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My educational background:

My formal education includes a MS EE, North Carolina State University; and a B.Tech ECE, NIT Surathkal, India. Outside of this, I am a self-taught data scientist/software engineer. After working in the semiconductor industry making Integrated Chips, I realized the impact I could have on the real world was hardly discernible at such a low level of abstraction. I was inspired by Andrew Ng’s Machine Learning course on Coursera to take up software engineering as a Profession

My passion for big data:

It comes from the beautiful data driven applications that are being churned out to make our lives better and easier. From Google Maps to Uber, to advances in health care research and personalized medicine, it feels empowering to be able to build useful data products for society.

My greatest achievements to date:

I strongly believe that you are only as good as your latest accomplishment and cannot rest on past laurels. I strive to keep learning and improving myself in all aspects of life.

What is the most innovative or cool application of big data you have seen?

There are now machine learning models to recommend best farming practices for farmers to improve yield on their limited farmlands. With data driven analytics, it tells you how far apart seeds have to be planted to optimize water consumption, what kind of soil fertility exists in what areas of land and suitable for what crops, the optimum amount of fertilizer to use to maintain soil health without wasting/polluting etc These will help us improve food yields without increasing the available land, and hence can scale to feed the much bigger human population we’ll have by 2050. I think the impact this can have on poorer countries is enormous.

Tell us a bit about your life away from work:

I like to climb mountains and want to climb the 7 summits someday. I have climbed Mt Kilimanjaro and some glaciated and crevassed alpine peaks like Mt Rainier, Mt Baker and Mt Shasta before.