Graduate Student Spotlight: Kamalika Poddar

Kamalika Poddar
Masters
Computer Engineering
2019
University of California, RiversideKamalikaPoddar

Kamalika has only been involved with SWE for about a year, but she has contributed to the SWE community as a mentor, scholarship recipient and volunteer. As a GradSWE mentor she is mentoring six undergraduate students by providing them information regarding grad school research and requirements in industry standards. She received a scholarship to attend the WE18 Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota and helped in the process of registering the over 14,000 attendees and exhibitors. As a Graduate Student Mentor for UCR International Affairs, she helps six international graduate students with graduate life. Apart from these, she volunteers for events like Bourns Engineering Day 2018 (one of the biggest events at UC-Riverside) and Citrus Hack 2018. She served as the Core Values Judge for First Lego League 2018 and is a scholarship holder for the Step-Con Educator Conference 2018, organized by MESA, at UCR.

Research Topic: Automatic #Hashtag Generation from Text and Images using CNN

In her research, Kamalika collects tweets and images from Twitter based on hashtags, and trains a model using convolutional neural networks to predict image categories. She aims to increase the accuracy of the model by training images with different sub-categories. She wants to design an efficient model where with every image post on Twitter, automatically the hashtags associated with the images will appear in the text box and there won’t be any need for the user to type and search for a particular hashtag. After graduation, she plans to join the software industry and also wants to help in providing solutions to combat social and environmental issues.

Apart from her research she likes to talk about one of her projects, where she collected negative and positive tweets over the week from Monday-Friday and after analyzing, she found a pattern where she could relate the effects of the high temperature of a day to the generation of negative tweets. If this behavior is analyzed over a period of time maybe it can help in understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder.

To Kamalika, the best experience so far has been as a graduate student, where she can not only conduct research and learn new technologies but also gets the chance to contribute to society. In her free time, Kamalika likes to follow tutorials and courses to learn new concepts and software. She also likes to invite friends over and cook for them. She enjoys travelling, which makes her feel peaceful.

Kamalika admires Serena Williams because though she has struggled much in her life to reach the heights of success, she never gave up. Moreover, we can learn from Serena that success is not just a one time thing, but that continuous effort and determination make an individual successful.

Fun Fact: Kamalika is the first women engineer in her family and she can speak four different languages- English, Bengali, Hindi and Kannada.

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