Sample Application Documents
Sample Statement of Purpose
Some of the most complex problems in Computer Science have to do with handling large mass of data since computing capacities are unable to keep pace with the demands for more and more intensive computing tasks. Advances in computing are, perhaps, one way to tackle these problems. The problems arise in diverse fields such as studying the universe, weather forecast modeling, artificial intelligence, strategic defense initiatives and genomic studies. The sheer breadth of fields and the complexity of problems, where High Performance Computing (HPC) can help, interest me as a student of computer science. An early awareness of the Computer Science's role in solving these and the courses in Advanced Computer Architecture and Operating systems in the final year have led to my interest in HPC.
HPC demands an in depth understanding of computer science concepts and techniques to provide efficient solutions. I find GATECH a good place to pursue such learning. I am therefore interested in the courses in Computer Architecture, Scientific Computing, and High Performance Computing in the MSCS program at GATECH. Another reason why I would like to pursue these courses at GATECH is the substantive research in these areas in the specialized centers - ARC, CERC, Institute for Data and High Performance Computing as I see from some of the interesting faculty publications eg. those of Rich Vuduc et al.
My interests in these developed during my undergraduate course work, activities and projects. One of the earliest was my lab work on RDBMS and Visual Basic Programming in which I worked on a war based strategy game similar in concept to the popular 'Drug Lord' and the more recent 'Mafia wars'. I designed a game that met the objective of handling a database and learnt how to develop an algorithm for a strategy game. The basic algorithm was to calculate players' offence and defense strengths on various parameters. Based on ranks playing tribes received they were cast worthy of attacking the player while he devices strategies to ward these off. In retrospect, I see ways in which the game plan could have been better in terms of complexity and graphics - multiplayer capability, improving the team ranking algorithms by including more parameters, accommodate players' history and identify playing patterns to design computer v/s player attacks. Working on this project introduced me to AI, problem solving, critical analysis, decision making and the nuances in design and analysis of algorithms.
My interest in software modeling and design, architecture, DBMS and programming led me to develop a web based intuitive administrative GUI for TIBCO's Enterprise Messaging System in my final year. It was a specific requirement of G&K Services, Minnesota since interfaces provided by TIBCO lacked a few vital functionalities. They wanted a web based tool to easily manage TIBCO EMS servers across their various development environments. This task was the first exposure to a fairly complex architecture and I had to figure out the best way to model a solution that would seamlessly integrate into their framework. We decided to use Ruby on rails (ROR) for the web development and it turned out to be quite interesting to master Ruby on rails and then unravel the mystery of using Java and Ruby together. Choosing ROR instead of J2EE was easy once we discovered the manifold benefits Rails provided. In other languages we would have had to select various naming conventions, define file structures, write configuration scripts but Rails relies on convention over configuration and simplifies lot of coding saving time and effort. By taking away mundane configuration tasks it enabled us to focus more on the business logic and performance issues. The tool had to synchronize with around 50 TIBCO servers in production across USA and Canada receiving a massive load of information every minute; and we needed that time to analyze ways in which this could be done. This project was a gratifying experience in terms of programming, modeling a system into the solution domain and integrating seemingly disparate technologies JMS, JRuby and Ruby on Rails. It helped me understand the pros and cons of working on a solution and choosing the best after careful study, observations and experience. Actually, here I reached a point in my work where I felt the need for further study on such problems like synchronization, databases and middleware etc.
I have an outstanding academic record securing the first rank in the university in the first year and places within the top ten in the third and fourth years. In the national GATE in Computer Science (2011), I was placed in the top 1% among nearly 150,000 students.
As a Programmer Analyst at Cognizant Technology Solutions I am working in the Banking and Finance domain to assist in developing and maintaining a system that handles daily business transactions of a bank. The job has helped to learn about Mainframes and system security, distributed architecture, scalability and massive data handling. It was particularly interesting to contrast it with supercomputing which, unlike mainframes, performs complex operations in addition to handling massive data. I learnt here that the core of any business is a huge store of data and the depth of simulation, analysis and computation enables better decisions.
In a white paper presentation at Cognizant on Cloud Computing in Banking I explored how high performance computing could move to the cloud. Arguably, high performance computing without the overhead of virtualization needs direct access to underlying hardware. Yet it can move to clusters to utilize the environment like massive fleet of servers during computation cycles with added cost benefits, which clouds provide. The research scope for this is promising.
I have often tried to explore beyond the textbooks contents. I am interested in how people translate their ideas into a scientific fact. Such understanding should help me to take up a significant problem in my prospective doctoral education and a career in research and, perhaps, teaching. Studying at computing department of GATECH should help in achieving these goals.
