Frequently Asked Questions (Students)

Q1 How to address an email for research to a faculty member?
There is no strict format. However, I would prefer a well-written letter:

Dear Prof. James
Paragraph 1 <Introduce yourself>
Paragraph 2 <Expression of your interest in a specific research area>
Paragraph 3 <Your technical skillsets>
Student name
<Attach CV & any other supporting material>

Q2 What should I do to excel in circuits and systems?

Practice, Practice, and Practice!.  There are unfortunately no shortcuts. Build circuits, do simulations and learn theory. Get a good hold of spice simulations, and develop practical troubleshooting skills – both in hardware programming and testing.

Q3 Why should you take up analog circuit design?

It’s challenging and requires a lot of intuitive thinking. Most of our natural world is analog and to be able to capture and process analog information in silicon is a challenging task.

Q4 When should I start doing research?

I encourage students to take up research as soon as in the first year of the undergraduate studies. The first thing is to find a good mentor. It takes many years before you may be able to publish a good paper, however, the sooner you start, more time you get to understand it. And be prepared to fail several times before you get anything reasonable.

Q5 What are the major research areas that you work with?

I have always been fascinated by how the brain works. My research lay in the intersection of neuroscience, computing and electronics, with a focus to mimic natural brain functions such as pattern matching and image understanding in silicon circuits.