December 24, 2022

In a candid conversation, Kaustav Mukhopadhyaya (Neuroscience-based AI learner, Data science and ML enthusiastic, former Mitacs Scholar 2022, LPI scholar USA 22, Nanoscience Research intern at University of Calgary, Canada | Research intern at IIT Delhi | IIT Indore |), an intellectual individual, shared insights into his extraordinary journey—spanning across diverse realms from neuroscience-based AI to astrophysical fluid dynamics. A former Mitacs Scholar 2022 and LPI scholar in the USA, Mukhopadhyaya, illuminated his path in an exclusive interview.

When asked about his choice of engineering, Mukhopadhyaya revealed that while his passion initially inclined towards chemistry, paternal guidance led him to engineering, a decision he embraced over time.

Outside his academic commitments, Mukhopadhyaya finds solace in books and occasional Netflix indulgences like any regular enthusiast. Describing his typical day, he emphasized setting daily routines and often working even on holidays, aligning closely with the routines of others.

His areas of interest range from fluid dynamics and astrophysics to computational sciences and robotics, showcasing a wide spectrum of expertise. When questioned about his information sources for projects and internships, Mukhopadhyaya emphasized reliance on websites and basic internet searches.

In the pursuit of international internships, Kaustav Mukhopadhyaya applied for three prestigious programs: LPI Summer Scholar USA (NASA), Mitacs GRI 22 in Canada, and CERN in Switzerland. While securing positions in LPI and Mitacs, he encountered a rejection from CERN. Mukhopadhyaya opted against the partially funded opportunity in the USA, leading him to commit to the Mitacs scholarship in Canada after a series of rigorous interviews, marking his official designation as a Mitacs scholar.

Reflecting on proud moments, Mukhopadhyaya described his journey as ongoing, emphasizing the importance of continual growth and avoiding complacency. Regarding his approach to errors, he acknowledged making mistakes but stressed the value of learning from them.

Discussing his most significant achievement in engineering, he reminisced about landing a research internship at IISER Pune in his first year. Although unable to publish his work due to guidance constraints, the experience remained pivotal.

His inspiration for diverse internships and research stemmed from perusing the profiles of accomplished individuals on platforms like LinkedIn, guiding his pursuit of varied experiences.

When reflecting on his internship experiences, Kaustav Mukhopadhyaya, primarily a mechanical engineer, found himself engaged in work beyond the usual scope of his field. While expecting to delve into design or software-related tasks, he discovered himself immersed in projects with a significant chemical background. This led him to navigate the realms of chemical, electrochemical, and bio fields, notably engaging in cancer research—an experience he described as fantastic.

Regarding the engineering field, Mukhopadhyaya shared nuanced views. He expressed dissatisfaction with the prevailing mindset in several private engineering schools, where securing a job in the IT sector is considered the ultimate marker of success, citing the associated pressure as a drawback. Conversely, he admired how engineering amalgamates diverse academic disciplines such as advanced physics and mathematics. Mukhopadhyaya highlighted his ongoing pursuit of knowledge in machine learning (ML) and data science (DS) within the mechanical engineering domain, emphasizing the comprehensive nature of this field that allows him to advise software companies effectively—an aspect he particularly cherishes.

When asked about his future goals, Kaustav Mukhopadhyaya disclosed a peculiar belief of refraining from discussing his plans, fearing they might fail if spoken aloud. However, he hinted at harboring dreams of greater success while currently not actively seeking employment opportunities.

In conveying a message to his juniors in the field, Mukhopadhyaya emphasized the importance of thorough research within their areas of expertise. He stressed that understanding one's field is imperative, as it limits the ability to work effectively in other domains. Wishing them luck for the future, he encouraged them to delve into programming, implying its significance in their professional endeavors.