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Statement of purpose

The word inquisitive perfectly defines me. The pursuit of knowing the concepts behind any physical phenomenon motivated me to pursue a career in engineering. My determination and hard work landed me to study Electronics Engineering at IIT(BHU) Varanasi, one of the most prestigious institutes in India. During my freshmen year at IIT(BHU), I was exposed to various club activities such as Robotics, Aero-modelling etc. I was fascinated by the idea of smart machines, the robust behavior of different sensors and actuators and real-time control of the autonomous vehicles. I started my exploration in the field of robotics and automation with a project on home automation and that’s where it all started. I then delved into the different applications of UAV(unmanned aerial vehicle) which includes surveying, SLAM, disaster management, etc. Through these experiences, I developed a great interest in the field of robotics and automation. I wish to be in a place where I could learn progressively and work passionately on challenging problems in the field of robotics with scientific integrity. During my undergraduate studies, I came across numerous examples of great ideas developed at CMU in the field of artificial intelligence and robotics. Towards realizing this objective at an esteemed institution such as yours, I am applying for this internship.

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Academics have always been my strong-hold. My curious nature and a strong desire to ingrain the fundamental principles as well as techniques of any subject of study has enabled me to achieve an excellent academic record. This is further evident from my performance at the higher-secondary school level and at IIT (BHU) Varanasi. The excellent course structure at IIT(BHU) has given me a sound and broad conceptual basis, which, I believe, is essential for any research work. The flexible course structure at IIT(BHU) enabled me to take inter-disciplinary courses. I took courses on Artificial Intelligence, Quantitative methods for decision making, Forecasting and time series analysis and Information theory which lead to a strong foundation in the field of robotics. I also took online courses on Machine Learning by Prof. Andrew Ng, Stanford University and Probabilistic Graphical Models by Prof. Daphne Koller, Stanford University to further my knowledge in this field and gain insights on Support vector machines(SVM), Neural Networks, Bayesian inference, belief propagation, Markov models  and other techniques .Through many projects I have undertaken at IIT(BHU) where learning and research go hand-in-hand, I have found that I have a deep interest in research work. I reckon that research requires a lot of patience, commitment and personal sacrifice of time, leisure, and immediate reward. However, the idea of intellectual satisfaction, the gratification of becoming a contributor to knowledge and personal rewards of learning and discovery has been a strong motivation for me in pursuing a career in research.

Over the past four years at IIT(BHU), I have explored numerous fields which include Robotics, Image processing, Computer Vision, Embedded systems, Machine learning, etc. I cultivated a keen interest in the field of robotics and embedded systems with a special focus on aerial robotics. In my junior undergraduate year, I worked on Visual Simultaneous Localization And Mapping(SLAM) as a summer project. I designed an algorithm for efficiently selecting key-frames for generating disparity map of the environment. I have explored different state estimation techniques (i.e. Kalman filter(KF), Extended Kalman filter(EKF), particle filter(PF), etc) in one of my project on Battery Management System(BMS) where I used Kalman filter for estimation of critical parameters of a battery pack. Currently, I am working on Gaussian Process Regression(GPR), a novel machine learning algorithm and applying it in the field of Wireless communication. I have extensively followed the work of Prof. C.E. Rasmussen, MIT on Gaussian processes and read his book to get a thorough understanding of the subject. I plan to extend my research on various state estimation, inference and control strategies for autonomous vehicles (i.e. Micro-aerial vehicle (MAV), Self driving cars, etc). I would also like to explore about multi-robot systems and machine learning techniques for robot perception. I am primarily interested in the research work carried out at Field Robotics Centre, CMU.      

I have always put in an extra effort in becoming a better and a well-rounded person. Be it academics or extra-curricular activities, I have always given a job the maximum effort from my side if it interests me. I work with unending passion and dedication to whatever I am committed to. I believe in teamwork and there are amazing things that a team can effect if led properly. I am known for my all-around capabilities right through school and college and have proven myself as a good leader. In past, I have held the position of Head Boy of the school and captain of the college Basketball team. As a part of Robotics club at IIT(BHU), I have also conducted workshops and seminars on the autonomous line following robots.

The Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University is the leading institute in the field of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. The dynamic atmosphere and state-of-art facilities at CMU will help me realize my potential and shape me to be a consummate professional. It will also provide me a great platform to enhance my knowledge, skills and help me to pursue my interest in robotics and automation. The diverse group of people at CMU will help me in exploring different approaches to problem-solving and research. I sincerely believe that with my hard work and dedication I will be able to live up to the high standards expected of an intern at CMU.

 

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