Surya Sharma

Machine Learning Applications | Computer Vision

Graduate student profiles: Poornapragna Rao

Degree:Masters

Department:Electrical Engineering

Mobile Phone(s):1.5 years: Galaxy Exhilarate (Old ATT Family Plan, $35 pm, $30 initial cost, 300mb data). Now I have a Nexus 5 on the same plan.

Computer(s):2 years: Dell / $640 / Core i5 3rd Generation 2.5 Ghz/ 8GB. Now I have a specialized gaming PC, which I’m planning to use for the next 5 – 6 years.

What software / apps have you used academically?

Matlab and Visual Studio: All my research was essentially this.

Dropbox, Google Drive: I use them to store, backup and access my files in other locations (I don’t carry my laptop to my office).

Skype / Hangout: I prefer hangout but most of my relatives in India use skype.

TeX: Used for writing my thesis. STAHP USING WORD. PLS. STAHP.

What cool apps / software do you use daily?

Laptop / Windows:

Mouse without Borders: I use this to control my laptop when using my other laptop. Yes I have two.

Chrome Extensions:

Ghostery: It finds all the trackers used in websites and blocks them.

Pushbullet: I use it to get phone notifications on my computer and send files / text from my computer to my phone.

Android:

IFTT: I use it to control my phone based on time and location. It’s a great app. Check it out.

RedditNewsFree: Whenever I need a dose of entertainment.

Who is your advisor?

Dr. Damon Woodard. His research deals with Computer Vision and Biometrics, unfortunately he will leave Clemson in December.

How often did you communicate with professors or advisors while at Clemson?

I met my advisor twice a week, and email whenever needed. I would ask questions in class. If I had a question on an assignment, I would meet the professor or catch them after class.

When you came to Clemson in Fall 2012, how did you feel and what were your plans?

I felt proud, happy and free. I wanted to learn as much as possible in Image Processing and Computer Vision and do a project or thesis where I would apply the knowledge I had learnt.

How did that turn out?

The initial advisor I was wanted to work with quit after the first semester, but fortunately I found another professor working in the field. Although I couldn’t take a course I wanted to, I managed to do other courses and had fun while at it.

Do you think your GPA makes a difference?

Maybe for the initial screening.

What does your daily bag contain?

Nexus 10, my umbrella (it rains a lot in Clemson), a notebook, a pen. And earphones. And sometimes, lunch.

How often do you go to your office / campus?

5 days a week to campus. I would go to my lab 3 or 4 days a week.

Do you work on weekends?

The first year, yes. Then I didn’t have to.

What did you do on weekends?

I took care of house chores, hung around with friends, watched movies.

What was your routine during the semesters?

Most of my classes were around 10am, so I would wake up at 8am and reach campus by 10am. After class I would go to the lab, otherwise I would go to Java City in the library and study or read. I have a locker in the library, which I used to store the textbooks I had to take to class. The locker costs $6 / semester.

Another semester, I woke up at 6 am, left home at 7, I would go to Fike (the gym at Clemson) 7.30 to 9, which was my core training Leisure Skills (LS) class. I would switch clothes, shower in the locker rooms and then continue with my day. When I didn’t have the LS class, I would attend my 9am class, then go work out.

Do you use a table? What are on it?

Yes. My laptop, a pen stand with stationary and my Sennheiser HD 202 headphones.

Besides a phone / computer, what gadgets do you have?

I have a Nexus 10, a Nook Simple Touch and an Xbox Controller.

How did you manage studies and research?

I had set times for everything that needed to be done. I would finish one task before I started the next one. For example if I had grading and an assignment submission on the same day, I wouldn’t do both together, I would finish one and then go to the other.

Why is it important to do this?

It helps me focus on one thing.

How often did you get stressed?

I take things to heart, so I would stress out fairly often. I set deadlines for myself and panic if I don’t clear them.

How do you deal with the stress?

Once a month I will freak out and not do anything for two days. I play video games, listen to music, and sleep twice the amount.

What is your sleep routine like?

There is no routine. If I have to guess, I sleep around 1 or 1.30 am, and wake up around 8 or 8.30am.

What did you do beyond academics?

I took leisure skills classes in 3 semester. I learnt tennis, piano and core training. I traveled to most of the major cities on the east coast.

I was a member of AID (Association for India’s Development which supports India from USA).

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