Why did you choose to do your PhD at DCU?
I am from a city in the northern part of India. I was always taught one thing, to dream big and make those dreams possible with actions. From a very young age, I have been up-to-date with the advancements of computer technology, which has always fascinated me. My teachers guided me to choose a career in the computer science field, and I started following this path progressively. During my teenage years I always had this random thought of capturing and storing my whole life experience, but never thought this research was already in progress somewhere in the world.
I completed my Masters in Computer Application in India and then completed industrial training for six months in the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway. After this experience, I realised the computer science path would achieve my dreams.
I was given the opportunity to interact with Dr. Cathal Gurrin, life-logger. His experience of capturing whole life experience over the last ten years motivated me to work with him. Now it was time to achieve my dreams, and to learn new experiences by working with Dr. Cathal Gurrin and DCU. DCU provided me with a platform to improve my personal and technical skills, which is mainly due to the friendly and smart working environment.
Can you tell me a little about your research topic?
My research topic is Event Based Retrieval from Digital Lifelogs. Lifelogging is concerned with capturing and tracking of rich volumes of personal behavioural activities from lifelog images, gathered by lifeloggers. Lifeloggers may be researchers or any individual who record the totality of their life.
Lifelog data could be a collection of images, audios, videos, text documents or biometric data gathered by using various small multi-sensor wearable devices which is highly sensitive and private to the lifelogger. Lifelogging provides detailed aspects about the activities of the individual and help to change the way of working, eating and sleeping habits, boost up the energy and provide motivation by observing self progress. We define a moment (a fixed length temporal unit, which heretofore has been a minute. Consequently, there are 1440 moments in each day), user activity (un-interrupted sequential state of the individual in terms of their person or environment or stimulate) and event (event is a combination of moments or activities or experiences and typically is a long unit of which there may be 2-4 in any given hour) as the basic unit of retrieval.
The main motivation is how to segment one day lifelog document in specific events, to retrieve meaningful information based on personal behaviour.
How do you find studying at DCU in relation to your school, programme, facilities, DCU campus?
DCU provides me with a very comfortable environment to concentrate on my research. I am studying with the School of Computing, Insight Centre for Data Analytics, which is a highly ranked research laboratory. The laboratory is well established with superior servers and computer systems. This superior technology, motivates me to learn new technologies and build new skill sets. In short, I am able to develop my overall personality in DCU.
What has been your experience of living in Ireland and Dublin in relation to the city and culture?
During my study period, I have had the opportunity to work and visit various European countries. At present, I will be visiting a number of countries to present my research.
Presenting my Research at various conferences
Living in Ireland makes me feel like I am at home in India. I have found people in Ireland to be very cheerful and friendly. They are always ready to provide gentle guidance when I have a query or need reassurance. Ireland is English speaking which is a great advantage for international students. Whilst in Ireland, I enjoy having loads of delicious food options available, along with many options for entertainment including bowling, snooker and pubs with Irish music. I always enjoy participating in fun events organised during the summer and visiting beautiful places which make me fall in love with Ireland and the Irish culture.
Have you thought about your future plans when you have completed your PhD?
I do not make any plans. I believe in enjoying the present moment and will give my best in what I am doing at the present moment. I love to do research and would prefer a post-doctoral position after my PhD. I am also a good cook and singer, so I have an urge to explore these hidden talent in my life!
In future, I could become an academic, a data scientist in the IT industry, a singer, a guitarist, a chef, stay in Ireland, or any other country in the world. In short, I will decide to fly through the air and live in the sunlight and enjoy life as much as I can.
Celebrating Holi Hindu Spring Festival (festival of colours) at DCU All Hallows Campus