By Deepa Hegde, MS Business Analytics 2017
We would like to introduce you to METRANS Student Assistant Anusha Ramakrishnan. Born and raised in Delhi, India, Anusha attended Mater Dei School, a Catholic convent, through high school. Reflecting on her experiences there she said, “At Master Dei, I found my love for English and its nuances and had my first brush with the field of computer science.” She went on to earn a Bachelors of Technology at Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, a popular university in Delhi, where she majored in computer science and ranked #6 in her cohort. She was recruited directly from school by Tata Consultancy Services (Research), where she worked in the field of Machine Learning for three years. The experience she gained at TCS Research motivated her to pursue an MS in Computer Science at USC.
When asked about how she found her job at METRANS, she said, “It is actually a really funny incident on how I encountered METRANS. I was looking for on-campus employment at USC, and I somehow managed to walk into METRANS Associate Director, Victoria Deguzman's office. She actually had time to talk with me, and while we spoke, I realized that I might have the opportunity to work on something I had really loved - a publication. Victoria shared that she had been discussing with the METRANS team the need for an additional editor for the METRANS student newsletter and that this might actually be a good fit for me. My timing was perfect, and the rest is history. Working with the METRANS team has been great, I came to understand that I knew very little about the transportation sector before working here. Working with the newsletter as well as the METRANS website, I have had an opportunity to become acquainted with some groundbreaking research in the transportation and planning industry.”
In addition to joining the news editing team, Anusha maintains the website of Dr. Genevieve Giuliano, METRANS Director. “Managing Professor Giuliano's website has also brought me up to date with the research work in progress in these areas,” Anusha shared. It has also helped me learn some new technological tools.” She credits METRANS for helping her polish her written and communication skills while working on the newsletters and her administrative skills and communicating with different team members at both USC and at partner university CSULB.
In terms of her research interests Anusha expressed, “While I was employed with TCS Research, I began to develop an interest in data analytics and machine learning. During my undergraduate education, I did not receive much exposure to these fields and wish to work more extensively on deep learning techniques and their practical applications on prevalent industrial problems. I also have a keen interest in the field of natural language processing and sentiment analysis, which is an upcoming area focuses on understanding the human mind using technology. My coursework here at USC so far includes these areas that inspire me.”
Anusha aspires to become someone who can use technology to create value in people's lives (and not monetarily). She believes that by using powerful tools such as natural language processing and artificial intelligence one can yield technology to help address issues at the core of human civilization: hunger, poverty, depression, crime, drug abuse, and mistrust. Humans can aid machines to understand such issues and in turn, machines can contribute to solving such issues at a faster pace. She aims to lead technology in such a direction as an engineer.
Deepa Hegde is a graduate student pursuing a Master of Science program in Business Analytics at the USC Marshall School of Business, and expects to graduate in Dec 2017. She is interested in Human Behavioral and Social Media Analytics and aspires to bring a positive transformation to society through her problem-solving and analytical skills. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.