For the past two days I thought of writing my experience in Dr. SSN Rajalakshmi College of Arts & Science workshop in which we have recently provided lectures on LaTeX. But due to my health issues and some works related to our publications, I can’t find much time to write a lengthy article. In fact, this post too not about that workshop but about a particular person — the principal of that College — Prof. M. Daniel (Shortly MD for us).
He taught me two courses during my post graduation in Bharathidasan University: Nonlinear Dynamics and Electromagnetic Theory. We’re very lucky to study under the great personalities like Prof M. Daniel, Prof Kaliannan, Prof. Parathasarathy, Prof. K. Ramamurthi and Prof. S. Dhanushkodi. Of which Prof. MD is very professional and his lectures are informative and inspiring. He would start from what is in the syllabus and ends his course with what is in the syllabus (again). Even though there won’t be much difference between the beginning and end lectures, you can understand the difference in your knowledge level (something like zero to hero). Especially, Electromagnetic theory — I can bet no one can teach that subject to his level (And no one would suggest you to follow J. D. Jackson — During one of my interviews, I was asked which book I have used for EMT and when I replied that J. D. Jackson, some eyebrows were raisen!)
Also, when we conduct our first science day celebrations, his questions (yes! just questions) greatly shaped that event and then now it tends to be a tradition in the department (Of course an equal support we received from the then HOD Prof. K. Ramamurthi too). I have worked under him during certain occasions and greatly admired his leadership quality. So, when I heard he is heading an institution, I was just curious about how he is handling the things. And this workshop paved a way to witness his capabilities once again.
During the inauguration, he surprised me from rightly pronouncing LaTeX (it is La-Tech; not La-Tex) to reminding our PG days. He briefly summarised the importance of learning LaTeX and discusses its usage on different arena. And then, after the valedictory we spent a quality of time with him in his office, discussed how to implement and improve the usage of LaTeX in the institution. Our suggestions like students can be asked to submit their assignments in LaTeX, a LaTeX club can be initiated and designing own thesis style files for the college are greatly welcomed by him and he is able to coordinate different departments and persons immediately, asked them to start the things as early as possible. Further, he requested the Head of Physics to monitor the progress and to report him. The Head of Physics was also requested to conduct a FDP for the faculties, so that more students can learn from them.
During the course of interaction, many people come and go with different problems. He suggested solutions and move on. I just experienced how a true leader can use his power and extract great output from his team. Indeed this visit provides me an opportunity to once again witness the greatness of one of our beloved teachers in his suite but with a different boots. Like many of his students and colleagues, for me too, he remains as a great inspiration!