Memoirs of a Graduate Teaching Assistant

The relationship that a professor and a Teaching assistant share is similar to that of Batman and Robin, helping each other tackling challenging situations. A teaching assistant(TA) usually assists a teacher with grading and daily tasks associated with teaching a course. Teaching assistants can be or various types, such as Graduate Teaching Assistant(GTA), Undergraduate Teaching Assistant(UTA) and Teaching Assistants for students with learning disabilities. A teaching assistant plays many roles besides grading the students, they guide students, solve their issues related to the course and even motivate them to go on in many cases.

I have taken the role of a graduate teaching assistant and a lab instructor multiple times in the past few years of my graduate education and I have plethora of experiences to share. Being a TA is not at all an easy job, especially with the pressure of being fair to every student and doing justice to your responsibilities. One of the issues a TA faces is “How to react?” It is almost like walking on a tight rope, because you need to put your point forward in an effective manner without offending the students, and in the past I have had students behaving inappropriately. Tackling such students, I had to be polite and politically correct at all times while maintaining my stance for the issues.

There was another case where one of the students came to my office hours and tried to get the answer itself. I tried to guide him step by step, making sure that I do not give out the answer, which led frustration to build up from the student’s side. He was not wanting to learn, instead just wanted the answer, and this eventually led him to bang his laptop and leave. I feel its very important to stand by your decision because you need to be fair to other students. Adding to that, I would like to say that to maintain fairness, if you fix something for one student, you must fix it for the rest of the class.

Being a lab instructor is more difficult than being a TA because you need to perform the experiments and make sure all equipment is working right before the class, so that students do not face any issues during the class. One must also be aware of possible errors students can make, which often comes with experience, so that learning is uninterrupted. In my case, when I was an instructor for an electrical lab, initially I was overwhelmed with the responsibilities and was not ready with instant answers for the students. Gradually, when I learned with the students, I was able to help them out better and that is what reflected in my evaluations at the end of the class.  I was really happy that I was able to make progress and students appreciated it.

Sometimes, TAs also need to substitute for their professor’s class and it is not easy because TAs have big shoes to fill. TAs need to prepare for the class with presentations, lecture notes and exercise prompts to make sure the lecture goes smoothly. Once the preparation is done, the TAs need to overcome the fear of lecturing the students followed by preparing for questions students might raise and how to tackle a question that one doesn’t know the answer to. Overall, my experience with taking up substitute classes has been positive but I have had my share of roadblocks while lecturing students.

Lastly, I would like to talk about being a TA during the pandemic. In-person interaction made it easier for the TAs to handle office-hours and students’ concerns but the pandemic has affected the way student-TA interactions occur. Even though I have been a TA for a few MIT courses (mostly online courses) even before the pandemic, I feel that the number of emails you need to answer and conducting the office hours online is not as good as synchronous interaction with the students. I would like to encourage all TAs to maintain their calm and avoid burnout over excessive emails and Zoom fatigue especially with a large class.

In The Future I Will ______________: The Future Of Universities

In the future, I will try to change how universities teach, to make students better prepared for the industry. The need to transform courses to meet the expectations of the industry is real and it is fueled all the more by the unrealistic expectations or standards set by the industry. The chicken and egg problem here is that, even for entry level positions, employers demand experience, but how does one gain experience without a job? The problem is that firms these days do not want to invest on training because experienced professionals are readily available, causing higher unemployment rates among fresh graduates. This is partly because of unrealistic industry standards and timelines, but universities do play a role in this as well.

Courses taught at universities are not particularly targeted towards skill development, because of lack of practical experience. If courses try to incorporate real-life industry based situations or case based learning in other words, things will start improving. Besides that, universities must promote industrial collaboration so that students get an insight into how things really work. This will also instill confidence among members of the industry with respect to hiring fresh graduates. This in turn will attract more investment in the universities for preparing students to be ready for the challenges ahead.

For example, in case of Computer Science or Computer Engineering, once students are done taking basic courses, there should be a course available, that wraps up the knowledge of all the courses to build a website for example, covering backend, frontend and database aspects of the discipline. This not only provides students with a hands-on experience, employing Project-Based Learning, but also sums up the usage of their previous knowledge.

