As a curious child logical puzzles have always piqued my interest. Of course, the greatest puzzle is human behavior and, contrary to popular opinion, I believe that it is based on logic, even if subliminal. To me, the same logic applies to computers and technological insights into human logic and behavior are the key to this puzzle. My aim is to be involved in machine learning research to create positive changes in people’s lives.
I have been actively involved with various Model United Nations (MUN) conferences since high school that developed a sense of “giving back to the community” in me. With each conference, I was struck by the severity of what we are facing with global issues, particularly the global climate change. Year after year, I used to read about the critical smoggy conditions in New Delhi and Beijing causing widespread sickness and severely affecting the climate. Rather than feeling disheartened by its detrimental effects, I felt more empowered to try and build a better sustainable future. However, being a computer science major, I used to wonder how I can contribute towards sustainability. How can my computer prevent the global rise in temperature? Unnerved by the thought, I felt all those negotiations about achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in the MUNs were for nothing.
I wouldn’t have gained hope if it were not because of my friend who was doing some research in Artificial Intelligence at his University.
“How can you train your computer? It’s not a dog, it’s a machine!” I said, smiling in my mind’s eye at the bad joke I had cracked. I could not help but wonder, what was this ‘machine learning’ thing he was talking about. To satisfy my curiosity I learned more about it and found how AI and machine learning tools are helping to significantly reduce the energy consumption to cool Google’s data centers. This, and other such innovations, was really intriguing to me and I immediately wanted to pursue this as a professional.
I plan to be actively engaged in machine learning and Artificial Intelligence to harness new technologies to achieve the SDGs. To realize my fullest potential beyond the classroom, research is a consequential aspect in achieving my goals. I was really amazed by the current researches on Sustainable IT and algorithms for energy efficient computing by IBM for weather forecasting and renewable energy predictions, which can effectively manage the energy load and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Although significant progress has been made in renewable IT, there is still a long way to go to be truly sustainable and I wish to be a part of it at every step.
With so much progress yet to be made, I see conducting research as an activity that challenges me academically while shaping me into a leader to combat the global climate crisis. As a researcher, I will be well equipped for the future I envision. With both practical experience and theoretical knowledge, I hope to be an agent of change in the world.
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