May 6, 2009Her job: Phd Student, IIT Delhi
Describe what you do in your current work situation?
We develop large scale optimization algorithms that can perform well on problems of interest. Optimizing means finding out the best possible set of parameters.
Why did you choose engineering?
I had the option of changing things which may not be possible in some other fields. I need not remember a lot of things, just a few basics and then use them to understand the rest! Somehow it seemed easy to me, i never had to put in a lot of effort, rather even after putting in a lot of effort it never seemed like i had been "working".
Where did you go to school and what degree(s) do you have?
I did B.Tech from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. Mtech and Phd from IITD.
What kinds of activities have typically been part of your work?
My work involves a lot of thinking. I first decide what problem interests me. Then I find out the state-of-art solutions for it and think about their potential problems. Next question is, what can I do in my capacity to improve on it. Then I implement my ideas in software or try to prove them mathematically. Finally I write a paper that describes the whole method. Paper writing in itself is very interesting, because you are "selling" your ideas and you have to support every claim of yours.
What do you like best about being an engineer?
Its fun to understand logic and relatively easy to make a change. Just an algorithm can change the whole world (for eg. Google).
Which of your career accomplishments are you proudest of?
I am proud of every paper that I publish
What challenges have you met and conquered in your pursuit of an engineering career?
The biggest challenge that I face currently is managing home along with work. Trying to learn how to balance both.
Please tell us a little about your family.
I have a very understanding husband who is also a computer engineer.
What are your short-term (1-2 years) and long-term (10+ years) goals?
Short term: Finish Phd, Get a job Long Term: Establish a company
What (or who) had/has the greatest influence on your life choices?
What advice would you give to a young woman considering a career in engineering?
Go for it! Its very satisfying!
Describe something about your life outside of work: your hobbies, or perhaps a favorite book.
Basketball, debating, organizing events.