My childhood fascination towards looking into worn down electronic equipment developed into a keen interest which led me to choose electronics as my undergraduate major. Subjects like Digital Electronics, Signals and Systems, Microprocessors and Microcontrollers, Embedded Systems were my favorites. Especially, the architectural innovations in microprocessors captivated me. I was amazed by the huge leap in performance that was achieved through the RISC architecture with much simpler instruction set than that of CISC. Hence my focus narrowed down towards it.
During my undergraduate studies, I acquired hands-on experience with ARM7TDMI-S CPU-based microcontroller LPC-2148, in using its serial communication interfaces like I2C, UART, and other on-chip peripherals as well. This was supplemented by my knowledge of FPGA system design that I gained when I created applications with Xilinx Spartan3E FPGA board. Further, my programming skills and my facility in using logic and reason made me good at high-level programming of microcontrollers.
I also actively participated in technical events outside my curriculum. For one, I attended a National level competition during a tech-fest at Amrita University, Coimbatore called ‘Advanced Line Follower’, requiring the candidates to build a bot that should solve a maze by 1) finding the correct path using an algorithm 2) making path decisions based on color detected at each junction. For this, I developed a bot using ATMega2560 as the microcontroller. Since my bot finished the task in shortest time without errors, I was awarded the first prize for the contest. Unlike my previous unsuccessful attempts in similar contests, I referred to textbooks and online resources to completely understand each hardware. This helped me utilize the resources effectively that led me to victory. This encouraged me to learn more about microcontrollers.
My team’s research project “IoT based Smart Walking Cane for Typhlotic with Voice Assistance”, aimed at providing navigation aids to the visually challenged furnished me with a sound knowledge on the architecture and organization of ARM7TDMI-S LPC2148, ATMega2560 and, 8051 microcontrollers. I also got introduced to Internet of Things through this project. During the project, we faced certain difficulties with power consumption, placement of modules in the prototype, and synchronizing independent modules without compromising the code efficiency was a daunting task. We had to do some workarounds like increasing battery capacity and the surface area of the stick. The alacrity with which I worked on this project helped me to publish two papers through Conferences, including one in an IEEE sponsored international Conference conducted at Karpagam College of Engineering, Coimbatore. The suggestions that I received from the reviewers helped me to make refinements to the prototype, and the novel elements that I discovered after a rigorous patent search subsequently allowed me to apply for a patent for this work. All these efforts improved my ability to carry out effective research.
Now that I have completed my undergraduate studies, I feel the need to pursue an advanced degree that will bring my interests and abilities together. It also would make me an expert in the field that I am passionate about so that I can provide my significant contribution to it. Further, I believe that my foundational knowledge of electronics coupled with the experience that I gained while working on projects and papers have prepared me to pursue a Master’s degree at Virginia Tech.
My areas of future research interest include computer architecture, optimization techniques for embedded systems and, Internet of Things. I would like to be part of the Center for Embedded Systems for Critical Applications to learn about code compression techniques for embedded systems and energy efficient architectures. Further, the possibility to interact and work with the distinguished faculty members will serve as an excellent platform to gain a superior practical experience. If possible, I would like to receive guidance from Prof. Leyla Nazhandhali. I would like to be an active member of IEEE Virginia Tech Student Chapter, where I could mingle with diverse talents as well as I could make my fruitful contribution by participating in seminars and conferences.
After my graduation, I would like to be a part of a research group on an organization. I wish to focus my energy on developing assistive technologies for the physically challenged. Finally, I thank the admission committee for this opportunity and I would be grateful if considered for Master’s program in Computer Engineering at your reputed university.