Nov 1, 2006

A painful funny story

I received this mail today. I don't know whether it's authenticate or not, but if it's true then it's a very sad incident. I am sharing the mail with you just as I received it but without giving the details of the sender :

Hi everyone,

I heard something today that I can't avoid sharing with all the people I know. The subject of the story is a senior friend of mine: Dr. Mahbub Majumdar. Mahbub bhai did his undergrad from MIT (electrical eng), an MSc from Stanford (civil eng) and PhD from Cambridge (theoretical physics, string-cosmology) . After PhD he had many offers but chose to do a post-doctoral fellowship at Imperial College (London) since he wanted to stay in England (by the way, in England, imperial college is the best place after Cambridge and Cambridge has a rule of not taking their own student as post-doc). I met Mahbub bhai and I can simply say that I never met anybody in my life so modest, honest and compassionate as Mahbub bhai. Just to give an example, Mahbub bhai received US$ 1000 per year forbooks as a part of his presidential scholarship. He used to spend this money buying books for Dhaka university library.

During his post doctoral years Mahbub bhai made frequent visits to Bangladesh and worked as a coach for the Bangladesh math Olympiad team. Only those who are involved with the hectic field of high energy physics knows what sacrifice this means.

Anyway, to our great surprise, Mahbub bhai (who was born and brought up in USA and can't even speak bangla very fluently) decided to join the Dhaka University Physics department as a faculty and failed to get any position. Today I heard what happened during the interview.

The "interview" was taken by Yusuf Haider, Badrul Alam and Aminur Rashid (I decided not to use any Sir after their name and comment on their character). During the interview they first raised question about Mahbub bhai's certificate from Stanford. The certificate showed the name of the university as Leland Stanford Junior University. The interviewers suspected that this is not the Stanford university
they heard of. At some point somebody suggested that they can look it up in the internet (you can do that too and make sure to take a look at seal of the university).

Then they asked him to write down the Maxwell's equations. Mahbub bhai wrote it down with exterior derivatives in one line (most useful and elegant form for theoretical physicists). The interviewers did not understand what he wrote and asked him to write it again. Mahbub bhai now wrote it with tensor notation. The interviewers again found it incomprehensible and asked for it again. At some point Mahbub bhai wrote all four Maxwell equations in a form understandable for first year physics students and everybody was happy.

Then the interviewers expressed their concern whether Mahbub bhai will be able to take care of first-second year labs since he does not have "relevant" experience. At some point, they asked him whether he read the advertisement properly and pointed out that they require the candidate to have a BSc in physics whereas Mahbub bhai has a bachelor in electrical engineering. Therefore, the interviewers decided that Mahbub bhai is not qualified to become a faculty of DU physics.

A senior friend of mine (who told me the story) commented: "I am happy that Mahbub did not get the job. It is good for his career. But I am sad for Bangladesh. "

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  1. *sigh* bangalira guner kodor kora shikhbe kobe allai jane!

  2. May be they were looking for his party affiliations.

  3. gee, he must be too qualified. LOL
    i dont understand though, DU isn't a place for EE Graduates. He should try for BUET or KUET or RUET ..and so on

  4. Audity, Political guner kodor kore khali :P

    Mockery_at_my_home, Yeap with a little political background, candidates with less credentials were appointed as teachers. Everyone shouts for banning students politics but politics should be banned from all educational institution.

    Tanvir, yeah he could try for electrical engineering proffessor. But electrical engineering is mostly the application of physics. But a researcher like him would surely feel more comfortable in the basic field. If you've observed the nobel winners of physics, you'll see the winners are mostly electrical engineers.

  5. hee hee...I felt so accomplished after receiving the email. Its nice to be a pessimist when your pessimism is fuelled so frequently...again..and again.

  6. One more thing shafi bhai..have you received the invitation to port your current blogspot blog to blogger beta (which should appear in the dashboard)? Even if you have, are you willing to convert? The new blogger beta still has so many bugs and the whole navigation is confusing...some of your customizations are also lost when you convert. What are you gonna do?

  7. thik e achhe..BD er unir teacher howar qualification unar nai..uni ki politics korte parben ?othoba studentderke shasti deyar jonno police diye maar khawate parben?:P

  8. I wonder , How diverse his knowledge is ! Grad in EE , PGrad in CE , then PHD in Physics. Just thinking , we are totally disgusted by our studies , and dont even rememebr what read in 1-1. !!

    and really I dont like to comment on those teachers.

    What would you expect from those kind of people who keep themselves busy in white-blue politics and giving much time in private universities.

    but obviously , not all people are same. I think he should join BUET EEE. An open ivitation from me!!

