Huge Dreams Far From Home
Program: M.S. In Computer Science
Hometown: Dighi, Karjat, India
Breaking Boundaries: IU Bloomington provides an opportunity to improve and explore.
Shivraj Nimbalkar grew up in a tiny village but harbored a huge dream, a dream that, if achieved, would make a global impact.
All he wanted to do was use technology to improve the life of millions. You know, that huge dream.
Shivraj is well on his way to achieving that goal after traveling from India to Indiana, thousands of miles away from home and light-years away from his humble beginnings.
"I come from a small village in India with very little exposure to technology," says Shivraj, who grew up in Dighi, Karjat. "But my passion for computer science made me the first engineer in my village."
His first stop was the University of Pune where he graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering degree in 2009. After four years in the software industry, Shivraj decided to pursue his passion for learning further. It turned out that Indiana University was the place for him.
"The University provides an infrastructure for high performance computing through one of the fastest (one petaflops) research supercomputers named "Big Red II," Shivraj says, "For me, it was one of the biggest attractions here."
Shivraj fell in love with IU's variety of programs, and it allowed him to stretch his mental legs a bit while challenging himself.
"Having worked for four years in the software industry in India, my progress in the exploration of new technologies in computer science felt limited," Shivraj says. "The CS program at IU gave me the opportunity to improve my existing skills and also explore new domains such as artificial intelligence and the data science."
The quality of the faculty has impressed Shivraj, and he loves the environment the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering provides students, which allows them to explore their areas of interest. Living in Bloomington is another positive.
"Bloomington is a beautiful college town with a mesmerizing campus and enthusiastic people," Shivraj says.
As his graduate career starts to draw to a close—he’s scheduled to finish his graduate work in May 2015— Shivraj looks forward to a career as a researcher in the field of data analytics and distributed computing. The 26-year-old also has some advice for the students who will follow in his footsteps.
"Try and gain the maximum from the faculty and resources provided at the SICE," Shivraj says.
If the next generation of students do just that, maybe they'll be able to help Shivraj change the world.