• Experiences,  Students

    A Journey Down the Precog Memory Lane

    My story starts on June 13, 2018. I was on my way to Hyderabad to join as a Research Intern in the CVIT lab. On the train, I was browsing through Facebook lazily, while my mind was wandering elsewhere, wondering what kind of project I would work on at IIIT. As I was scrolling through a few memes in my Facebook feed, I thought it would be absolutely hilarious if I end up working on memes in my research. The very next day, Prof. Jawahar told me that I would be working on a project related to “memes for blind” with Prof. Ponnurangam Kumaraguru.  Thus, I began my wonderful journey…

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  • Books

    Excerpts from “What I Know For Sure” by Oprah Winfrey

    I believe, I read this book a couple of years ago! Wasn’t in the habit of blogging then, but as always, I had highlighted some lines / paragraphs that were interesting / intriguing / though-provoking. This book is definitely one of those books that is quick to read, and has profound thoughts in it. I have referred to many points from this book in the last couple of years, here I am highlighting some excerpts from the book. [Page 5] And when you get the choice to sit it out and or dance, I hope you dance. [27] “Delight thyself in the Lord and He will give you the desires…

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  • Experiences,  Students

    At the crossroads: (with) Precog

    Life is a journey through innumerable cross-roads. And at each cross-road, we are going to meet new people, experience new things, and spend our precious time. In January 2019, I (Aanshul Sadaria – IIIT H Class of 2020) came at one such crossroad, not that I knew it was going to be a life-remembering junction of my journey. I happened to remember reading a mail from an unusual named professor – Ponnurangam Kumaraguru asking for students to work on the #Killfie project. It didn’t tingle my senses much due to the fact that it was a more formal mail (which is quite anti-PK) and more importantly because it focussed on…

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  • Experiences,  IIITH,  Students

    Solving ‘cool’ problems, with the coolest of all – Precog!

    My journey starts from back in May 2017. It was the summer when I was starting off with my first ‘social computing’ project. As I had just completed my 2nd year in college, I had almost no knowledge about the research domain. I was looking for professors or researchers in the field of computational social science and social computing to guide me with the technical aspects of the field. This is when I came across PK sir and his research group PreCog in New Delhi. They were doing some really amazing work analyzing social systems and the social web. What really interested me the most was this was all for…

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  • Books,  Excerpts

    Excerpts from “Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight

    After completing the book on Elon Musk, started reading this amazing memoir by Phil Knight. The book is very gripping, especially getting to know the emotions in various situations, world tour planning, relationship with Bowerman, Pre, Johnson, Strasser, Hayes, Woodell, the details of law suits, managing the persistent situation of “Pay Nissho first”, etc. etc. I would highly recommend this book for any entrepreneur at any phase, and this book really fits the “entrepreneurial thinking” philosophy. [Page 21] The junk merchant doesn’t sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer. [23] I was a linear thinker, and according to Zen linear thinking is nothing but a delusion, one…

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  • Experiences,  IIITH,  Students

    The Tale of my coincidental thesis featuring Ponguru as the Guru

    The circumstances under which I met Prof PK cannot be exactly called fortuitous, but they do make for an interesting story, nonetheless (if I may say so myself). And am I glad that it happened! Let me start by telling you about this. After the sad demise of my previous thesis advisor (may his soul rest in peace), my previous research work had come to a grinding halt. After running like a headless chicken for a few months, the faculty thought it made more sense for me to dedicate my research hours to a new research topic. To the uninitiated, having to change research topics is not only daunting but…

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  • Books

    Excerpts from “Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of Spacex and Tesla is Shaping our Future” by Ashlee Vance

    After finishing the book “The Everything Store”, I started reading another book, I probably completed about 40 – 50 pages, the book was super heavy and a lot of new terms to digest, I will write a blog on this book, if I do end up finishing it!!! So was looking for a break, and picked up this 360 pages book on Elon Musk. Thanks to Dhruv Kuchal for giving this book to me in Summer / Fall 2019. Dhruv, one of our Research Associates #classof2019 is currently a Ph.D. CS student at GaTech. [page 9] “I [Elon] think there are probably too many smart people pursuing Internet stuff, finance,…

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  • Experiences,  Students

    Together with PK and Precog

    My name is Himanshu, a final year student at IIIT-Hyderabad. I am honoured to have the opportunity to write this blog. PK has been more than a mentor to me. He shares a very healthy relationship with all his students.  I got to know PK in the starting of my 3rd year when he visited IIIT-H during his sabbatical. As the semester began, I learnt about the new sabbatical faculty from some of my friends who took courses and projects with PK. The projects offered by PK were based on real-time challenges with a quite unique and interesting approach. He took over the students with a storm and I also…

  • Experiences,  Students

    Once upon a time working under (strikethrough) with PK

    Hi! Myself Shreya, Dual Degree student at IIIT-H. Around Feb / Mar 2018, I heard about PK through a senior of mine. He told me so many things about him and I also searched him and his work online. A week before he was coming for his 1+ year sabbatical, I started reading his research papers, made points why I want to work “under” him. As soon as we got mail that PK joined the college for a year, I mailed him for a meeting regarding research. Surprisingly, I received the response mail from him with a date and time which I wasn’t expecting so quickly. In between I prepared…

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  • Books

    Excerpts from “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon” by Brad Stone

    Wrapped this amazing 432 pages book over the weekend! Here are some compelling lines from the book: [Page 49] Bezos told his parents there was a 70 percent chance they could lose it all. ‘I want you to know what the risks are, because I still want to come home for Thanksgiving if this doesn’t work’ he said. [92] Physically, I’m a chicken. Mentally, I’ bold. [115] They agreed on five core values and wrote them down on whiteboard in a conference room: customer obsession, frugality, bias for action, ownership, and high bar for talent. [160] [167] ‘If you’re not good, Jeff will chew you up and spit you out.…

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