I’m a fresher joining IITM – Should I bring a laptop?

This blog post might have some use for freshers who have the aforementioned question in mind – to bring or not to bring a laptop in the first semester. This was a reply that I sent to a student’s parent, and thought it might be useful to others. This post will expose the pros and cons of having a laptop, but will leave the ultimate decision to you. As a side note, in my case, I took my desktop in the first semester because I was (and still am trying not to be) a computer “addict” (thankfully, in a better sense than a game addict). This post might have a bias towards physics department students once in a way. So here goes.

Pros of bringing a laptop / buying a desktop:

All students will do a course on Computational Methods in their first or second semester. The Engineering Physics students will probably do it in the second semester, whereas the dual degree MS in Physics students will do this in the first semester. A laptop is useful for this, as you might have assignments where you will need to write and submit a program.

Although there are places to access a shared computer (which I will outline later), you will not enjoy the comfort of your room while studying / working. So it’s a good idea to have a computer in your room.

Much of the teaching in the first few semesters is done via computer-based presentations (commonly dubbed “power-point”) rather than on blackboard, so a personal laptop / desktop computer will be useful to study for the examinations.