The other side of the coin in this case is credential requirement inflation. Firms need to lower their requirements for entry level jobs so that fresh graduates stand a chance against experienced professionals. For firms to do this, universities will have to directly cater to their needs by tailoring courses according to industry standards. This does not mean that universities neglect the academic aspect, since not everyone is inclined towards industry and pedagogy is as important as the practical aspect.

At the end, I would like to conclude that universities and the industry should work hand-in-hand to nurture a system of education that benefits the community as a whole, promoting skill development and improving employability for fresh graduates.

MOOC: The Future of Education Or Not

Online education has been on the rise in the past decade and has taken the world by a storm, primarily because of its global reach coupled with interactive and on-demand learning. Through this blog post, I would like to introduce the concept of MOOCs and address the issue of MOOCs as a potential replacement for schools and universities, whether its even possible or not. Watch the short video below for an introduction to MOOC.

MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course and is a well carved out solution to address the issue of accessibility to education and the rising cost of education. As stated above, MOOC supports life-long networked learning because all one needs to access a MOOC is an internet connection and you are virtually connected to your instructors and peers across the world, the very reason its called “Open.” MOOCs in the present times are available on a wide variety of topics across different domains offered by multiple vendors. The courses lessons are an interleaved set of slides, videos/lectures and interactive exercises with computer based instantaneous feedback systems. This makes such courses all the more desirable and improve understanding of the subject.

Even though MOOCs are extremely valuable and improve the reach of education globally, according to Mike Bergelson’s article, there are some downsides of MOOCs. According to him, accreditation is one such issue that makes MOOCs undesirable because not every industry accepts skill development via MOOCs as standard education. In other cases, some MOOCs seem to be extremely simplified,  not enough to cater to the needs of the industry. Also, flexibility, the very factor that makes MOOCs learner-friendly often cause course abandonment because of other commitments. Let’s try to understand MOOCs better through the infographic below, see how students and professors react to MOOCs and understand the reasons behind their reactions.

The infographic above is very informative and explains well the effectiveness of MOOCs. Coursera, EDX and Udacity are the major players in the market along with a few others such as Udemy and Canvas with over 1200 courses offered in 9 different disciplines. 40% of MOOC users come from developing countries and that defines the success of MOOCs because people from developing countries who otherwise may not have had access to quality education, now have access to free courses from top-level educators from world-class educators. Besides being a great tool of education in the developing countries, MOOC also serves well to working professionals, retired personnel unemployed people who cherish the flexible nature of the courses and some of whom may not be comfortable attending college for higher education. MOOC also provides its users with the freedom to enroll in just one course of interest rather than following a rigorous curriculum at a university. Let’s see what Daphne Koller, the co-founder of Coursera and a Professor of Computer Science at Stanford has to say about MOOC.

As per the statistics discussed above, we see that the cost of education has increased by about 559% since 1985, yes you read that number right, its 559%. This makes education inaccessible and unaffordable to a major population, killing their chance for a better quality of life. When Andrew Ng, the co-founder of Coursera offered his Machine Learning class online, it had an enrollment of about 100,000 students, and to put that in perspective, to reach that number of audience traditionally, he would have to teach the same course at Stanford for the next 250 years. The outreach is massive and takes full advantage of the telecom revolution, to reach the goal of education for all. Anant Agarwal, the founder and CEO of edX and a professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the MIT also shares his views on MOOC in the video below.

He talks about reimagining education or redesigning it from the ground up instead of fixing the calcified education system. He also talks about embracing the role of technology in education, rather than resisting it, because that is what students want in this modern age. Also, MOOC seems to be a great alternative for in-person classes especially during the pandemic that we are going through, but the key factor that is missing from MOOCs is in-person interaction. Even though Anant states that they some of their patrons have used a combination of in-person and online lectures using edX, at the end he mentions the need for no lecture halls or just one lecture hall for museum purposes, I feel he is missing the point of in-person  peer interaction there.

In my opinion, classrooms in many cases serve as a better mode of communication and interaction, without the barriers of online communication such as connectivity, fatigue caused by online resources and indiscipline due to the flexibility factor. Classrooms promote social interaction and improve social skills in a way that online education can never achieve. Overcoming the fear of presenting in front of a computer is way easier than presenting in front of your peers in a classroom and that is one of the reasons millennials feel introverted or alone even though they are connected to the world 24/7 via social media. Also, another factor that makes classrooms more desirable is that when you enter a classroom, you are motivated to learn by your peers and the energy of your instructor. Even though that may or may not be true in all cases but in case of MOOCs, the energy or motivation doesn’t translate very well through online platforms. In case of MOOCs, even the most disciplined might face the issue of abandonment because MOOCs are generally flexible and free, often taking the backseat in ones priority list.

