Interdisciplinary courses

I still remember that it was the third day of my teaching career in Delhi University when Prof. Gargesh took me to old Arts Faculty building and introduced me to various faculties of GRS i.e. Germanic and Romance Studies. After we met Prof. Julka, the HOD and came out of the building, Prof. Gargesh told me that I would be co-teaching a paper titled 'General Linguistics' to the students of GRS with him and eventually will take over this course from him as he has been doing it for many years. Prof. Gargesh was the newly appointed head of the Department at that time and he was always very supportive, and it was also obvious that I would not say 'no' to the thing that I have been doing for so long in JNU as part of my training to teaching.

It was thus the beginning of interdisciplinary course in DU for me as early as in year 2000. I am surprised to some extend but ultimately happy that the University of Delhi has learned the value of interdisciplinary courses at the end. I am very happy to be the part of developing the course content of L-10 (Language and Linguistics) and L-35 (Applications of Linguistics) in linguistics. Prof. R.C. Sharma, Prof. Gargesh and myself, we got together at the eleventh hour to design the course-content of these two interdisciplinary papers in linguistics and sent them to the Dean's office for final approval.

After the courses were introduced, I was given to teach some components in L-10 and some sections of L-35. The topics of Morphology that I was asked to do in L-10 was not a problem as I have teaching Morphology in the Department for long time, but what I was asked to teach in L-35 was a surprise to me. I was supposed to teach the section of 'Computational Linguistics' in L-35. I have published two papers in the area. One of them is on the generative modeling  of verb strings in Hindi, and the other one is a general reporting about the status of computational linguistics in India. I did this when I was in South Korea in 2008-2009.

I felt happy that the Department had asked me to do the section of computational linguistics in L-35, though the Dept did not have any choice anyway. However, I was happy to do the EXTRA bit and teach the section of computational linguistics to the students from other disciplines. One of the students who is from France made my teaching very exciting. He would sit in my class with an apple Mac-book and keep typing. On my interrogation, he would tell me that he is actually taking notes of what is being taught in the class. This is interesting. I usually prepare PPTs for the topics that I teach in the class, and this came as a surprise for me that the French student, Mr. Samuel, could take notes of almost everything as quickly as I use the PPTs to teach the class.

At the end of my teaching in the course, I asked Mr. Samuel if I could have a copy of what he has noted down in all the classes of different teachers in L-35. It was very kind of him that he agreed to my request and most of the materials (except the changes that I have done in the file to take them better) that I am putting online is due to his hard work in the class. I have his permission to use the material for the future students of the course. I am personally grateful to him to allow me to put his class-notes on my website.