It would be great to have a Universal Language Translator (ULT) available to every TU student. Don't get me wrong, though, it's not that I'm just another raving Star Trek enthusiast; rather, I believe the ULT could actually help translate the rules laid down by the TU into an English that the rest of us understand.

As an example, the statement regarding ‘free elective' courses in the graduate handbook of Microelectronics that reads: "A maximum of 18 ECTS can be used for..." would be translated into "A minimum of 18 ECTS should be used for...." But even such convenient technology would have its limitations. The word 'department', for example, in the same sentence could be the department of EEMCS, or the Department of Microelectronics. Oh wait, or was Microelectronics a variant . but it is also referred to as a department in certain instances! Or is my department the research group I served and specialized in . and in that way, anything outside my group would be eligible to be considered as a free elective course. Is this confusing to you? If yes, then join the club!The TU would either do well to develop a really good ULT as its next big research project, or it can simply revise its rulebooks to convey their proper meaning. Then again, leave it as such and it would demonstrate that the TU has a satirical, yet cruel sense of humor. If a student were to blindly accept the guidelines given in his handbook as gospel, he is in for a big surprise when he applies for graduation . and I'm talking here from personal experience. Although the exam committee solved my problem with elective credits quite quickly . deserving of a round of applause . it would be good to learn from such incidents and go through the rulebook with a fine toothcomb. It so happened that on the day of my graduation ceremony, I was discussing this with a senior professor of my department and he indeed agreed about the need for more explicit and concrete guidelines. So what’s stopping the revision of the graduate rulebook? A few others I discussed this with were of the opinion that the English version was meant just as a superfluous reference. In a basically Dutch university, in the case of any controversy, the rules stated in Dutch would take precedence and not the English interpretation. Huh? If that is in fact the way things work, it has left us international students and faculty members from non-Dutch speaking countries (i.e. roughly amounting to about 99% of the world) at a serious disadvantage.Alternatively, the TU could get a student (who gets selected on the basis of GRE, TOEFL, and other scores demonstrative of English language capability) to spend a few afternoons helping to revise the rules and guidelines made available to the student body. This would unfortunately imply postponing the ULT project, but it would help make life for a graduating student that little bit easier.Ramesh Chidambaram uit India was MSc-student micro-elektronica.

It would be great to have a Universal Language Translator (ULT) available to every TU student. Don‘t get me wrong, though, it's not that I'm just another raving Star Trek enthusiast; rather, I believe the ULT could actually help translate the rules laid down by the TU into an English that the rest of us understand. As an example, the statement regarding 'free elective' courses in the graduate handbook of Microelectronics that reads: "A maximum of 18 ECTS can be used for..." would be translated into "A minimum of 18 ECTS should be used for...." But even such convenient technology would have its limitations. The word 'department', for example, in the same sentence could be the department of EEMCS, or the Department of Microelectronics. Oh wait, or was Microelectronics a variant . but it is also referred to as a department in certain instances! Or is my department the research group I served and specialized in . and in that way, anything outside my group would be eligible to be considered as a free elective course. Is this confusing to you? If yes, then join the club!The TU would either do well to develop a really good ULT as its next big research project, or it can simply revise its rulebooks to convey their proper meaning. Then again, leave it as such and it would demonstrate that the TU has a satirical, yet cruel sense of humor. If a student were to blindly accept the guidelines given in his handbook as gospel, he is in for a big surprise when he applies for graduation . and I'm talking here from personal experience. Although the exam committee solved my problem with elective credits quite quickly . deserving of a round of applause . it would be good to learn from such incidents and go through the rulebook with a fine toothcomb. It so happened that on the day of my graduation ceremony, I was discussing this with a senior professor of my department and he indeed agreed about the need for more explicit and concrete guidelines. So what’s stopping the revision of the graduate rulebook? A few others I discussed this with were of the opinion that the English version was meant just as a superfluous reference. In a basically Dutch university, in the case of any controversy, the rules stated in Dutch would take precedence and not the English interpretation. Huh? If that is in fact the way things work, it has left us international students and faculty members from non-Dutch speaking countries (i.e. roughly amounting to about 99% of the world) at a serious disadvantage.Alternatively, the TU could get a student (who gets selected on the basis of GRE, TOEFL, and other scores demonstrative of English language capability) to spend a few afternoons helping to revise the rules and guidelines made available to the student body. This would unfortunately imply postponing the ULT project, but it would help make life for a graduating student that little bit easier.Ramesh Chidambaram uit India was MSc-student micro-elektronica.