MOOCs are great for students who otherwise don’t have access to quality education either due to reach or affordability and also for those who desire to learn at their own pace, but there are still, a lot of issues that hamper efficacy of such courses becoming mainstream, hence the question still stands, “Are MOOCs the future of education or not?”



Digital 4N6 and the Open Access World



Digital Forensics(4N6) is an ever growing field of study as security on devices increases and the involvement of digital devices in investigating a crime becomes integral. This aspect of digital forensics makes it all the more important to have open access to research on digital forensics, so that investigators all around the world can benefit from the resources and lead crucial investigations in the right direction. With that said, I would like to address a few questions through this blog:

  1. What is Open Access or What are Open Access Articles?
  2. What is Digital Forensics?
  3. What is the Need for Open Access in Digital Forensics and Incident Response?
  4. Case Study on an Open Access Digital Forensics and Incident Response Journal


1. What is Open Access or What are Open Access articles?

According to Wikipedia,

“Open access (OA) is a set of principles and a range of practices through which research outputs are distributed online, free of cost or other access barriers. With open access strictly defined (according to the 2001 definition), or libre open access, barriers to copying or reuse are also reduced or removed by applying an open license for copyright.

The main focus of the open access movement is “peer reviewed research literature.” Historically, this has centered mainly on print-based academic journals.

As per the above definition, we can see that open access corresponds to academic research papers or journals that are free to access without any charge, providing quality research to all sections of the society with better reach and quality content. When researchers have open access to academic materials, they can focus on expanding that research with limited resources, hence providing breakthrough content back to the community. A brief explanation of the various tracks related to Open Access Publishing in mind is illustrated in the following image.


2. What is Digital Forensics?

According to Wikipedia,

“Digital forensics (sometimes known as digital forensic science) is a branch of forensic science encompassing the recovery and investigation of material found in digital devices, often in relation to computer crime. The term digital forensics was originally used as a synonym for computer forensics but has expanded to cover investigation of all devices capable of storing digital data.

Digital Forensics can be referred to as the conglomeration of forensic science involving all digital devices such as computers, mobile devices, wearable devices and vehicle infotainment systems etc. Each one has a vast field of study related to it, such as Mobile Device Forensics, Computer Forensics and Vehicle Forensics etc. Digital Forensics is employed by police departments and investigative agencies throughout the world to help chalk out the crime scene and the mindset or motives of the criminal.


3. What is the Need for Open Access in Digital Forensics and Incident Response?

Even though violent crimes have gone down in the US in the past few years, the number of digital devices associated with a crime have gone up significantly and the number of crimes related to digital fraud and cyber crimes have also risen, making Digital Forensics an important source of crime investigation data. These statistics are illustrated by the following images.





As can be seen above, the need for digital forensics has risen over the years, leading to a rise in the number of investigators as well. This situation demands access to training and education on and open access to research on Digital Forensics. Without open access to research material, investigators may not be able to make sense of the extracted data leading to reverse or no outcome to sensitive cases. Also, all investigators around the world may not have access to enough resources to be able to pay to download relevant research material, hence strengthening the case for open access in the field of Digital Forensics.


4. Case Study on an Open Access Digital Forensics and Incident Response Journal

As the nature of the study demands, a lot of open access materials are available for Digital Forensics from various sources. I would like discuss about DFRWS or DFIR Review, which is a peer reviewed Open Access journal based out of New York, United States. As per their website,

“DFIR Review responds to the need for a focal point for up-to-date community-reviewed applied research and testing in digital forensics and incident response. DFIR Review concentrates on targeted studies of specific devices, digital traces, analysis methods, and criminal activities to help digital forensic practitioners deal with real-world issues.”

