I am a professor in Poly's Department of Computer and Information
Science and the director of the Information Systems and Internet
Security lab (ISIS). I was born in Bombay (now known as Mumbai),
India, and grew up in Hyderabad which used to be a sleepy little
town in south India.
I got my B.E. in chemical engineering from the Birla Institute of
Technology and Science (BITS) in Pilani, India; the only reason I did was that my
family owned a few chemical factories. While working on my B.E., I
was also forced to do an M.S. in mathematics (too long a story to
explain!), and found that I liked math much more than chemical
engineering -- especially the discrete kind.
I was never particularly serious about
learning (I graduated somewhere near the bottom of my undergraduate class) until
I joined the computer science program at the University of Nebraska.
I think due partly to the subject matter, partly to the professors
and partly to the teachings of Dr. N. Chandrashekar in my last semester at Pilani
(who made me look inward), I was able to focus -- and the rest is history!
I did my master's thesis in cryptography. Inspired by my advisor,
Spyros Maglieras, and with a lot of help from him, I proved some
interesting properties of a group theoretic cryptosystem named PGM,
which he had invented. I drifted toward data compression for my PhD,
again inspired by another great professor, Khalid Sayood. Spyros and Khalid
greatly influenced my career choice to be an educator/researcher. They were and continue to be my role models.
I routinely bug them even today when I need advice or inspiration or some nuggets of wisdom.
I got into computer security
through teaching: I first started teaching a graduate course in
security, and found that I enjoyed it very much, and I think so did
the students. It was their interest that led me to start looking
at research problems in security.
I would say that my interests within the field have changed over
time, and will continue to change. From cryptography, to data compression, to digital watermarking, to forensics, to network security. Who knows what tomorrow will bring!!
I love to travel, read and watch movies, although in the past few years, I
have not found much time to do so. My personal webpage is here.
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