The Role of Data Scientists, for Today and Tomorrow

Author: R M Ramanathan

A Perspective


What we commonly label as “disruptive” is often the result of breaking the status quo. Disruptions seem to have their cycles and a few important ones come to my mind. In 1800s, we invented steam engines, cracked the math of thermodynamics, giving way to a number of derived industries: factories, locomotives, mills, etc. The lifecycle of this innovation reached its destiny sixty years later with the first ever depression. People could have been smarter and learned their lesson. But they became smarter by inventing Electricity and Magnetism just eight decades later (1880s) than the invention of steam engines. That disrupted status quo and rapid electrification took place across the world. Another eight decades later (1960s) we got transistors, computers and the beginnings of the internet. Six decades since then (2020s), we are in the cusp of another cycle. The sure candidate for next disruption is AI along with bio/nano technology.

I notice a pattern here. All disruptions happen when the previous one is mastered, done and dusted. Today we are within arms length of reaching the limits of Moore’s Law. The situation is primed for the next disruption. Amidst the evolution on doubling computing power every year and a half, the silent winner has been an exponential increase of data over the same period. Every computerized establishment saved cost, did more of the same (old) business in the same business year. Well, we homo sapiens, are too smart to run same (old) businesses. We leveraged data for intelligence and built new markets, new products and new strategies. In the last 2-3 decades of the recent technological cycle, we have progressed enough on big data technologies to enable the next disruption.

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RADAR Basics

Author: Arvind Padmanabhan

The use of pulsed RADAR for range and speed measurement


In college you study so many interesting subjects that it’s really a pity that you don’t have the opportunity to pursue most of them. You have only one life. You have to choose one discipline to focus on. In fact, to contribute most as an engineer, you have to concentrate on the important problems of your chosen discipline. But when you are starting your career, choosing a discipline is not easy. Often students will look at job availability, growth opportunities, pay scales, and so on. This is good strategy for the average student. But if you’ve proven yourself as among the best, it’s more important to make this choice based on your passion. The question is really not to ask which is a good job but rather what you are passionate about. With passion, and a willingness to learn and work smart, you can be good at any job you choose.

I have always been a communications engineer but most of my career has been about software protocols for wireless communication systems. I never got a chance to work on RADAR, which we may consider as the grand daddy of intelligent wireless communication systems. While radio broadcasting came earlier, it did not have the intelligence that RADAR brought. With RADAR, one could sense the world around without having a line of sight. RADAR was extensively used during the Second World War. Some even attribute the victory of the Allies more to RADAR than the atomic bomb. RADAR in turn contributed to the development of many other technologies in areas of astronomy, medical technology and meteorology. Today RADAR has branched into Electronic Warfare (EW) and to win the battle in the domain of EM waves is as important as winning it with physical assets.

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What Does It Take To Become a Data Scientist?

Author: Arvind Padmanabhan

Know Many Things But Master One


Many years ago I attended a training where I was given a set of cards. On one side of each card were verbs such as building, leading, analyzing, and so on. On the other side were one of four categories: People, Things, Ideas, Data. It was really a tool for personal assessment of what activities suits a person. This could then guide the individual in selecting a particular vocation and career path.

Given that data analytics is a big thing today and going to be much bigger in the coming years, I wondered if the “Data” cards had the right words. More specifically, I wanted to know for myself if I was cut out to be a data scientist. Data scientists are in short supply and in great demand. So what does it take to deal with data on a daily basis? What sort of activities can one expect?

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I Want To Be A Web Developer, Should I Learn Javascript?

Author: Imran Nazir

The Language for Full Stack Development


If you are thinking of becoming a web developer you may be aware of the many frameworks out there to help bring your projects to life. Grails for Java, Yii for PHP, Flask for Python and Ruby on Rails for Ruby are the ones I can think of from the top of my head, and I suspect that the choice of framework for most programmers is very much influenced by the language he/she is most experienced in.

Developing for the web used to follow a common pattern; that of the server returning pages in response to user actions. For example, if you filled out a form and one of the form fields was a ‘Name’ field; after clicking the submit button the server might respond with a thank you page containing the contents of the name field given in the form.

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Careers in Design Engineering

Author: Arvind Padmanabhan

Design is for everyone


Opportunities in design engineering are vast and varied. All the verticals addressed by IEDF—Aerospace, Agriculture, Automotive, Electrical & Electronics, Green Tech, IT & Computing, Medical, Telecommunications—have ample opportunities to cater to a student’s curiosity and inventiveness.

Design engineering goes beyond design. For example, a test engineer may not have much to do with design but generally his effectiveness on the job increases if he has some insight into the design. Sales and marketing teams can explain their products better and answer technical queries promptly if they have been introduced to the product’s design.

A student contemplating a career in design engineering might wonder what sort of opportunities we are talking about. We enumerate some of the important areas in which a student can contribute and be creative at the same time:

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