Pradyoth Shandilya
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Who am I?

A curious geek and explorer


Me!
Arguing about which series is better, the Famous Five or the Hardy Boys

Me!
My family and I at a temple in Darjeeling



From when I was a kid, I remember being very curious and always asking questions about literally everything. My parents were very patient with me and always tried to answer my questions intuitively. As both of them are from a semi-academia background, I consider myself lucky because of the mindset with which I was brought up. My mother, who is a professor of English, encourgaed me to start reading books. This was the best thing that ever happened to me because there was simply so much that I could read about and I was never bored. I also ended up learning something new everyday. More about my love for books later...

I also got to travel a lot. My father, who worked as a nuclear reactor physicist in the Department of Atomic Energy, India, had to visit different establishments in different parts of the country and would take us quite often along with him. During this, I explored a lot. And here's the best part, although I had no idea what science was, I was attracted by how glamarous it looked. When a conference was going on, I'd sit and watch it from the outside and see my father drawing stuff on the blackboard and people nodding their heads appreciatively. I so badly wanted to be a part of that.

During these visits, I got to explore the sandy beaches of Mumbai, the snowy mountains of Sikkim, and guess what, the little town of Jülich in Germany. Yep, I studied a part of my second grade there. I loved my studies there for one main reason. I had been taught multiplication as a set of tables to remember, but at school in Germany, when the teacher saw me struggle in memorizing these tables (my ability to memorize stuff is bad), she told me about how multiplication is simply a fancy way of adding things. I was so excited that day!

Long story short, these opportunities and a lot more since then, has equipped me to take on life's problems with a positive attitude. I can find solutions to problems creatively and if I can't find a solution to a particulary difficult problem, that's alright. I take a little break and then attack it. If all problems were easy to solve, life wouldn't be that interesting, would it?

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Why Engineering?

Because it feels like it's Physics's cooler younger brother


Me!
A scaled down prototype of a Smider road divider for road automation we built at the GIZ Techathon, Hyderabad, India (our team was placed first, by the way)


Throughout high school, I was deeply interested in Math and Physics. I had started reading books like Boas's "Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences", Resnick's "Introduction to Special Relativity", and one of my favourites, Beiser's "Concepts of Modern Physics". Although I loved these books, I wanted to do something a little more pragmatic. On doing a little bit of research, I decided that the best way for me to go about would be to either go into experimental physics, or electrical engineering. My father is a physicist, and he said that electrical engineering could help me develop a deeper understanding of the practical world because it was easier, and then, if I still had the inclination to go into physics, I could contribute there. My neighbour happens to work in the electronics departement at the Raman Research Institute, Bangalore. She is an electrical engineer, but works all day with studying distant stars through radio astronomy.

And this is why, I ended up doing my engineering.

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What I have done

What I have done since I started college three years ago


Me!
Spectrogram of data recieved at the Ooty Array Telescope from the Vela Pulsar (duration of 1 second)


I have tried a lot of fields in engineering to see where I fit in. I was bad at many, but I was good at many too. Here are some of the things I have been doing-

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My Skills

Things I believe I am good at


Me!
Programming the automatic headlight glare blocker on OpenCV (a project that I worked on with Mr. Don Engel, Head of Design, Hadron Industries, Alexandria, VA, USA)


As Scott Adams once said, "Every skill you acquire doubles your odds of success". I have spent a lot of time trying to acquire new skills throughout my life. As a student in school, I tried learning some Vedic Mathematics, which are mainly tricks to solve arithmetic problems quickly. I still use some of them to this day. A few years ago, when my parents gifted me my very first motorcycle(a Royal Enfield Thunderbird with a dual spark plug 350cc engine), I learnt how to fix many of the basic issues like low oil, loose chain or even basic engine cleaning. But as for my skills that help me directly in the industry and research, the most important ones are-

My skills



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Awards

Important events that I participated in and a few competitions I won


winner
The Smider team's victory photo after winning the national level hackathon held by Bosch, Dell and GIZ in Hyderabad. P.S: At this point, we had all been up for over 70 hours straight


When you dedicate all your time to work and build something, it's nice to get some recognition every now and then. Here are some events I participated in and a few awards I have won-

Few Notable Awards and Participations



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Hobbies

Hobbies that keep my mind fresh and running


bike_fixing
One of my dogs (Teddy) and I fixing my bike's chain


Fixing and riding my bike has quickly risen to be my favourite hobby. I learn a lot about my bike everyday and the direct result of me treating my bike well is a great ride every day. It's very relaxing and as I live near the outskirts of Bangalore, there are some really scenic spots I can visit very quickly

library
One of my collections of technical books
I love reading and I read a wide range of books. When I am bored, I choose between fiction and technical books usually. A book I just finished is "The Cobra" by Fredrick Forsyth. A technical book that I am trying to read now is "Introduction to Electrodynamics" by Griffiths. With my parents being avid readers, I have had access to very interesting and diverse books all my life. One of my favourite books is the Readers' Digest's "Guide to the Places of the World". My father bought this book and it is so old that when it was published, East and West Germany were still different countries. Reading different books has given me a decent perspective about many things. This is a hobby I would not trade for all the money in the world
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electronics
Opening and sometimes destroying circuits in real electronic devices
Real world electronics appliances are so cool! I love opening these devices and seeing how they look inside. It's also fun to try and figure out what certain parts are. Usually, I open keyboards and headsets because spoilt ones are so readily available, but once in a while, I get to lay my hands on some rare devices like in the picture above. The Samsung Control Board is particularly interesting because it contains a 220V AC to 5V DC converter which is incredibly useful in amateur electronics projects
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Contact.


Want to talk to me? I'd be happy to answer any queries or assist you if you need any help.

Bangalore, IN

Phone: +91 9620427643 or 8310951589

Email: pradyoth@ieee.org


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