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I first felt the thrill of
pursuing a career in Computer Science, when I read about Prof. Andrew Wiles,
who spent seven years in isolation, solving the toughest riddle of mathematics.
Since then, the passion to excel and to innovate has always hosted a hungry and
foolish soul in me.

For my 13th birthday, my
parents had gifted me a techno-thriller novel by Dan Brown – Digital Fortress.
The most tempting part of the novel wasn’t the underlying mystery, rather it
was the introduction to the world of cryptography and cybersecurity. The book
increased my curiosity towards computer science and prompted me to try my hand
at puzzles, anagrams, and problem-solving. My aptitude in these skills
gradually developed into a flair for programming and love for code, which, in
the last few years, has expanded into a love for machine learning, cryptography
and data science.
At the same time, I love intellectual challenges. Nothing pleases me more than
coming up with a neat solution to a difficult problem. I have always performed
well in all science and technical subjects and find it exciting to apply the
knowledge to practical problems.

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I always believed that some
people make their lives happen, while others let life happen to them. After
high school, I had a choice of joining a renowned college to pursue Computer
Science or joining the best institution of the country with some other
discipline. But my childhood love affair with Computers and Technology
compelled me to take the former. At the undergraduate level, my interests
became more focused. Although computer programming and object-oriented concepts
came easy to me, it was cryptography and machine learning that really captured
my interest. During the first three semesters, I had mastered full stack
development developing dozens of website and web application while working with
a couple of startups. It was very easy for me to incorporate my knowledge of
different libraries within the aspects of machine learning and neural networks.
This programming attitude helped me to get selected as a Student Developer in
Google Summer of Code 2017 with SPDX, an open source organisation.

After working with my
object-oriented professor in his research lab during the 4th semester, I was
pretty much convinced that research is necessary to acquire data and formulate
theories, but it is just as important to know how to apply those theories and
use that data in the real world. My increasing interest in exploring the
horizons of computer science led me to one of the top research institutes in
India, Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute (CEERI), near our
college where we can take up projects and work with excellent professors. It
has an outstanding infrastructure setup and a stimulating, world-class research
environment. This enabled me to work with some of the best minds dedicated to
engineering research in my country. I gained a lot from this association – in
particular, an idea of how rewarding and meaningful a career in research could
be. There, I found that machine learning can take over many repetitive,
mindless tasks. I am currently working in CEERI as a lab member under Prof.
Pramod Kr. Tanwar building a device for high-speed vision detection and
tracking.

To implement what I’ve
learnt about machine learning and gain further insights in the field of neural
network, I designed and implemented a movie recommender system called
‘tractator’ which suggests movies based on IMDB ratings. The recommender system
also incorporates feedback based on a simple Naive Bayes classifier.

Perhaps one of the most
remarkable applications of machine learning I did was while designing Glove
based gesture recognition system for Indo- Pakistan Sign language (IPSL) as
part of Department of Science & Technology and Texas Instrument Innovation
Challenge. It uses neural networks, trained on various patterns and gestures of
IPSL signs language, along with a microprocessor and embedded system in glove
to recognize text from hands gesture and convert to meaning words or phrases.
The design has been selected for the upcoming rounds of the challenge.
The transformations this project underwent as it materialized into a functional
system provided me with a greater understanding of the field. The modifications
made to the system were significant in helping me appreciate the importance of
continuous improvement and perseverance required in research. My experience
here showed me how machine learning was a field that could be used to solve
more real-world problems than many of us think.

Now, after having acquired
the basic knowledge, skills, aptitude and work experience in the field of
machine learning and data sciences, I feel this is the apt time to pursue my
research interest and strongly believe that my aptitude and aspirations find a
terrific match in your program. I believe I possess the skills needed for a
successful research scientist: the passion, determination, creativity and
communication skills which would be my sword and shield in the research world.
“I can, I will, I must” – The logo of my high school coaching
institute keeps me passionate and energetic for pursuing research.

My ultimate goal in my
career is to make a worthy contribution to the computing world either by
starting an innovative venture or doing research which would change the
dimensions of future computing systems and the way we perceive the computers. I
am able to envision a rewarding career in cryptography and machine learning for
myself, one that aligns with my skills and passion.

It is no secret that most
of the cutting edge research and developments come from various US universities
and research departments. Also, the faculty and labs are certainly among the
best in the world. Browsing the pages of the university’s website, I find
myself certain that pursuing this program is the ideal step for my career. I
believe that “Accomplishments lie within the reach of those who reach beyond
themselves”. I am a confident and hardworking individual and will definitely
make my own humble contribution in enhancing the image and reputation of the
program.

 

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