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With the beginning of the new academic year, begins the ever dreaded hustle of attending classes, completing assignments so on and so forth. For a few of us, this academic year also proves to be a final hurdle before heading out into the real world. The final years.

But worry not! Innovation Garage is here to lend a hand to help you overcome this final hurdle successfully. IG brings to you, suggestions and advice on your final year project right from your seniors for every branch.

Naturally, the first course of action while deciding on a project would be to identify which discipline or area in your branch you would like to base your project on. With respect to Electronics and Communication Engineering, the areas of interest are virtually endless. You have options ranging from Device modelling, Signal processing, image processing (or closely related to computer vision), embedded systems, sensor networks, micro controllers to IoT, Antennas, Computer networking, Circuit simulation or optimisation on Tanner or Tspice, and DSP. ECE has a vast amount of disciplines. The list is practically unexhaustive.

Having these many areas to choose from, the question arises, how do I choose a discipline that’s suitable for me? Select topics from IEEE or other Engineering colleges abroad such as MIT since they have project submissions almost every semester. Kick starter is also a great source for fresh and current ideas. In ECE, you will have the chance to select a project, but the project discipline should match with the expertise of your guide, and the selection of the guide is not in your hand. It’s random. But given the guide (and hence the discipline), you can come up with various projects matching the discipline.

Try to avoid purchasable products as much as possible. Buying hardware or software products which are proprietary will cost you more time and effort to build your project. Open source products and services are highly recommended. This has an added benefit that enables you to publish your project if it becomes successful without considering legal problems as faced by proprietary products.

In addition to your assigned guide, you can always take help from the large number of highly experienced faculty present in the department. In order to get an idea about who to approach with your project idea regarding any queries or questions, go through the research papers uploaded by them on the institute website as this helps in gaining perspective regarding which Professor has the most knowledge and experience in your field of interest.

Plan in advance on how you are going to execute the project. Meet with your team at least 2 times a week and maintain a fixed schedule. Create a google drive to maintain records of all required documents and software and try to collaborate in a continuous manner with your team. Maintain a record of the tasks planned with their deadlines and complete them one by one strictly adhering to your set deadlines. Keep updating your guide weekly on the progress made with the project work as well. Keep an eye out for sample data and data sets which you may critically need in your project. Equally distribute your work in the team and don’t neglect anyone in the group. If any member is lagging behind try to understand their reason and make them realize the importance of completing the task on time. If not try to help them but you should not finish the task. The main reason for this is at the panel if teachers think someone doesn’t know the project they will ignore rest of the team and may grill the member unfamiliar with the project.

The project being a group activity requires a good amount of coordination and cooperation for successful completion. Setting strict deadlines and maintaining proper communication between the group members and with you mentors or guides is one of the best ways to make fast and timely progress with your project.

Contributors: Sreerag Sreenath, Vishal Jain, Saurabh Dewangan