin, VPKBIET, has set up the Center of Excellence MARVEL (MATLAB for Research Via Enhanced Learning) Group to establish MATLAB competencies amongst students and faculty through a variety of programs. They also designated faculty advisors, each of whom is responsible for mentoring a batch of 20 students and monitoring their progress with MATLAB and Simulink.

In parallel, the college launched a comprehensive MATLAB and Simulink promotion campaign. This included talks and seminars from MATLAB experts, a MATLAB user group on LinkedIn, a campus-wide poster campaign, and social media activities. In addition, faculty members were assigned a MATLAB toolbox and invited to schedule weekend workshops covering the basics of the toolbox and its functions.

MathWorks engineers visit the campus at least twice a semester to share resources, help with problem solving, assist with projects, and offer one-day workshops for students and faculty.

Results

  • Access to industry-standard software provided. Open access to industry-standard software is vital to students like ours,” states Dr. R. K. Shastri, Dean, Academics. “With the Campus-Wide License, students have access to MATLAB and Simulink anytime, anywhere. The online training courses make it easy for them to get started.”
  • Awareness of technological megatrends fostered. “Resources in the OTS enable us to show how MATLAB and Simulink are used in technological megatrends like artificial intelligence, deep learning, machine learning, and Model-Based Design,” Dr. S. M. Bhosle, Dean, R&D, comments. “These resources are invaluable, as our remote location makes it difficult for industry professionals to visit the campus.”
  • Institute successes in student competitions achieved. “OTS certification gives students the confidence to participate in a wide range of extramural activities,” says Biradar. “They have filed patents and won several competitions—including the Smart India Hackathon, a nationwide initiative that promotes innovative, out-of-the-box thinking in engineering students from across India.”

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