This statement clearly outlines their goal of promoting up-to-date community-reviewed applied research and testing in digital forensics and incident response. This leads us to the fact that this journal is by the community and for the community, since its peer-reviewed and Open Access. Further, the motivation for the journal states that:

“Rapid review and dissemination of up-to-date results of applied research and testing is necessary to keep pace with changes in technology and cybercrime. The Internet-of-Things (IoT) and smartphone applications are prime examples of the unprecedented proliferation of new devices and digital traces. New versions of operating systems can also have data structures that contain valuable information from a forensic perspective. When a new type of digital trace is found to be relevant to a legal matter, it may be the first time it has been studied from a forensic perspective. New approaches to analysing digital traces can help develop insights in an investigation. Often this type of material is shared via blogs by active practitioners who are the first to tackle new devices, uncover new digital traces, and encounter new forms of criminal activity. Currently, these posts do not undergo community review or vetting, and are not presented or published in a formalized forum for long term reference. The faster this knowledge can be produced, reviewed, and shared among the DFIR community, the better able we will be to deal with new devices, digital traces, and criminal activities. DFIR Review aims to take the up-to-date rapid content created by practitioners and distributed regularly via blogs and provide review such that the findings can be cited and stored in a referenceable format so that it may be used by others including for reference in legal and other matters while crediting the originating source such as a practitioner blog.”

The main motivation for this Open Access journal is getting out the latest research and techniques to the DFIR community in a timely manner to assist with time sensitive investigations and individual learning while still crediting the author for their work. One of the reasons DFIR Review was born is that in DFIR, most of the research is done by tool vendors and researchers who are based of off corporate environments and do not have the time to write academic papers, so DFIR Review accepts blog formats, helping such researchers get due credit for their work.

The Open Access aspect of DFIR Review is vey well highlighted in the “Presentation” section of their website, which states that:

“Accepted submissions will be made available on the DFRWS website open access under the CC BY-NC-ND license ( Accepted submissions will be organized along with reviewer response materials. Although authors can revise accepted materials on the basis of reviewer feedback, this is not a requirement for publication, taking into account that practitioners may not have time to rework a submission or perform additional research. Authors can post their work on their personal website or blog with a reference to the publication in DFIR Review. In this way, DFIR Review is the system of record for the work, and authors can disseminate their work with a reference to the publication in DFIR Review.”

I would like to conclude by saying that Open Access resources are an integral part of research, as they provide everyone equal access to research material without financial or other access constraints. More quality Open Access material should be promoted and should be available freely to everyone around the world.


Broken Moral Compass: A Case Study On Research Misconduct


Ethics, morality and proper research conduct go hand-in-hand. In the modern times, ethics are an integral part of any field of study as lack of ethics would create a chaos, making it difficult to safeguard the rights of the researchers and in some cases their subject as wells. Through this blog I would like to walk you through answering the following questions:

  1.  What are Ethics and Morals?
  2.  What is Research Misconduct?
  3.  What are the Consequences of Research Misconduct?
  4.  Case Study of Research Misconduct.


1. What are Ethics and Morals?

According to the McCombs School of Business,

The term ethics often describes the investigation and analysis of moral principles and dilemmas. Traditionally, philosophers and religious scholars have studied ethics. More recently, scholars from various disciplines have entered the field, creating new approaches to the study of ethics such as behavioral ethics and applied ethics.

The term ethics can also refer to rules or guidelines that establish what conduct is right and wrong for individuals and for groups. For example, codes of conduct express relevant ethical standards for professionals in many fields, such as medicine, law, journalism, and accounting.

Some philosophers make a distinction between ethics and morals. But many people use the terms ethics and morals interchangeably when talking about personal beliefs, actions, or principles. For example, it’s common to say, “My ethics prevent me from cheating.” It’s also common to use morals in this sentence instead.

So, whether we use the term ethics to refer to personal beliefs, or rules of conduct, or the study of moral philosophy, ethics provides a framework for understanding and interpreting right and wrong in society.

From the above discussion on ethics and morals, we may not be clear about the distinction between the two but we definitely know that they point to the same goal of being true to the vision of equality and integrity in all walks of life. Research or scientific experimentation is no different, they follow the highest standard of ethical conduct since their end goal is to give back to the society. In some cases researchers fall short of ethical behavior while conducting research and that leads us to our next question.


2. What is Research Misconduct?

According to The Office of Research Integrity(ORI), US Department of Health and Human Services(HHS),

Research misconduct means fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results.

(a) Fabrication is making up data or results and recording or reporting them.

(b) Falsification is manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record.

(c) Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.

(d) Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion.

The above definition clearly states the differences between intentional fabrication, falsification and plagiarism vs an honest error in terms of admissibility as an evidence for research misconduct. Fabrication, falsification and plagiarism are the three pillars that may seem alluring but you definitely do not want the to be supporting the structure of your research.


