My badminton coach, Mr. Prakash Padukone, always emphasised the 3 ‘D’s for success- “Dedication, Determination and Discipline”. I have always followed these 3 ‘D’s in every aspect of my life. I consider myself lucky to be in an era of technological and computing revolution that potentially redefines our lives. Advances in computer science influence all fields, from health to education. Some of the most complex problems in Computer Science have to do with handling large mass of data.
The wide usage of multiple devices has resulted in the generation of scattered multifarious data. Backing up this data and ensuring this data is secure would require intelligent solutions. My interest in designing scalable solutions and probing new techniques to enhance these solutions urge me to pursue a master’s program in computer science with a concentration track on cyber security.
Through my undergraduate years, I’ve acquired a strong foundation in courses like Design and Analysis of Algorithms, Data Structures with C, Graph Theory and Combinatorics and Object Oriented Programming with C++.
While studying computer networks, the OSI model caught my attention and I realised how networks can be exploited to access private data. So, I attended a workshop on Ethical Hacking by Mr. Sangeet Chopra (one of the Top 10 ethical hackers of India) which introduced me to ethical hacking and the loopholes in our present web security.
It opened the doors of my understanding to techniques like Phishing, Pharming, Operating System Hacking, Computer Virus, Trojans, DNS Spoofing, ARP Poisoning, DOS/DDOS and hacking E-Commerce. Information security has become a major concern and I am eager to deepen my understanding in this field.
I interned for two months with B1 Solutions who provide Business SAP Solutions to industries which allowed me to understand the life cycle of the software solution. This internship became a motivation for my interests in the software industry. Further, I pursued a 70-hour program on Internet of Things (IoT) and designed and presented a smart car parking solution. It was implemented using Arduino, Raspberry Pi3, Esp8266 with MQTT protocol and Firebase. I designed the web version using Bootstrap, HTML5 and CSS3; and the android app was developed with MIT app Inventor. During my summer vacations, I built a complete weather app using the open weather map API to provide current weather data, weather forecast data as well as historical weather data. This app makes API calls by city name to the open weather map API using Ajax to make API calls and get specific data from a JSON response
As the lead designer of Google Student Club, our team organized a workshop through which I was introduced to the concepts of design flow and UI/UX. I used the inputs to design and develop my own portfolio website in simple HTML5 and CSS. As the majority of viewers would access the website from their mobile devices, I restructured my website with a responsive design using bootstrap. I incorporated Google Analytics into my webpage which helped me to analyse user data and find out that I was getting a lot of views from countries whose primary language wasn’t English. So, I added Google Translate to my website for easy viewer reading. After working on it for 6 months, it was a proud moment when I was finally satisfied to see my website – www.nachiket.me. This iterative development process of modifying my website according to the dynamic responses of the visitors was a rewarding and learning experience.
My parents are active Rotarians for last 20 years and I have worked as a volunteer for many fruitful and satisfying projects at our Rotary Club. As the Charter President of the Rotaract Club of my college, I organized and conducted events and fund raisers to help senior citizens and orphanages in my community. I served my college in various positions as the convener of the Cultural and the literary teams, General Secretary of the College and as the convener for Association of Computer Engineers (ACE) which has given me strong leadership and management skills. I started playing badminton when I was 8 years old. I captained my school and college teams and led them to win gold medals at state and national tournaments. I was ranked All India No 3 in the Under-13 category, was seeded No.1 in my state and won trophies for singles as well as doubles badminton matches. I had the opportunity to be trained by some of the finest players and coaches of my country, Mr. Prakash Padukone and Mr. Vimal Kumar who have always highlighted the fact that the game is never over till the last point is won and I have followed this principle in every aspect of my life. I continue to play badminton and have won medals for my college at the University level. My training through the years has shown me the importance of aiming at a goal and never giving up. Playing badminton has taught me team work, focussing on a goal and pursuing it till it is achieved.
I have performed consistently well in my engineering program and have always achieved first class with distinction and a score of 78.5%. The research and professionally oriented coursework provided by the Fu foundation school of engineering and applied science at the Columbia University interests me and I would like to expand my knowledge and make valuable contributions to graduate studies. I am intrigued and drawn to the interesting research projects carried on by Prof.Angelos Keromytis and Prof. Tal G. Malkin and their team at Network Security Lab in the field of Virtual Private Social Networks and Blind Seer. Getting a chance to interact and work with illustrious teachers like Prof. Steven Bellovin is an honour that I will always cherish. Admission to the MS program at the prestigious Columbia University is an opportunity that I anticipate eagerly. I know it will help me in building a successful career as a computer scientist. I look forward to joining the program in fall 2018 and study and work towards my goals.