A Precog Summer

The words “Bhelcome Raghav” caught my attention as I walked into the lab for the first time. Paridhi was sitting in her chair with a huge grin on her face, most amused with the arrival of a new intern. The two months and a half that I spent working with Precog went past like a breeze. When I look back at the summer of 2013 the first thing I am reminded of are all those amazing conversations I had with everyone I worked with. Right from the intricacies of decay analysis on social media to my supposed “American accent”, I think we covered everything. It took me a while to think of how I could best talk about my time at Precog and how I could make this sound different from other things that people do over summer break. I could say that I ended up doing some amazing research work with my friend Megha or that we are now in the process of documenting it in the form of a paper. But then it gets better. I mean what’s the big deal about having done research?  Isn’t that what research groups are supposed to do? So what’s different about Precog? I would like to think it’s the people and the way they work together right from PK to all the PHD students (Prateek, Paridhi, Niharika, Anupama, Aditi) to the graduate students and then of course my teammate, Megha. What’s most impressive is the effort they put in not only for their own work but also for each other. We often here phrases like ‘research across disciplines’ or ‘multi-department studies’ at CMU but you really have to hear PK talk at one of his presentations before you what they mean when they say that. It was very interesting to see how simple activities like Whatsup and presentations could help us work better us a group and then of course PK left no stone unturned. I remember skyping with him along with Megha when he was in Brazil, I in Daman and Megha in Delhi. Yeah, believe it or not I was in Daman, skyping with these people rather than hanging out on the beach.That’s how Precog works.

So let’s try and list out everything IIITD brought to my life this summer.

There was awesome research, great friends, a pretty decent amount of money, metro rides, free food and the chance to learn some real cool stuff.

I never went to college in India but if today I was given the option to study back home I would go back to Okhla with a smile on my face.

Raghav, Sophomore @ CMU