As an undergraduate, Sunanda Guha developed a passion for research in computer science. Her passion has evolved, and now she is fully immersed in the world of artificial intelligence and machine learning. She recently received a prestigious travel grant to attend the Device-free Human Sensing Workshop at the 6th ACM International Conference on Systems for Energy-Efficient Buildings, Cities, and Transportation (also known as BuildSys 2019). The award is especially competitive, with students from around the world competing for the grant and an acceptance rate of 21%.
Sunanda, who is from Bangladesh, completed her undergraduate and master’s degrees in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Chittagong. She focused on machine learning for several of those years.
Sunanda’s current research projects are mainly focused on using machine learning and data analytics to improve the operation of interdependent complex networks. “My research does not only contribute to theoretical algorithms for machine learning and data science, but also provides practical and efficient solutions to real-world problems of the 21st century,” Sunanda says. “I am working on both theoretical formulation of these problems and using simulation platforms and programming languages, such as Python, to verify my results.”
Sunanda’s interest in machine learning and AI began during her last year of undergraduate study, when she first started learning about AI through coursework. After that, she began exploring machine learning topics.
“The fascinating aspect of this field, as well as my previous research work in undergraduate and masters, motivated me to choose machine learning as my main research focus,” Sunanda says. “I have rich experience of deploying AI and machine learning to improve quality of life for citizens.”
Sunanda, a first-year doctoral student, came to FIU in Fall 2019 because she was impressed by the the School of Computing and Information Sciences at FIU’s College of Engineering and Computing. “The vast academic and research experiences involved in the formation of this school is really astonishing beside the resources and research facilities,” she says. “I was searching for graduate schools where I can find the research facilities as well as my dream project to work on.”
Sunanda has since joined Sustainability, Optimization, and Learning for InterDependent Networks laboratory (solid lab) led by Prof. M. Hadi Amini, Sunanda’s research supervisor. Solid lab is an interdisciplinary research group bridging the gap between theory and the real world.
Sunanda says that solid lab provides her with a nurturing environment to explore her ideas and conduct research on machine learning theory and its applications. She feels lucky to be a member of Dr. Amini’s lab. “His systematic guidance helps me work more efficiently and be productive in terms of learning novel concepts, conducting high quality research, as well as attending international workshops and conferences.”
After completing her doctoral degree, Sunanda plans to continue her research and hopes to pave the way for the next generation of underrepresented computer science students. She would also like to pursue a post-doctoral degree in computer science and become a computer science faculty member. “I always planned to contribute to a world where everyone, including women and underrepresented groups, has access to computer science education and research.”