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Ajay Krishnan

M.S. Computer Science

Personal Statement
As software technologies pervade our daily lives and work, developing techniques to
extract knowledge from the enormous data generated by it will lead to many crucial insights in a
lot of domains such as finance, healthcare, education and so on. Many breakthroughs will follow.
I want to contribute to this evolution. And it is with this motivation I am applying for a M.S. in
Computer Science at North Carolina State University (NCSU) to become a scientist in the field
of data mining and machine learning.
I completed high school with science as my major earning the highest marks in
mathematics (98 out of 100) and standing 2nd overall. I earned my undergraduate degree in
Information Technology at Pune Institute of Computer Technology (PICT), affiliated to the
University of Pune, with the grade First Class with Distinction finishing in the top 6% in a
batch of 120 students. During my studies, I concentrated more on the practical aspects of the
subjects which resulted in a high marks (above 85%) in lab exercises, term work and projects.
An example of which is my final year project in which I earned 98 marks out of 100. I developed
small software tools for my department, such as an application to calculate term-work marks for
students based on the criteria set by the University of Pune. I also bagged a competitive
internship with NVIDIA in my final year of engineering. My final year project was based on
writing modules that could be used by the CUDA profiler to analyze CUDA compiler output and
correlate the object code with the source code. CUDA, Compute Unified Device Architecture, is
a parallel computing platform for Graphics Processing Units (GPU).
With my interest to learn more about the use of data to solve real world problems, I
joined the e-Discovery team at Symantec after my undergraduate course. Electronic
discovery (e-Discovery) refers to a process in which electronic data is used as evidence in a civil
or criminal legal case. My contribution at Symantec was designing components for data
discovery of relevant data from large scale enterprise Content Management Systems (CMS) for
its use in e-Discovery. I designed a star schema for generating dynamic reports for processed
data, designed and implemented a generic data model by creating an abstraction of the metadata
for the data stored in a CMS, algorithm for large data collection from Microsoft SharePoint,
query architecture in Java to create CAML (Collaborative Application Markup Language)
queries, collect older revisions of documents from SharePoint and remove the limitations on data
formats collected by the SharePoint data collector.
Due to the extensive knowledge gained about CMS and SharePoint, in particular, I was
made the Subject Matter Expert (SME) for these data collectors. SMEs take seminars and teach
the educational services about a particular feature so that they can create tests which would be
used for giving out certifications. I also formulated a solution for collecting data from instant
messaging software which resulted in revenue of 1 million Euros. This solution is now being
used by third party data collectors in partnership with Symantec EDP to allow it to collect data
from a myriad of sources. This earned me a distinguished Level-3 applause award.

Ajay Krishnan

M.S. Computer Science

Thus, at Symantec, I learned algorithms for collecting large amount of data from a
myriad of data sources, storing and preserving the integrity of the collected data and how this
large amount of data is processed and searched to segregate the relevant data. I also learned how
to implement a software system that can be trained to identify relevant data by continuous
feedback mechanism.
With the experience and technical abilities I possess in the field of large data collection, I
want to utilize my M.S. degree as a platform researching efficient knowledge extraction and data
correlation algorithms for large data sets and tackling some of the challenges faced while mining
large data such as data integrity and data privacy. My long term interest includes working for a
research institution that is a part of a university, industry, or both to design systems that could be
taught to mimic human expertise to gain insights into large data sets. Hence, I am looking for a
school that has a world class research atmosphere, experienced faculty, knowledgeable peers and
excellent infrastructure that can help me realize my dreams.
NCSU, with its highly qualified faculty, excellent infrastructure, along with the flexibility
to select courses, has a reputation of being a research focused university for Computer Sciences.
Having been consistent in my academics and work has given me the confidence that I have the
capability and determination to make an individual contribution to the field of Computer Science
in the long run. Thus, I believe that I will be a good fit for the Department of Computer Science
at NCSU.