Assamese Origin Student Demonstrates Outstanding Academic Excellence

Arup Sarma, son of Girish and Minakhi Sarma of Overland Park, KS recently graduated from Shawnee Mission East high school, Kansas with an overall GPA of 4.0 in a scale of 4.0 and secured 1st rank in a class of 521. Arup, who is a straight ‘A’ student has received many awards and recognition at regional, state and national levels. He is a National Merit Scholar, Kansas Honors Scholar, Kansas ACT Scholar, Kansas Governor’s Scholar, AP Scholar with Distinction, Research Science Institute (RSI) Scholar, SET member of the JHU, recipient of Caltech Signature Award and Caltech’s Axline Scholarship, International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, Presidential Scholar Semifinalist, Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholar, Siemens Westinghouse Semifinalist, Intel STS Semifinalist, recipient of President’s Outstanding Academic Excellence Award and President’s Student Service Award, recipient of ELK’s Most Valuable Student Award in Kansas, member of the National Honor Society, member of the All-State Academic Team (1st team), Kansas, member of the USA Today’s All Star-USA Academic Team (2nd team) and state champion and 5th place winner at the TEAMS’ (Test of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics and Science) nationwide contest held in 2001. Besides these, Arup also received several other awards in science, mathematics, literature and American history contests held at the local and regional level.

In the summer of 2003, Arup worked on a research project in computer science as a part of the six weeks research program of the Research Science Institute (RSI) held at MIT. He was one of the 50 students selected in US out of a total of 1,100 applicants for attending this highly competitive research institute in Science. Arup researched on speech recognition and using algorithm he developed a novel method for speech recognition error correction. The originality and applicability of his research brought several awards and recognition to him including Siemens Westinghouse, Intel STS, Shipman award, Vic Regnier award, Grand award (division winner) at the Kansas city science fair, Award of Distinction at the Shawnee Mission R&D forum, Intel award for excellence in computer science and Grand prize (overall winner) at the Kansas-Oklahoma-Nebraska regional science and humanities symposium.

Arup’s research papers in computer science have been published in the 1) Proceedings of the 42nd National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, April 28 - May 2nd, 2004 (Title of the paper: Word co-occurrence analysis: a novel approach to speech recognition error correction) and 2) Proceedings of the Human Language Technology Conference/ North American Chapter of the association for Computational Linguistics Annual Meeting, May 2 - 7, 2004 (Title of the paper: Context-based speech recognition error detection and correction).

Besides academic excellence, Arup loves to play violin. While in 7th grade, he went to France and Switzerland to participate in Suzuki violin concerts as a selected member of a tour group from U.S.

For undergraduate study, Arup was admitted at Stanford, Caltech, MIT, Harvard, Duke and Carneigie Mellon creating a pleasant dilemma in choosing a school. Although, the offers from Caltech and Stanford were very tempting, Arup finally joined MIT for his undergraduate study.