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IIT Guwahati PhD Interview Experience 2020

  • Last Updated : 28 Jul, 2020
Geek Week

IIT Guwahati conducted their Ph.D. CSE examination through online amidst the corona situation.


Around 97 people were shortlisted based on Gate score and  Btech, or Mtech CGPA.

Round 2:

The round was conducted over skype.

The panel consisted of 4-5 professors. They asked us to fill a Google form where we were supposed to mention our preferences for Ph.D. My choices were Machine Learning and Theoretical Computer Science (2 options were mandatory to fill). Other than that, they have asked for the Statement of Purpose, mentioning all the projects that we have done.

I was first asked questions on Machine Learning, my first preference.


Explain k-means clustering.

Ans-: Answer to the above question can be found here

There was a counter-question that will k-means clustering always give the best clusters?

Ans- No, but over multiple iterations, they will give answers close to that.

Question 2:

Explain back-propagation in a feed-forward network.

Ans-: Answer to the above question can be found here

There was a counter-question, will back-propagation always reduces errors?

Ans- No, but over multiple iterations, they will give answers close to that.

After that, they asked me questions on Theoretical Computer Science.

Question 1:

A rational number is represented in its decimal form. For example, 2/3 is represented by 0.666666. Will, all the prefix of the number in its decimal form forms a regular language?

Ans-: Yes, we can design a finite automata for it.

Will it be true for any irrational number?

Ans-Know we don’t know when an irrational number like pi will recur, so they are not regular. Again taking any irrational number and applying pumping lemma will also prove this.

Then they asked about my projects on ML and computer architecture. A very brief description of the same.

Question 2:

Give an example of a buffer-overflow attack?

Ans: This happens when an attacker transmits irrelevant packages at a constant time interval (smaller than the time interval between two packets in a standard scenario), making the buffer overflow. Because of this, the relevant packages get discarded.

The interview lasted for 25 mins.

The result came out. I got selected for Ph.D. in IIT Guwahati.

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