One of my professors once remarked that a degree in electrical engineering would give us the license to ask the right questions, and yet be taken seriously. What better way to learn engineering than to actually build stuff using concepts learnt in the classroom? Throughout my undergraduate and graduate years, I have embarked upon several projects that have developed my technical expertise, as well as taught me “soft” skills like teamwork and managing projects.

As an undergraduate, I completed two major projects that were showcased in the university Technofest (the annual engineering fair held on campus). For my freshman year, I designed and implemented a wireless telecommunications system that used the synchronized flickering of a ruby laser to transmit audio signals. No conducting medium other than atmospheric air is needed, thus making wires of any kind redundant.  This circuit was designed using the knowledge of RLC circuits and op-amps that I had learnt in my freshman year. This project bagged the title “The Coolest Project” as well as the first prize during the Technofest.

During my sophomore year, a couple of friends and I designed and implemented a project that had regional implications. We built a cost-effective IR speed radar that would help the police catch speeding motorists. Generally, people tend to slow down when they see a radar and then speed up immediately after passing by it. The radar that we built is very small to be noticed by motorists. The only way they would know that they were caught speeding is when the speeding ticket arrives in the mail. The speed was measured by 2 infrared beams placed at a fixed distance apart, and the time it takes for the car to completely cross both beams. The time difference is measured and the speed is computed. If it is higher than the speed limit, the attached camera would take a snapshot of the offender’s license plate. The Atmega 328 microcontroller was used as the microcontroller for this project.  This radar brought the entire team a lot of laurels and we also won the first prize during the university Technofest.

For the Google AI Challenge 2011, I was one of the 500 finalists that were chosen from the world over, from around 8000 entries. I had implemented my maze traversal using Lee’s algorithm since it was easier to avoid the obstacles in the maze. Also, I utilized the concept of Swarm Intelligence (SI) to make my ants colony very menacing and feared!

As a graduate student in computer science, I am currently working on two projects that are extremely fascinating to me. The first project is in the field of telepresence robotics. Since I have submitted the technical details for publication in a conference, I would put up the details after the conference is over.

The second project is a Windows desktop application developed using Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), in conjunction with the .NET Framework 4.0. The project involves mining frequent patterns and entities from Twitter feeds within a particular geographical area. The application then analyzes these tweets and makes predictions on customer trends and shopping behavior. The application also performs wonderful graphical clique analysis and computes the reach of every single user, giving them a Twitter rank that denotes popularity and following on their network. This makes it a must-have application for advertising firms to boost their revenue. The application would be demoed at PyCon 2013 at Santa Clara, California from March 13-20, 2013. Do come and visit our stand and we would be more than happy to give you a demonstration!

I was also the second place winner of the Recsolu Hackathon held in November 2012 at Chicago. I utilized an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) engine, which I implemented, to parse candidate resumes and store them in a database. Later on, recruiters would be able to pick the top candidates in any field, based on a ranking algorithm that I came up with. Think of the entire mechanism as a mini-ROLAP server.

I would be more than happy to discuss the implementation of any of these projects in great detail! Shoot me an email and I will get back to you with all the technical details that you would like.