“Never found a single case of misbehavior from students towards teachers”
We were fortunate enough to catch up with the calm, serene and panache personality of Dr. Mahendra Kumar Jena, the H.O.D. of Mathematics Department and had a quite a good chat where he shared some his life experiences and opinions about some present matters:
Team Vission : Why did you chose Mathematics as your career?
I was fond of mathematics since my childhood. I used to solve maths easily. Each time I used to search for an opportunity to solve maths. Maths was my passion. Eminent mathematician, Srinivasan was a great encouragement for me to enter into this field. I was good in physics too but I had an allergy towards chemistry.
Team Vission : You’re now a top faculty at VSSUT. What is your secret to success?
It is the result of the blessings showered upon me by god and my revered parents. It is the wish of almighty that I’ve reached this position. Also I want to profoundly thank some great people in my life without whose guidance I may have never reached the pinnacle of success in my life namely Prof. Swadhin Pattnaik; Prof. P.C.Das.
Team Vission : How was your childhood like?
I was a basically a shy guy during my early days. But eventually I shed my shyness as I grew up. I became friendly to the outer world and started making a lot of friends. I used to study about 8 hours a day. I was also a fun loving guy; I used to play football, cricket and also roam around with friends.
Team Vission : How is the education system in which you studied in and the education system of today different?
Today’s education is fast-paced. Earlier it was purely based on traditional values and systems. Today knowledge flow is faster, upgraded and technology savvy. It is not like slow like the earlier days.
Team Vission : What is the best thing about a mathematician?
Mathematicians are useful to all disciplines of science and engineering. I think we’re an indispensable part of any field. We’re capable of solving any problems in other fields.
Team Vission : What is the role of a mathematician towards the society?
Being a mathematician, one should not shy away from the real problems of the society. He must apply his brain towards the practical problems with an innovative approach like he does while solving textbook problems. A mathematician should act like a troubleshooter for the society. The society needs mathematicians.
Team Vission : Sir, could you describe your teaching style?
Before delivering any lecture, I prepare for two hours prior to my class and gather several materials and reference stuffs. I concentrate on exercises and examples. I always believe in interaction between the students and the teachers. I always try to strike the intellectual head of the students’ mind. I put forth questions on them, I give them references so that they can ‘think’. If they think, many new ideas will generate in their minds which is essential to solve math problems.
Team Vission : What do you like the most being a lecturer?
The main duty of teaching is to show light to students; the light of knowledge, light of life and show direction for future. That is the best thing about a lecturer.
Team Vission : Describe your satisfaction with the present work environment.
Satisfaction is a never-ending process. It never stops. I always try to aim excellence given the working conditions are favourable. We all should be in our working environment and work towards achieving the best.
Team Vission :Tell us about your experience with the past and present students of this college?
Awesome in one word. In 6-7 years, students have been highly cooperative. The students here highly respect the teachers. I’ve never found a single case of misbehavior from students towards teachers. I’m fascinated by the students here; they’re always hungry to learn more.
Team Vission : What is your greatest achievement of your life?
I think being selected for PhD. In IIT Kanpur stands out among other achievements.
Team Vission : After becoming the HOD, what changes have you incorporated into your department?
I’ve introduced 2 new MSc. Courses, 2 year MPhil courses. The course has been revised. I‘ve ensured that food facilities is available to all faculties.. I’ve always become involved with all the faculties for better functioning of the department.
Team Vission : Any success mantra you would like to give to your students?
I do not agree with the word ‘success’. I believe each student must try to hone his/her skills and go for excellence. Whatever you’re doing do it whole-heartedly. You give your cent percent. But be watchful. And always be alert. Then only you can achieve whatever you aspire for.
Team Vission : Sir, what are your hobbies? How do you spend your leisure time?
I play cricket, football and badminton. I pass my time by reading newspapers, journals, science magazines and gardening.
Team Vission : What would you have become, if not a mathematician?
Textile Engineer. I was even selected for a 4 year course in Gujarat University but due to some unavoidable circumstances I had to forfeit those plans.