May 28, 2009
School of Engineering, Amritapuri
Amrita students are gaining admission to leading international universities in increasing numbers. Education overseas can be costly, and some students, like Abhilash T.G., have been awarded fellowships to fund their studies.
Abhilash is final year B.Tech. student in Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) at Amritapuri. Starting September, he will begin his two-year M.S. in Parallel and Distributed Computer Systems at the prestigious Vrije University in Amsterdam. “I applied to Vrije because I had heard of Dr. Andrew S. Tanenbaum, a world-famous research scientist in this field,” he shares. “It is like a dream come true for me as I will be studying under him. Dr. Henri Bal and Dr. Marteen Van Steen, are other prominent professors and I will also have the opportunity to study with them.”
Currently Abhilash is in Sweden at Malardalen University with a fellowship from the Eureca project, part of the European Commission’s EMECW program. He is conducting research on distributed real time systems under the guidance of Dr. Sasikumar Punnekkatt. At Malardalen, Abhilash has had the opportunity to attend lectures of world-renowned academicians. His time is Sweden has been rewarding in non-academic ways, as well. “I attended a course on multi cultural improvisation which I really found interesting as we could interact with people of different cultures and backgrounds. It has given me the confidence to interact with people from different nationalities,” he says.
At Amrita, Abhilash excelled both in academics and in many extra-curricular activities. At times, he was in college from 6:30 am until 10 pm. On his own initiative, he studied Sun’s open-source software, Open High Availability Clusters. In response to his genuine interest, the development team for this Sun product helped him replicate a development environment at Amritapuri. He had access to their bug database and their source code, and was the first nonemployee at Sun to fix a bug. In the meantime, he mentored his juniors at Amritapuri so that they, too, might excel.
Asked about his success, he demurs, saying, “All this has been possible because of the constant support of people like Venkat Sir (Amrita’s Vice-Chancellor) and Bala Sir (Associate Dean, Amritapuri Campus), who were always inspiring us to do more and learn more. To be honest, I haven’t done anything; I just followed the guidance of Vipin Sir, our beloved faculty member. His constant inspiration and guidance has helped me through even at times of frustration, supporting me and showing me opportunities. In addition, Jayaraj ji, CTO of Amrita Research Labs and Biju ji, Placement Coordinator provided much support.”
Fellow students, Archana N. and Sajith K., also of final year CSE will also go to Vrije University in September. R. Vidya Lakshmi and Parvathy S. have been accepted at Durham University, UK, and are hoping to receive financial aid so that they can go. Deepthi Devaki A.R., currently in Sweden on Eureca fellowship, has been accepted at King’s College, UK.