Home ] Family ] Marian Musings ] Rourkela Ruckus ] 28 Camac Street ] Project Calcutta ] Our Homes ] [ Foggy Bottom ] Around the World ] Passage to India ] Passage to America ] Interests & Links ]


The finest specimen of procrastination in my life has been my pursuit of graduate studies.  I first dabbled with the idea while I was still in college between 1988-92 and thought it was too much work getting in. My next attempt was when I was working between 1993-95, by induction from my co-worker friend and room mate at the time, Khurshid Usmani. That time I managed to take the GRE and the TOEFL and get pretty decent scores, but I never got around to apply to enough universities. A visit to Carnegie-Mellon University in 1996 sparked off another round of - well - lets call it wistfulness, which did not last long. Finally, I did get around to applying to the department of Computer Science at The George Washington University in Washington, DC in 2000, and for some surprising reason they accepted me.

Back in school, I realized that the only way I could successfully maneuver through graduate school would be to use brute force and finish the courses as quickly as I could. So I have been taking two courses each in the fall and in spring and one each in the summer semesters and graduated with a Master of Science in Computer Science in the summer of 2002, exactly a decade from when I graduated from REC Rourkela. The actual graduation ceremony is slated for May 2003.

GWU taught me a lot and I realized how much the world has moved along since when I was lat in a classroom. Back then, RISC was a chapter in the Advanced Computer Architecture class that I had taken as an elective in the senior year. The entire architecture class here was founded on RISC. My entire computer networks class college was based on the OSI model, with TCP/IP, a mere footnote. I do not need to mention what TCP/IP is today, and I am probably telling my age by mentioning the OSI model. Speaking of age, I was talking to a classmate of mine about the day when Mrs. Indira Gandhi was assassinated in 1984, a day that most people from India my age (born in 1971), remember like it was yesterday. Well, this classmate, who also happened to be from India, let me know that he did not remember it too well since he was only 5 years old at the time. For the first time in my life I felt I was growing old.

Classes that I took towards my master's degree:

Computer Architecture
Advanced Software Paradigms
Calcutta Suite: Proposed Object Components Package for Developers of Industrial Systems Automation Applications
Analysis & Design of Algorithms
Object-Oriented Design
Distributed Systems
E-Commerce Security
Internet Protocols
RObust Header Compression: A Digest
Programming of Handheld devices
Database Management
Database Systems II

There is some talk of my enrolling for a PhD, but that is mere speculation at this time. I have a nagging feeling that GWU would be more inclined to accept me as a doctoral student than any other university in the Metro Washington area, but I can hardly afford any more education at this prestigious (and expensive institution of higher education). I am looking (again, wistfully) at the doctoral programs at Virginia Polytechnic University (popularly known as Virginia Tech) and George Mason University, where the tax dollars that I continue to pay to the great Commonwealth of Virginia ensure that I could get my cap and gown and still have a shirt on my back. Unfortunately both Virginia Tech and GMU require that I take the GRE, which at this point seems a Herculean task given my laziness.