The fields of Fluid sciences and non- linear Mechanics especially interest me, and I hope to pursue a career in design and research in the automobile or aviation industry. I also have an interest in developing CFD applications Computational Mechanics.
My career goals and the decision to pursue MS are based on my personal experiences in the B Tech years and careful assessment of my interests and capabilities. The experiences include course work, different projects and experiments that I have worked on, my conversations with some of the best teachers and practising engineers, and my reading.
The undergraduate program in Mechanical Engineering at College of Engineering, Pune has built a strong conceptual base and a broad outlook. The Masters program, should give me the opportunity to develop specific and focused skills that align with my professional ambitions.
One of the early experiences was my participation in BAJA SAEINDIA, a nationwide engineering challenge organised by the Indian chapter of SAE, for design, fabrication and testing of an ATV. This was in my second year. I was responsible for the static and dynamic performance analysis of the vehicle along with the design and integration of the steering system. The conventional rack and pinion steering was the best choice, winning vital points in the maneuverability challenge. The analysis of the roll-cage was done on ANSYS, the final design being optimized for maximum stiffness, endurance and impact strength. Results obtained with ANSYS were a close approximation of actual situations. The analysis could have been further improved by taking into account the non-linear nature of impact stress. It would probably have led to a lighter, more efficient vehicle (I was not, then, familiar with it.). Despite being finalists for the Engineering Design award, we were prevented from finishing the dynamic events owing to a leakage in the engine-gearbox coupling and an improperly balanced wheel. One could do everything right to designing the last nut and bolt, but the dynamic and unpredictable nature of external factors also needs to be considered to a reasonable extent depending on requirements.
I am currently working on two projects in addition to the mandatory senior year project in the college. The first of these projects, the SUPRA SAEINDIA involves a similar challenge to BAJA, but concerns a Formula style racing car. It is, in fact the Indian version of the popular FSAE. In addition to the responsibility of the static and dynamic structural analysis of the roll-cage, I have the task of designing and optimizing the entire vehicle dynamics of the vehicle (suspension, brakes, steering systems design, integration and optimization for stability and predictability of all three motions – pitch, roll and yaw). I have working knowledge and basics of software such as ANSYS, MSC Adams and LS Dyna which are advanced solvers in their respective fields. With a higher education, I hope to acquire sound fundamental concepts of non-linear mechanics and computational methods.
This recognized need for higher education was also evident while studying some of the elective courses I opted for in my Bachelor's program. In my sixth semester, I completed a course in 'Numerical Fluid Flow and Heat Transfer'. The course gave a glimpse of the basics of CFD. It included analytical formulations for various flow situations using C++. I secured top grades in the theory course. I am greatly attracted by the universality of applications of CFD. Presently, I have opted to study 'Design of Engineering Products Using Advanced Materials' and hope to complete my final year project in the same. The coursework is challenging and unconventional, offering novel solutions to age-old industry problems through the use of advanced synthetic materials, offering often seemingly illusory combination of properties such as high toughness-high damping, etc. Although the course mainly covers the applications of nanocomposites and the likes in industry, the underlying non-linear behaviour and mechanics of materials is something I find very interesting.
The COEP CCOMSAT is a student pico-satellite mission, and consists of the conception, design and implementation of a satellite, compliant with 1U standard for cubesat. The payload of the mission is communication between coastal ground-stations and sea vessels at sea through text messages. I am part of the 'Structures' sub-team and am responsible for the structural and thermal modeling and optimization of the entire structure of the satellite. Working on a shoe string budget and close tolerances involving system integration (review?), the satellite mission is ever challenging in its demands and expectations. Extreme conditions in the Low Earth Orbital, thermal cycles due to revolutions of the satellite and the Earth, the Earth's albedo and the vibration stresses during launch all added together constitute a complex mechanical problem. I have been exposed to space grade materials such as Al 6061, various pre-treatments to prevent deterioration in space and concepts of designing a multi-layer insulation. I certainly believe it would give me an advantage if I am able to build a concurrent computational structural and thermal model of the satellite, rather than analysing the fatigue due to these separately. The projects in college only serve to add fuel to this desire to learn, and give a smattering of the knowledge base I aim to acquire.
I have also been actively involved in Mindspark, the annual technical festival of our college, co-coordinating for nationwide events, and also participating in paper-presentation competitions. An active reader since childhood, I have an active interest in cinema, poetry and fiction. My CGPA of 8.67/10 at the end of the 6th semester, places me in the top 4% (6th in a class of 160 students). The Master's program is the next natural step towards achieving my ambitions and long-term career goals. I request the admission committee to give me the opportunity.
