SRM IST’s student innovation laboratory’s Next Tech Lab researcher and founding member, Raghav Gupta are exhilarated about the fulfilling time he spent at Harvard Medical School in Boston. Passionate about Deep Learning and Mixed Reality, Raghav, a final year Computer Science Engineering student, is an innovator par excellence. The Next Tech Lab has already made waves in India and internationally for innovation and discovery, fuelled by the passion of its student members, working outside the classroom, designing and developing next-generation technology solutions and inventions.

Read what Raghav has to say about his time at Boston:

“My time in Boston, Massachusetts was wonderful. I was a computer vision intern at Shafiee Lab, Harvard Medical School for 6 months from July – December. The exposure it provided is invaluable, giving a new perspective on career – and on life. I happened to be there with other peers Rohan Pooniwala, Karthik Baskar and Anand Soundararajan. The most impressive thing working at Harvard Medical School was how professional they were in their workflow and methods. Their projects aim for the highest impact and the procurement of the required resources for the projects is very quick. The team at the lab consisted of highly talented and dedicated researchers of different nationalities. Most of them were postdocs and graduate students. They were very friendly and it was interesting to have discussions on varied topics with them. It was a very positive working environment where everyone is interested in each other’s work and in learning stuff outside their own field. We used to have weekly interactive sessions where we had open discussions about the ongoing projects and brainstormed new project ideas.

I worked on 2 major projects under them, helping with a few other projects as well. Our team will be publishing papers for the projects done there. My work involved data analysis, computer vision, deep learning, genetic algorithms, server and client connections, iOS and Android applications etc.  My supervisor, Manoj Kumar, was very experienced in this field and I learned a lot working under him. He led and guided these projects to success. Hadi Shafiee sir was always appreciative and supportive too, which kept the lab members motivated. I liked working in the lab and how everyone worked as a team.

Apart from the internship, there were a lot of co-curricular opportunities as well. MIT was very close to our lab and they conducted many talks and demo sessions. I was fortunate to be able to attend the talks of some of the spearheads of the technology world. Hackathons are a weekend hobby for people there. I participated in 4 hackathons – Hack MIT, MLH - Hack Harvard, Reality-Virtually – MIT Media Lab, Hacking Arts – MIT Media Lab. Out of these, our team won the best medicine hack in the Reality-Virtually hackathon. Our win also got featured in BWH Awards and Honours and BWH Next Gen. The rest of the hackathons were an amazing experience too - getting to meet new people from all around the world, each having a different set of skills. The campuses of MIT and Harvard are huge and very beautiful.

We used to get short vacations from time to time. The best ones I had were at the Niagara Falls and the Thousand Islands. I also attended the US Independence Day fireworks session at Boston and the New Year’s Eve at New York, which was memorable experiences for me. I would like to thank SRM University for giving me this amazing opportunity. The semester abroad program has taught me invaluable lessons, especially how to approach real-world problems in a professional way such that it creates a major impact in the society – and at the same time enjoying the work. The work environment is a lot different and very enriching. I would definitely recommend students to go for a semester abroad – the exposure it provides is worth it.”