3. What are the Consequences of Research Misconduct?

The consequences of research misconduct can be disastrous, as it taints the reputation of the individual and the organization as well. The retraction notice on the paper will haunt the researcher for years and the organization may not be ready to bear the consequences of such misconduct. The videos below explain the point of view of a publishing organization with respect to the researcher and the society as a whole:

What are the consequences of scientific misconduct to you personally?


What are the consequences of scientific misconduct to you (the author), your institution and the research community?


Also, the monetary losses related to the research are huge because, all the money and effort that went into the research goes down the drain followed by lack of funding for future project due to loss of trust between the research organization and the organization funding the research.

To mitigate research misconduct, students and researchers must be trained in appropriate research conduct. Most universities have their own training programs and checks in place to avoid research misconduct but at the end of the day, it lies in the hands of the researcher to ethically implement the best practices and avoid misconduct.

The Lab: Avoiding Research Misconduct” and “The Research Clinic” are two interactive resources for training by ORI to portray the best research practices and how to avoid misconduct.

4. Case Study of Research Misconduct.



As a case study, I would like to take into account the findings by ORI on Fulford, Logan. Before I start with analyzing the case summary, I would like to state that I am no expert in the field in which the misconduct occurred and my views are solely based on the findings by ORI.

The case summary has a very technical format, starting with the identity of the researcher involved, their initial statement on the accusations, a brief list of areas of research where misconduct occurred followed by an expanded version of the accusations and the steps taken to discipline the researcher.

The identity description of the researcher involved with the misconduct is a very comprehensive one, stating all previous and current affiliations. In my opinion, the need for such a detailed description is for proper identification of the researcher, setting the distinction from other researchers with similar credentials. Followed by this, the admission of misconduct is stated by ORI as:

Respondent neither admits nor denies ORI’s findings of research misconduct; this settlement is not an admission of liability on the part of the Respondent. The parties entered into a Voluntary Settlement Agreement (Agreement) to conclude this matter without further expenditure of time, finances, or other resources.

This seems to be a legal statement from the researcher being reported by ORI to briefly summarize the outcome of the case where the researcher neither admits nor denies the claims against their research. Followed by this, ORI briefly describes two major areas of possible misconduct, specifically targeting the specific instances of misconduct. This a broad level description of what actually happened and is very helpful for the reader to understand the cause of the probe.

The case summary moves on to describe the technicalities and the exact instances of misconduct, explaining how those instances classify as misconduct. Even though some basic aspects of the accusations can be understood but this particular section does require some technical expertise to totally understand the dynamics of the misconduct.

Once the findings of misconduct are listed, the case summary moves on to disclosing the arrangements made between ORI and the researcher/research organization to discipline the researcher and prevent future misconduct. The final arrangements vary case-by-case in their severity and in my opinion the steps taken in this particular case were not extreme providing the researcher a second chance, but under strict supervision.

In the end, I would like to conclude that a broken moral compass can lead a researcher to adverse consequences and it is very important to keep your moral compass pointed in the right direction of equality and integrity while conducting responsible research.

MISSION STATEMENT: A Comparative Analysis Of Universities Around The World

Mission Statement is a topic that I was not explicitly aware of before I heard about it at one of my graduate school courses “Preparing Future Professoriate”. Through this blog I wish to address a few questions that revolve around academic mission statements and mission statements in general:

  1. What is a Mission Statement?
  2. What does a Mission Statement look like?
  3. What does a University’s Mission Statement look like?
  4. How do the Mission Statements’ of universities from two different parts of the world compare?


What is a Mission Statement?

According to Wikipedia,

“A mission statement is a short statement of why an organization exists, what its overall goal is, identifying the goal of its operations: what kind of product or service it provides, its primary customers or market, and its geographical region of operation.”

As stated above, mission statement is a high-level description of the goals of the firm and the firm itself. In some cases, it also reflects the founding principles of the institution and their ideologies to move forward.

If you want to know more about mission statements and how they differ from vision and values statements, have a look at the video below:

What does a Mission Statement look like?

Now that we know what exactly is a mission statement, let’s take a look at a few mission statements:

Amazon’s mission statement is quoted below:

“We aim to be Earth’s most customer centric company. Our mission is to continually raise the bar of the customer experience by using the internet and technology to help consumers find, discover and buy anything, and empower businesses and content creators to maximise their success.”

