What is your area of interest?
My area of interest majorly revolves around artificial intelligence and machine learning.
I did my PhD research on activity recognition in smart homes where I modelled an activity recognition system using machine learning and Dementia Care which was published in both Springer and Elsevier. I have been successful in my research, and I am trying to broaden my domain. But out of all its data structures and algorithms that I love and it is the one subject that I have been teaching from the beginning of my career.
What are you most proud of about your academic career?
I’m quite proud of my publications. The impact factor of my research in the journal was 4.5. I’ve been awarded the highest impact factor journal in Anna University, and right now the citations for my publications is 91, and within three years it has attained this score. My work was also shortlisted and was particularly welcomed at a National conference in IIT-Delhi.
In this journey, there must have been some hurdles you faced can you share them with us?
As a woman, we have to do a functional role in everything we take up than men, so that is the most formidable task. It is like a juggling act of various demands of academia, family, social life, and personal interests and commitments with the finiteness of time. Time management is the key here. With exercising conscious control of time spent on everything, you could achieve anything.
As a very profound teacher in our department, what do you look for in a student when you are identifying for something?
I always look at Interest and ethics in a student, nothing more and nothing less. A student ’s fundamental knowledge or intellect is only secondary to this. A student should have the ability to learn it on their own and should have a passion for exploring beyond his/her academics.
What is the one thing you want to change about students?
As a computer science student, coding skills are an absolute necessity. But the problem is that as the years progress the number of students who give importance and actually develop this skill is gradually decreasing. Students are becoming more competitive and actually learning new technologies but this skill is the base for any other skill the student wants to develop.. At the same time, Students have to identify their suitable domains students and have to be put in the right direction. If we want to reach out to our destination after four years, we should focus more than academics.
How can students choose their career domain in Computer Science?
Basically, by the end of your second year, we have covered all the fundamentals of computer science, and this can be the right time a student can pick their domain. I would recommend you to do strength and weaknesses analysis. This will help you answer your own question. Another way of choosing a domain is by looking at the current happening technology.
What is the next big thing in the market?
Without a doubt, AI is going to be the next biggest revolution. Every single domain has already adopted it in one way or another. The demand for artificial intelligence is expected to grow circumstantially. The rise in investment by various businesses in order to enhance their services and products had increased the need for artificial intelligence.
What is the best way to learn something new?
In my opinion, there are two ways of learning: Learning thoroughly and then applying it or looking directly at the application and then figuring out what you want to learn in that. When I was doing research, I went through a lot of research papers to understand my problem but then when it came to implementation, I precisely learnt what I wanted and worked on that. As they say, Google is your best friend. Do not forget that when applying for a job, certification plays a key role as they often provide a measurement of knowledge and skills, which is why it’s important to earn certificates in your field.
Do you think research is for everyone?
Choosing research is like deciding your domain of engineering. Everyone has something they are good at and interested in. Just like choosing between Computer science or electronics and electrical engineering, Research is a choice of what you want to do. If you enjoy the process of research and not just the reward of discovery, then you will presumably like it. Research can be a long and challenging process with many wrong turns and not every question has an accessible solution. On top of that, there is a lot of literature involved to publish research. But as always, you can always try it. If you think you’re confident enough to continue and make some advancements, you should proceed with it. Deployments happen everywhere but not Research. Unlike Projects, research publications are recognized on an International level as there is a lot of review scrutiny and hence the results will ultimately of high quality.
How do you propose a student should keep themselves updated with the latest changes in the industry?
The saying, “Practice makes perfect,” is directly relevant to the internship/job experience. The ultimate aim of engineering is not just to receive a degree certificate.
It’s known that internships can add up on your CV. Yet, most students and graduates
don’t have work expertise after they leave college. Doing an internship gives you a ground
experience of what your studies may seem like in a work environment. It also gives you the
opportunity to increase your network and expand your professional branding.
What is your advice for students to get into research within the college itself? What are the students lacking?
The number of publications from the students’ side is lesser than we want there to be. The world is a fast moving place and students expect research to be the same not realizing that it takes a lot of time and a lot of effort in terms of just reading all the existing work. They begin with plenty of enthusiasm but when it comes to reading papers and then reading all the associated documents to understand the paperwork is a difficult task for the students. Paperwork is an upper-level abstract of that particular topic to understand the concept for which one must read the paper thoroughly. It is essential as a literary survey enables the student to know what was done and what a student can do.
What is the one skill that every developer must have?
Understanding modularity will make life so much easier on developers, that successively translates on to profit for any organization that uses the software. Virtually every new problem could be a blend of many old problems. Understanding that and reviewing the previous art can speed and improve your solution. You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve seen a complex problem solved without understanding prior art. With modularity you can test individual modules, makes debugging drastically easier and be assured that nothing else is broken by your changes.
Final advice to our students?
As the old saying goes, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars”, Students should dream huge and work towards it. As a next-generation student, you should understand the competition out there in the real world. There should be no compromise on academics too. After all, It is the basement for everything.