Statement of Purpose Prospective Graduate Student for Fall 2008 Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering I am interested in pursuing a Masters Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University with Computer Engineering as my Area of Interest. My interest lies specifically in the field of computer architecture.
My undergraduate engineering degree in Electronics and Communication and my professional experience in Samsung have not only introduced me to various concepts in computer architecture but also convinced me that a Masters Degree is an essential first step in my quest to master this field. My career objective is to become a computer architect and to contribute actively to research in computer architecture, from an academic environment. Hence I intend to follow up my Masters degree with a PhD. I have had a strong inclination towards Science since my school days.
I gained admission into NITK, Surathkal, one of the most prestigious undergraduate Institutions in India because I secured the Ninth rank out of approximately two hundred thousand test takers in the qualifying Common Entrance Test (CET) for Engineering. During my undergraduate studies in Electronics and Communication at NITK, courses on Digital Systems Design, Microprocessors, Digital Computer Architecture and VLSI design introduced me to the different aspects of computer design; from hardware design to software(assembly programming on 8085, 8086).
In my Digital Computer Architecture course, I was introduced to the basic computer architecture concepts like Instruction Set design, Instruction Level Parallelism and Memory Hierarchy. The quantitative approach followed by Professor Ramesh Kini and the numerous practical examples given by him in the classroom have helped me gain a thorough understanding of the fundamentals. The laboratory courses in Digital Systems Design, Microprocessors and VLSI helped further reinforce the concepts I learned in theory.
My scores also reflect my interest and aptitude in computer architecture related areas. Thus, I feel that through my undergraduate experience, I have gained the strong technical background necessary for graduate study. At the end of my sophomore year, I completed a research project in the field of Digital Signal Processing (DSP) at National Aerospace Labs (NAL). This project was an invaluable research experience for me since it involved rigorous self study and insightful echnical discussions with my guide, Dr. Narasimhan. I realized the importance of and the effort required for producing original work in a research field. I feel that working in such an environment has equipped me with the tenacity and the analytical mindset necessary for the process of research. This research experience also motivated me to take up a project on Packet Loss Concealment (PLC) for Audio as my senior year thesis project.
For this project, I had to read many research papers in order to understand the concept of PLC, to evaluate various relevant algorithms and to finally choose one which would be best suited for the requirements of my project. This process made me understand the importance of performing a thorough literature survey in a project before embarking on implementation. The project was in collaboration with a DSP software company called ITTIAM systems, and working with people from the industry helped me see how such projects could be applied in real software products.
This also influenced my decision to join the industry and gain exposure to a professional environment before studying further. Following my graduation, I joined the R&D team of Samsung India Software Operations as a Software Engineer. My interest in computer architecture drove me to join the Memory Solutions Division where, for the past sixteen months, I have been working on various projects on software development and hardware design involving Flash memories, specifically Samsung’s NAND-flash devices.
In one of the projects, I had the opportunity to work with the Flash Memory Planning Group in Memory Division Headquarters in Korea, where I was involved in the design of an advanced Flash Memory device called Flex-OneNAND. This project involved understanding in detail, the hardware architecture of flash memory devices, and was a great learning experience for me since it also helped me understand the memory hierarchy of a computer system, specifically, how cache plays an important role in improving the throughput of memory devices.
Apart from the above project, my role has been primarily in Software related to flash memory. My project on Bootloaders involved working closely with the hardware, and needed me to understand the interface between memory devices and the processor very well. I was able to observe how interaction between hardware and software happens at the lowest level. A hands-on experience at working exactly where hardware meets the software has helped me gain a good overall perspective of a computer system and I feel that this perspective ill enable me to understand better and to contribute innovatively to research in computer architecture. I believe that Purdue is the ideal place for my graduate studies because, apart from the excellent facilities and distinguished faculty at the University, I am keenly interested being a part of the research that is currently being undertaken by the Purdue Computer Architecture group.
My research interests and aptitude in computer architecture match closely with the current research projects being undertaken by Prof. T. N. Vijaykumar. I am confident that, with my strong educational background and work experience, I will be able to make useful contributions to research in the field of high performance microprocessors of the Computer Architecture group. I hope I am given the opportunity to prove my abilities and to experience the vibrant student life of a graduate student at West Lafayette.
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