Inclined and visited Narayana Nethralaya, a famous eye

 

Inclined
towards the field of education from a very early age, I involved myself in
several edifying endeavors. Continuing on the same lines, I carried out
significant research work in educational technology during my undergrad and it
was during this time that my interest in human-computer interaction gained
momentum. I was fascinated by the way technology can be leveraged and employed
to build systems which will foster and facilitate better and easier interaction
between humans and computers. I realized that I particularly liked designing
and developing such systems and in pursuit of my interests, I am applying for a
graduate program at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in Computer Science
with an intended research focus on human-computer interaction.

 

Speaking
of my undergrad experiences, I was familiarized to the entire gamut of courses
pertaining to the field of Computer Science. Nurturing my passion for research,
I did a project, JFLAP Extensions for
Instructors and Students in the second year. In a three-member team, I
worked to improve upon an earlier extension of specifying the correctness of
automata construction problem programmatically. In India, students who struggle
with FLA courses are likely to be less skillful programmers as they have
relatively poor mathematical abilities. I devised a simple and intuitive means
which can be used to specify correctness of automata construction problem and
provisioned a mechanism to test their automaton against the automaton defined using
this new user interface. We also generated a log file containing details about
the interactions made by students while constructing the automata, which would
help instructors analyze the problems faced by students. We co-authored a paper
on this project and it was accepted and presented at The 6th IEEE International
Conference on Technology for Education, 2014, held in Amritapuri, India.

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The
same year, during my summer break, I interned at the Center for Computer Vision
and Image Processing, PESIT and worked on Feature
Extraction from Retinal Fundus Images. I teamed up with two colleagues and
visited Narayana Nethralaya, a famous eye hospital in Bangalore, to understand
tools which, if developed, can help doctors diagnose diseases quickly. We
developed a tool to extract features from retinal fundus images and provided it
to the ophthalmologists for further analysis. OpenCV libraries with C++
interface were used to implement algorithms like Canny Edge to detect blood
vessels and histogram-based segmentation to extract hard exudates.

 

The
passion towards educational technology led me to undertake a project on
‘Photocasting’ as my undergraduate thesis project. I was very keen on
implementing my learning from the previous exposure to Image Processing techniques
and with this in mind, I teamed up with two of my peers to devise a novel
technique that could reduce the cost of creating and sharing digital lecture
notes by the Instructor. We implemented this prototyping technique on Android
platform; the app for instructors had the interface to generate JSON file which
contained the details of the animation speed of text in the image such that it
matches with the explanation in the audio. I developed the app for students
which parses the JSON file and animates the handwriting and plays audio. I used
OpenCV libraries for Android to recognize and animate the text in the image.
This technique would greatly reduce the cost of sharing digital lecture
materials (mainly data transfer costs) with an additional modest effort by the
Instructor. The size of the three files (photocast) together would be about 1%
of the size of the video of comparable quality. A paper was accepted and presented
on this project titled Photocasting: A
Low-Cost Technique to Create and Disseminate Digital Lecture Notes at the 24th
International Conference on Computers in Education,2016 Mumbai, India.

 

Heeding
to my predilection to understand various aspects of Computer Science, I worked
on several projects during my undergrad. I worked on Adding Dynamic Headers to Curl Loader, an open-source tool (written
in C language) used to simulate application load and behavior of HTTP/HTTPS and
FTP/FTPS clients. Dynamic headers, unique to every client, are read from a text
file defined by the user. I added a function to the source code of Curl loader
to add these header values at runtime to every request sent. Prodded on to
greater and industrial-based learning, I also interned at Intel Technology India Pvt. Ltd,
Bangalore during which, I contributed to the Business Intelligence Team. I
enhanced features of User Interface screens for the Business Intelligence Apps
using Angular JS. I learned to write quality code adhering to corporate
standards.

 

Apart
from pursuing my academic interests, I was actively involved in various other
activities. I organized an event ‘Mathe-maniac’ in the science fest ‘Dunamis’,
organized by PES Institute of Technology, Bangalore. This was a Mathematics
talent hunt event which attracted around 150 participants from entire college.

 

Successfully
graduating with my Bachelor’s degree, I started my career at Tesco Bengaluru , an offshore
development center for Tesco Worldwide. As a part of the Retail Demand
Forecasting team, which develops solutions for ensuring better availability of
products in Tesco stores and reduce wastage, I develop RESTful web services in
Java using Drop Wizard and Hibernate Framework for the application which is
used to plan the events like Christmas or Halloween. It requires expertise in
Java performance tuning as we handle a huge amount of data (GBS) to generate
forecast values for all products sold in around 3000 Tesco stores. I also
developed user interface screens using angular JS framework.

 

Having
had an assortment of experiences in various fields of Computer Science, I would
like to explore interdisciplinary areas connecting human-computer interaction
with computer vision, artificial intelligence. A burning desire to acquire
greater, more advanced academic training in these fields motivates me to pursue
graduate studies. I envision myself as a successful and dedicated researcher in
the field of computer science be it academia or industry. I believe a graduate
program would help me gain the right technical skills to accomplish my career
goals. I also am confident that my appetite for gaining knowledge will help me
assimilate more skills as I assume and carry out bigger responsibilities.

 

I
believe a Master’s program in Computer Science at University of Michigan, Ann
Arbor would provide me a favorable environment which would help me learn. I
would like to build user-centered systems using appropriate technology. I
believe my research interests are in-line with the research carried out at Interactive
Systems Laboratory. I would like to learn from Professors like Prof. Elliot Soloway and
Prof. Jeffrey S Ringenberg and the teams working under
their guidance. I would like to contribute to research in human-computer
interaction. I take particular interest in the research carried out in the area
of Mobile Learning at the Interactive Systems Laboratory as I have previous
experience in educational technology.

 

I
am confident that I will meet the best Professors and Researchers at University
of Michigan who will help me acuminate my skills and shape my future. I
strongly believe that a graduate program at University of Michigan would be an
excellent place to accomplish my academic and research goals. I look forward to
an exhilarating and enriching academic life at University of Michigan.