As you can cipher, Amazon’s mission statement is directly in-line with the firm’s goal of reaching out to customers globally and having them at the core of their operations. True to its mission, the services provided by Amazon have created a lot of value for customers all around the globe through e-commerce, cloud based services and various other associated businesses.


What does a University’s Mission Statement look like?

To introduce you to academic mission statements, I would like to take Virginia Tech as an example. Virginia Tech is land-grant university primarily located in the south-western part of Virginia, USA, founded in 1872 with a current enrollment of more than 36,000 students. Let’s look at Virginia Tech’s mission statement and see how it differs from a corporate mission statement:



“Inspired by our land-grant identity and guided by our motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech is an inclusive community of knowledge, discovery, and creativity dedicated to improving the quality of life and the human condition within the Commonwealth of Virginia and throughout the world.”

The mission statement starts with identifying the university as a land-grant university which is a reflection on its foundation principles and signifying a connection to the common principle of a land-grant university. Virginia Tech was founded as a land-grant university in 1872 and has since expanded its horizons by raising funds with the federally controlled lands endowed to the university and this aspect is clearly visible in their mission statement.

The next part of the statement focuses on the motto of the university “Ut Prosim(That I May Serve)” proclaiming the goal of serving the society. According to me, using the university motto as part of the mission statement is  a great decision and is definitely the highlight of the mission statement because a motto is usually the core value that drives the institution. Also, in this case, giving back to the society is directly in-line with the land-grant categorization of Virginia Tech.

The statement also talks about inclusivity, portraying how Virginia Tech brings individuals with diverse demographics under one roof. Inclusivity according to me is a very important aspect of any university because diverse individuals bring unique talents to the plate, leading to wholesome education.

Knowledge, discovery and creativity are key aspects to a university and hence a part of the above mission statement. Emanating knowledge to students, making breakthrough discoveries and promoting creativity are among the pillars of foundation of an educational institution and Virginia Tech has proven its mettle in all these areas.

Last but not the least, the statement mentions the human aspect where it talks about improving the quality of life and the human condition for members of its community and the world. The statement indicates that the research that Virginia Tech delivers is aimed at the betterment of humankind and signifies a connection to people.


How do the Mission Statements’ of universities from two different parts of the world compare?

To compare two different mission statements from geographically and culturally diverse parts of the word, I would like to bring into light IISc, Bengaluru, a public university of higher education and research from the southern part of India. The Indian Institute of Science(IISc) was founded in 1909, was granted the deemed to be university status in 1958 and the Institute of Eminence status in 2018. Let’s take a look at their mission statement and figure out how it differs from Virginia Tech’s mission statement:

Our mission is to realize our vision by:

Imparting world-class higher education in an environment of fundamental and applied research in science and engineering

Conducting high-impact research, generating new knowledge, and disseminating this knowledge through publications in top journals and conferences

  • Applying faculty expertise towards the success of national science and technology initiatives

Applying deep knowledge in various areas to create knowhow and developing such knowhow for utilization by industry and society


Let’s talk about the above mission statement with regards to Virginia Tech’s mission statement and see how these academic institutions from different parts of the world differ in their goals and ideology.

Virginia Tech started off by identifying themselves as a land-grant university, whereas IISc does not identify itself with any such category(for example public, deemed etc.). Instead IISc starts off with imparting higher education in the light of fundamental and applied research as their priority. Virginia Tech does not specifically focus on imparting education, rather it mentions “knowledge” as a key word to express that sentiment.

Moving forward with IISc’s statement it seems to be more detailed towards specific operations such as high-impact research, publications, journals and conferences which to me does not sound great since it is too detailed and already implied as part of research operations. On the other hand, Virginia Tech keeps its statement as a high level description, with a slight insight into its motto.

IISc recognizes faculty as an integral part of its system and their knowledge as indispensable to the growth of the university, its students and the overall body of research. This aspect of the statement I feel is an ode to the Indian philosophy of a teacher(Guru) being next to god and represents cultural incorporation. On the contrary, Virginia Tech does not talk about its constituent members giving equal importance to every member that is part of the university.

At the end, both mission statements focus on the prime motive of society or mankind benefiting from their research. Both universities may be different in terms of how they view operational, administrative and research problems, but they stand united in terms of giving back to the society in whatever ways they can.