Through my doctoral candidature, I have plowed through despite setbacks such as not obtaining the results I expected. I am motivated by my desire to impact people and lives and to solve challenging problems. Clearly, giving up is not an option for me.
I have had the good fortune of working both individually and on teams for research. In my undergraduate studies back in India, I was part of a team that worked on several projects under the same adviser.
As is expected, the resources at my university were not readily accessible, and my team and I had to work hard even to obtain a licensed copy of MATLAB. For our work on Iris and Speech recognition, I contacted a Chinese agency that collects iris samples to obtain their dataset. I also traveled to different conferences in order to present the game theory paper and continued working on it despite two team members having to leave the project.
At UT Dallas, research has been the most enjoyable experience.
However, I have had a sort of unusual career even here. I started out in theoretical optimization and worked on a social network optimization problem as you will see on my research page, but then switched to an empirical project, wanting to have the experience of working on Big Data and manipulating information systems as is widely practiced and required.
Through the process, I have collaborated with industry partners and internal tech departments to find a way to obtain resources for my projects that either didn’t exist or needed to be created after sufficient negotiations.
It was a slow process, that wouldn’t have materialized without my advisers and mentors, no doubt. Nevertheless, I feel confident now that I can work with limited resources even on big projects, alone or in a team.