Mechanical Engineering offers a wide vista. Of the various courses that we studied in undergraduate years, Thermal sciences (and energy) fascinated me. The application of Thermal Sciences in almost all walks of life made me appreciate this subject even more. During the years in College of Engineering, Pune, I have been introduced to several courses related to Thermal sciences, few mandatory while others which I had taken up due to my special interest in the subject. While what I learnt was interesting it also demonstrated the vast scope of thermal sciences for theoretical research as well as for practical applications most of which require a deeper study. Therefore I wish to explore and study in greater detail all that I can to enhance my understanding of the subject in the MS program at … University.
The first of these courses titled 'Engineering Thermodynamics' in the second year had an immediate attraction on account of its theoretical elegance and applications to study energy and energy management. Though I had studied the laws of thermodynamics at school level I found the first law quite contradictory to everyday experience. The law of conservation of energy and the constant refrain to use energy judiciously, though intuitively obvious, I thought, had to have more scientific explanations. I found the answers to these questions in the second law - that energy has quality as well as quantity and all processes always move in the direction of qualitative degradation of energy. It also introduced the concept of thermal efficiency which is the major concern of engineers the world over. The concept of Entropy as the degree of randomness, clarified the understanding even better. For all processes, though the quantity of energy is preserved, its quality degrades due to the increase in the molecular disorder of the system. I discovered Heat Transfer systems in a range of situations from biological systems to common household appliances, residential and commercial buildings, industrial processes, electronic devices and food processing.
The interest in Thermodynamics led to a special interest in 'Refrigeration and Air conditioning' where I saw the application of the Claussius statement of the second law of thermodynamics. It was interesting to see the modifications effected in the benchmark - reverse Carnot cycle - to the practical cycles adopted in various applications.
After my third year, I interned for five weeks in Forbes Marshall Limited studying Steam Engineering. I observed the manufacture, testing and working of some accessories like the Pressure Reducing Valves, Steam Traps, components for condensate recovery, control valves etc. of the Steam Condensate loop. I learned about the impact of these components on Energy Conservation. In the Boiler Shop we saw the various types of boilers and their manufacturing processes. Here I could actually experience and view steam as a source of energy and the measures taken to ensure the maximum harnessing of the potential energy of steam. The thumb rule followed in this organization was 'Produce at higher pressure and use at lower pressure'. The beauty of this simple rule in terms of energy conservation can be recognized by observing the pressure temperature graphs for water learnt in Thermodynamics. When producing at higher pressure the latent heat required is much less and as a result the ovrerall energy input required decreases. Also smaller diameter pipe can suffice to carry high pressure steam since in has smaller specific volume. In case of a sudden demand for steam by the process equipment, the boiler can cater to the demand since it would have a larger mass of steam stored in its limited steam space due to smaller specific volume. As for using steam at lower pressure this ensures that the process equipments that generally come with certain upper limits of pressure remain safe and also lower pressure means higher is the latent heat that steam would give to the process before condensing.
Following my interest I have taken up a project titled 'Pebble Bed cooling' to cool an enclosed space using air which is cooled by passing it over pre-cooled pebble bed. Pune city exhibits significant difference in dry bulb temperatures between day and night. The project proposes constructing an underground pebble bed and forcing cool air to blow over it during the night. The cooled pebbles can be utilized to cool the enclosed space during the day by blowing hot air over the pebbles and introducing it into the room through proper filters. Thus the project aims at achieving sustainable and substantial cooling using minimal energy input i.e. only the energy required for the blowers. Since this project will incorporate direct contact cooling as opposed to indirect method of some kind, the efficiency of this project and cooling achieved will be higher. However, this system will provide cool air at a temperature corresponding to the comfort zone temperature for an average human and will not provide for temperature adjustment. As of now we have studied the temperature and humidity variations for Pune city and completed the cooling load estimation of the enclosed space. This included making certain assumptions and following ASHRE (American Society for Heating and Refrigeration Engineers) guidelines. According to this study the cooling load is 8TR. We are now studying properties of pebbles (or other suitable material), the desirable properties being – high specific heat, high conductivity, preferably porous, repelling biological growth, easily available and economical. Another aspect of this project is that we propose to use two stage cooling, first pebble bed cooling and then the evaporative cooling in the later part of the day when the pebble bed has heated up a bit and hence the cooling achieved is not satisfactory.
I have been the top ranking student for all three years so far in a highly competitive class with a CGPA of 9.15. I have also been an active member of the college's Boat Club. I have an abiding interest in history as a valuable source of information for current problems.
In the MS program I wish to focus on theoretical aspects of Engineering Thermodynamics and applications in energy management. I am particularly interested in the (2/3 courses) and the current research in …. At the University.