What are some popular electives at IITM?

Electives are courses or subjects students can study based on their interests or career goals. Unlike mandatory or core courses, which are required for graduation or to fulfil specific academic requirements, electives allow students the flexibility to explore different areas of study outside of their major or core curriculum.

Some of the popular electives at IITM taken by students from all departments are:

  • Principles of Economics, offered by the Humanities and Social Sciences department, is a popular humanities elective. This course offers a comprehensive introduction to economics, exploring the fundamental principles that shape consumer and producer behavior. You’ll learn how markets function, the laws of supply and demand, and the different types of markets. It also delves into market failures and the government’s role in the economy and tackles key macroeconomic issues like inflation and unemployment.
  • French and German language courses are also amongst the most chosen humanities electives. They are beginner-friendly and equip students with conversational and listening skills in their respective foreign languages.
  • Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning is offered by the Computer Science and Engineering department. The course brushes up on linear algebra fundamentals required and introduces machine learning techniques for solving pattern recognition tasks such as classification, regression, and clustering. Students can also solidify their knowledge through hands-on assignments and a data contest.
  • Mathematical Foundations of Data Science, offered by the Chemical Engineering department, is the most popular course data science enthusiasts take. It introduces students to the fundamental mathematical concepts required for a program in data science. The course content covers the basics of data science, linear algebra, probability, statistics, and random processes and optimization.
  • Materials in Renewable Energy Technologies, offered by the Metallurgical and Materials Engineering department, discusses materials used for various energy conversion and energy storage devices. Prof. Prathap Haridoss, the course instructor, also invites industry professionals to give students a flavor of renewable energy technology companies and products.

Students also often choose online NPTEL courses such as Non-Conventional Energy Resources, Fundamentals of Electronic Materials and Devices, Applied Time-Series Analysis, and Introduction to Machine Learning.

Of course, this is a minimal list. The truth is that there’s an elective for everyone. What are you looking forward to?