IIT Guwahati Student gets Fellowship from MIT!

Back then, he was unsure about the decision since Guwahati was so far away from his hometown, but now after being the only student from India to be admitted to the prestigious graduate program in Bioengineering at the temple of learning and research in the world - Massachussets Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, USA, Venkat is all smiles!

"Ever since I worked at the Rehabilitation Center and the Bioengineering Department at Christian Medical College(CMC) Vellore with Prof. Suresh R. Devasahayam, I made up my mind to use my Electronics Knowledge to enhance the quality of life. This is why my research ever since has been in the evolving field of Bioengineering", states a visibly motivated Venkat. He says his father Mr. K. Soundararajan who is a Marine Engineer and Mother Mrs. Anjana Jayanthi, alongwith his relatives have been most supportive in his endeavor since the JEE days. "In the second year, while working with Prof. N.V. Kalpakam of the Mathematics Department at IIT Guwahati, we discovered an innovative technique using wavelets for studying brainwaves, that holds a lot of promise in early diagnosis of Alzheimer's, Epilepsy and other neurodegenerative diseases. This experience was invaluable in motivativg me for Graduate Studies in Bioengineering", he says. From then on, there was no looking back for him.

Within the next 2 years at IIT Guwahati, Venkat produced ten refereed publications in the IEEE, a world renowned organization for publishing findings in the Electronics and Communication field, probably making him the Undergraduate student in India with most research. "This achievement is purely due to the support, guidance and mentoring provided by the faculty of the ECE department at IIT Guwahati, specifically Prof. Harshal B. Nemade and Prof. J.S. Sahambi who are my thesis supervisors, Prof. S. Dandapat who taught my Physiology, Prof A.K. Gogoi the Head of the department, Prof. P.K. Bora who is the Dean of Student affairs at IITG etc. The faculty of the other departments, specifically Humanities, Mathematics and Biotechnology have also been very caring and helpful", he says. When asked about how IIT Guwahati fared compared to the other IITs in his opinion, he remarked, "IIT Guwahati is indeed the best place for working on cutting edge interdisciplinary research, specially if you are motivated and love to explore the secrets of modern science. I'm positive that such talented students will benifit maximum by choosing IIT Guwahati over the other older IITs, since IIT Guwahati has the latest technical know-how and receives greater financial support from the Indian government and the industry for research."

"I have always believed that there is some power that finally dictates what the otucome of each of our endeavors in life is and for me that force is my faith in God. I am religious and treasure my Indian culutural roots and am sure to return to India as soon as possible and help improve the health sector of my country, in whatever small way I can.", he says. In this respect, it is notable that he visited Kamakhya thrice in the last three months alone and says the Shakthi Peetam gave him peace of mind during the long wait from the end of the application process in October to the announcement of the results last week.

He is moved to tears in recounting the wonderful experiences he has had with his batch mates and friends at IIT Guwahati. "My batch is truly remarkable an I'm so lucky to be with such a talented and motivated set of guys." he says with fond recollection. "I have been approached by the Dean and Director of my school Dr. Y.G. Parthasarathy to write a book about my experiences in the last 6 years since JEE preparations and am considering this seriously.", he adds. Having got admissions from the top-most institutions for Biomedical Engineering research like MIT and Johns Hopkins University with full funding and fellowship, Venkat will indeed serve as an inspiration for students of IIT Guwahati and the North-east region for many many years to come.

(Venkataramanan may be contacted at his mobile number 98641-78111, or any student interested in knowing more about the prospects of studying at IIT Guwahati, can pay a visit to his room in Kapili Hostel, IIT Guwahati, during the weekends.)