This is Why I Love My Job: Students are the backbone of Faculty life!

It is that time of the academic year when convocation at IIITD just got done (Aug 27, 2016), and all graduating students and Research Associates have moved on to the next phase in life (started work, grad school in India, grad school outside India, etc.). Below is the picture from the convocation #IIITDConvo5! Convocation message by the Chief Guest Mr. Naveen Tewari, Founder & CEO InMobi, “Do what you love” “Have faith” “Crazy is good”!

There are a few reasons why I love my job: (1) majority of the times, I am surrounded by young, energetic, and smart people; (2) most students are successful in doing whatever they are doing, so there is a lot of positive energy and excitement around me; (3) of late, I have started seeing students coming back with an incident or gyan that I gave at some point in time during their interactions with me which has helped them and this feels good! As a faculty, I would like to believe that I play some role (hopefully, positive) in shaping the students’ academic life and sometimes beyond.

Below is the list of students (arranged in alphabetical order of last name) who have spent significant amount of time working with me and / or I have written Letter of Recommendations (LoRs) for their admissions / job and are now moving onto the next page of life with full zest and enthusiasm.

  1. Megha Arora: Has taken many of my courses, did her UG thesis work with me. She received the Chancellor’s Gold Medal for the batch of 2016. Starting her Masters’ in Computer Science program at Carnegie Mellon University (my alma mater!).
  2. Sonia Dalal: Has taken some of my courses, and did an independent project with me. Starting at Bloomberg London.
  3. Shashank Gautam: Has done some of my courses, did his UG thesis on MeriAwaaz with me. Received the Best BTP Award in Entrepreneurship! Joining KPMG in Delhi.
  4. Sonal Goel: Has taken some of my courses, completed her M.Tech. thesis with me, “Image Search for Improved Law and Order: Search, Analyse, Predict image spread on Twitter.” She is continuing to work with me as a Research Associate.
  5. Shantanu Goel: Has taken many of my courses, including Designing Human Centred Systems, and Privacy and Security in Online Social Media. Started his Masters in Management at Singapore Management University.
  6. Shrey Gupta: Has taken some of my courses, and completed his UG thesis with me. Started MBA at Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi.
  7. Ananya Harsh Jha: Ananya is taking a break of one seemster to work with a startup enabling enable drug discovery for different strains of cancer.
  8. Gandharv Kapoor: Has taken many of my courses, including Designing Human Centred Systems. Starting Masters in Computer Science at Stony Brook University.
  9. Aarushi Karnany: Has taken many of my courses, including Designing Human Centered Systems and did an interesting Independent project with me. Starting Masters in Computer Science at University of Florida.
  10. Rohan Katyal: Has taken many of my courses, did his UG thesis work with me. Starting his Masters’ in Human Computer Interaction at Georgia Tech.
  11. Mudita Khurana: Graduated from IIITD in 2013, spent time in the industry and will be starting her Masters’ in Information Systems at Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University.
  12. Jayasi Mehar: Has taken multiple courses with me, did her UG thesis work with me, co-founded Backpack, a learning management system that we built. Will be starting MS in Computer Science at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  13. Pradyumn Nand: Received his M.Tech. from IIITD, completed his Masters thesis with me. Joined MakeMyTrip.com recently.
  14. Mansi Panwar: Took some of my courses, completed her UG thesis with me on MeriAwaaz. Received the Best BTP Award in Entrepreneurship! She’s managing MeriAwaaz now.
  15. Gandeevan Raghuraman: Graduated from College of Engineering, Guindy / Chennai in 2015. Spent some time with me as Research Associate, and will be starting his Masters’ at INI, Carnegie Mellon University.
  16. Hareesh Ravi: Spent close to 2 years with CERC, Cybersecurity Centre @ IIITD. Will be starting his Ph.D. work with Dr. Mubbasir Kapadia in the Computer Science Department at Rutgers University, working on problems in computer vision.
  17. Srishty Saha: Has taken many of my courses and did her UG thesis work with me. Will be joining the Masters’ in Computer Science program at UMBC.
  18. Yatharth Sharma: Spent more than a year as a Research Associate with us; he is a UG from JIIT. Started Masters’ in Computer Science at Arizona State University.  
  19. Archit Srivastava: Started working with me from May 2014, was working with me even during the semester. Graduated with B.Tech. from NIT Durgapur in 2016. Started Masters’ in Computer Science at University of Southern California
  20. Vedant Das Swain: Has taken many of my courses, helped me with many designs that I have made in the last few years. He’s starting his Masters’ in Human Computer Interaction at Georgia Tech.
  21. Aakriti Tayal: Completed her UG thesis with me.

Below is picture with most of the above mentioned students. I sincerely thank each one of them in adding some colour in my faculty life!

I wrote LoRs for a few other students who received graduate school admissions and jobs this year, these are students who may have taken only one course with me or one Independent project with me.

It is very satisfying to see students achieve what they want to achieve and even more satisfying to feel that as a faculty we play a role in their achievements.

Here is a pointer to the blog that I wrote in 2014 about the graduating students and their next steps http://precog.iiitd.edu.in/blog/2014/06/students-are-the-dna-of-faculty/ Many of them are successful in what they are doing, some are doing great things now!

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PK

Associate Professor @ IIIT-Delhi http://precog.iiitd.edu.in