  9. The letter is indeed authentic (as far as I know). I recieved it last night.
    When I read about Mahbub bhai's practice of buying books for DU - it reminded me of another story I heard first hand from Dr Atayul Karim (currently dean of Engineering in CUNY) and a family friend.
    He used to take books - tons of them - using his own money and donate them to BUET library - in an effort to increase the resources. After couple of rounds he was rebuked by the BUET library authority and asked not to do any more donations - because his donation of books was causing so much extra work for the employees.

  10. Well said defrank.

    Atunu I received the invitation but I didn't. Because I heard that they'vent give you the freedom to play with the template. So I'm sticking to the old ones.

    Moon, Bangladeshe oneke bhalo teacher o achen ekhono :)

    Jyotirmoy, I can guarantee that most of the DU students also will invite him as their teacher. But it's not us who have that power right?

    Sheetal, dosto tomar comment er size dekhei bujha jay bhasha khuje paitesilana :P

    Zafa apu, In my whole BUET life we've read books written by two bangladeshis Dr. atayul karim sir and Dr. Rafiquzzaman sir. They surely made us proud. But I didn't know about the library incident.
    So it seems you can't help even if you are willing to. That's very sad. Although BUET library's automation has started finally. So I think there'll be less numbers of people to complain about that in near future.

  11. uni ki ekhono desh ei asen ?

    uni buet e eee te poraite chan na ken :S

    asha kori buet take refuse korbe na..

    shafi vai , about my blogs entry, 2 ta pic amar valoi lagse , but joya ahsan er net e er chay valo chibi khuje pailam na. apni jodi pan , plz amare diyen.amar nijer o oi chobi ta valo lage na.

    about firefox exploit, vaiya complain asche jay ami exploit supply ditesi , tai tule nisi. but amar kase save :D kora ase. so apnake msn e dite pari :D


  12. otit jurey amra chilam
    golam - kritodash,
    - etai ITIHAASH!

    neche neche gaibo shobai
    Hindi chobi'r gaan,
    - etai BORTOMAAN!

    ekta du'to jonak jola
    adhaar kalo poth,
    - etai VOBISSOT!

    jOI gURU!

    p.s. u got one FULL blog-site here dude! liked ur posts too, super cool all2geduh! :) thanx for payin a visit 2 mine, am linking u there for sure!

  13. Seems to me .. things are never gonna change ..

    and hey ! . do u know zidane was here ?
    i got pics and vids in my blog :D i feel so goood about the whole deal !

  14. Atayul Karim bhai is an awesome guy. He'll be fetured in NTV's "Medhabi Bangalir Golpo (or Kotha?)" starting next week. Don't miss it guys. I think there are 4 people lined up for the prog.
    During his tenure in Univ of Tennessee as the EE dept head, two Bangladeshi faculties were appointed - on their own merits of course.
    He took the offer of City Univ of NY when they offered the position of Dean of Engineering. Can't blame him. I don't know for sure if he still takes books for BUET library - knowing him I'll say he still does. :-)

  15. may be he is over qualified for the post. and it shows where our students are lead by these politics.

  16. Russel bhai, thanks for visiting.

    Jyotirmoy, Uni ekhon kothay ki obosthay achen ei bepare amar konoii dharona nei. :P

    wow Anik bhai. I'm so glad to see you here. :D

    Darkcrunk I saw the pictures in your blog. My mama was invited in those ceremony and from the pictures he took, it seemed that he enjoyed a lot but not zidane, lol.

    Zafa apu, I don't know the actual timing of the program, but I think it already started. I think I've already seen one ore two episodes.

    Tareq, What's up dude? Long time no posts from you too! He's definitely overqualified. And look at his knowledge area. It's so diverse!

  17. Mail ta amio peyechilam.

    But bolar kisui pelam na.. Word khuje pacchi na..

  18. Munaz bhai, Asholei kichu bolar nai :(

  19. Sad but it proves even the 'learned' in our country are nothing but airheads. Nice post:)

  20. So sad of him, Actually I myself found lot of difficulties when I came back to Bangladesh after completing graduation and facing such interviews to get job. Its nothing but our lac of knowledge, also we have so much nagetive thinking rather thinking it possitively.

  21. Right... Also some times people do that to check out your pressure handling abilities..

  22. We should write to Dhaka University about this and let them know how we feel.

  23. It's really sad that he didn't get the job just because some nutheads didn't know too much about the subject themselves...Bangladesh will never change. I read somewhere that he's planning to start some mathematical sciences institute. I hope he does it soon. It's going to be better than joining DU where you need political affiliations to get a job.

  24. It was so painful.. and i am a student of physics at du! I have attended two seminars by mahbub bhai at du. I really respect him a lot.

  25. If he wants to get himself in KUET, one of the prestigious institutes of the country, I can help him. He should try to be the teacher of the cream of the society (BUET, KUET, RUET, CUET).

    why did he try for DU, where students of middle calibre study?

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