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05 Oct. 2018

IJEP Internship Program 2018  Pourush Sood (IITKharagpur)

・affiliation :Electronics and Electrical Communication Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur
・duration :May 7-July 8, 2018
・program :Prof. Akira Hirose's laboratory


The quality of research at the University of Tokyo is incredible. It was quite awe-inspiring to see how much thought actually goes in each step of the work. My sensei gave me a week’s time to understand the research done at the laboratory before taking a call. Thus, I could suggest and modify as to what I wanted to do. My research theme was Complex Valued Neural Networks. I worked on classification of subsurface objects by evaluating the degree of conformity between self organizing maps. The work was totally experimental and practical, something which I had not experienced earlier. We also had weekly seminars where I got to know about the research of each of my lab mates. It also helped increase our bonding. All the labmates used to go for lunch along with sensei everyday, which greatly helped me bond with my labmates, many of whom had become the best of my friends towards the end of my internship! I also got a farewell party at the end of my internship. Thus, I would say that the work culture, especially at Hirose Lab, was phenomenal. The IJEP Coordinators also took us for a trip to DMG Mori at their innovation day, in shinkansen! The trip was completely sponsored by IJEP and I enjoyed it thoroughly!


I made sure not to waste even a minute of my time while in Japan. I used to walk to my lab and back home even though there were direct metro links, and it made me get closer to the Japanese culture and everyday life! Cooking is my passion and I have been close to the Japanese cuisine even in India, since I Ioved cooking Japanese. Food was the best part of my trip to Japan! I ate anything and everything Japanese, and food will be the what I’d miss the most about Japan. Oh, umami!

Every Saturday, I made it a point to travel through all lines of the Tokyo Metro (I might sound insane, but I’m a bit obsessed with Subway Systems around the world), and travel to the less explored corners of Tokyo.  I collected eki-stamps, went to lesser known shrines, dagashi shops, and simply walked around otherwise. Sundays were for the famous, touristy spots like Enoshima, DisneySea, etc. etc. The highlights of my trip were an urban challenge game, Journey to the End of the Night and my Fujisan climb. Fujisan climb was something that I had really been looking forward to and the entire experience was phenomenal. I went to Fujisan in the morning, climbed till the evening, stayed at the mountain hut, started to the peak at midnight, saw the sunrise and went to Kengamine, finally went down and straight to an onsen! Certainly my best time in Japan!


As for Japanese, I had started to learn before coming to Japan itself. It really helped. I further attended Japanese classes while in Japan, taught by volunteers for a nominal fee. I plan to continue my studies further while in India.


My time during the internship will be something that I will remember for life. I made a lot of new friends and got quite emotionally attached with my lab and labmates! Will surely miss UTokyo! Hope to be back there soon!