In Conversation with Mr Satyabrata Sarangi, Research Scholar at the University of California (UC) Davis


Satyabrata Sarangi is a PhD candidate in Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of California (UC) Davis. He received his Bachelors in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering from BPUT and a Masters in VLSI design and Bio-medical instrumentation from IIT Kharagpur, both in India. His current research interests span around energy-efficient and high-throughput lossless compression architectures, many-core processors, and SoC/FPGA architecture and logic design. He was a FPGA product engineer intern with the Programmable Solutions Group (PSG), Intel corporation at San Jose, California during the 2017-18 academic year and a SoC architecture and logic design intern with the Silicon Engineering Group (SEG), Intel corporation at Hillsboro, Oregon during the summer of 2019. He served as the President of the Indian Graduate Student Association (IGSA) at UC Davis during January 2017 – June 2018, Vice-President and President of the ECE Graduate Student Association (ECE-GSA) at UC Davis for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 academic year respectively, College of Engineering (CoE) Dean’s graduate student advisory committee member and student representative in the ECE graduate studies committee both during the 2019-20 academic year.

Satyabrata presented “Team IITKgp ” at the healthcare innovation world cup 2013 held at NYC and the team won the first runners up title with a cash prize of $12500. He received the following awards while serving as a teaching assistant – excellence in teaching award from the UC Davis ECE department for the 2015-16 academic year, one of the finalists for the UC Davis outstanding graduate student teaching award for the 2016-17 academic year, IEEE TA of the year award for the 2018-19 academic year, and CoE’s best ECE TA of the year for the 2019-20 academic year. On student leadership fronts, he received the organizational improvement award (out of ~780 on-campus student organizations) on behalf of the IGSA at UC Davis outstanding students awards ceremony 2018, UC Davis community service award (silver category) for the 2017-18 academic year, and ECE’s outstanding leadership and community engagement (group and individual) awards for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 academic year respectively. We had a detailed conversation with him, here are the excerpts,

Mr Satyabrata Sarangi

1-what is the source of inspiration for you ?

My family played a vital role in motivating me to chase my dreams all the time and undoubtedly, that’s my personal inspiration. In terms of professional inspiration, the sheer volume of technological innovations that are happening around us at a rapid rate like never before acts as a major inspirational source for me.

2- As a research scholar, how do you manage work-life balance?

Attaining a perfect work-life balance is challenging; especially, when you are a PhD student you can’t just follow a 9-5 work schedule. However, I strive my best to succeed in both work and life by prioritizing my time, planning and executing a manageable to-do list and upcoming goals, maintaining a scheduled sleep, tuning into my Spotify playlist, investing myself in various student leadership activities, going out regularly for hiking and sightseeing trips over the weekends, and most importantly, getting in regular touch with my family and like-minded folks around.

Mr Satyabrata Sarangi

3-what are the best memories of your college days ?

The college days are definitely the best and happiest phase of everyone’s life. During my undergrad at SIET becoming the first ever Synergian to graduate with a nine point CGPA, making lifelong friends, being a part of the so-called “panchu pandav gang” are definitely few of the best memories. At IIT Kharagpur I met some of the amazing professors and colleagues during my Master’s and few of the following things I would never forget like presenting “Team IIT Kgp” at the finals of the Healthcare Innovation WorldCup 2013 held in NYC, attaining stern ardors towards VLSI design, embedded systems, and computer architecture, late night trips to canteens, and attending Kshitij, spring fest, and illumination events.

the sheer volume of technological innovations that ARE happening around us at a rapid rate like never before acts as a major inspirational source for me.

Mr Satyabrata sarangi

4-Could you please tell us about your daily schedule ?

In the initial phase of my PhD it was kind of the same as the undergrad experience – attending lectures, seminars, do homeworks/quizzes, preparing for exams, and finishing your coursework. Once your research work kicks in you get busy in conducting literature survey, experiments, thinking of novel digital architectures to implementations etc. As a teaching assistant I host lab sessions and conduct discussion sessions and office hours. I also get to discuss my research with our industry collaborators and attend regular meetings with my advisor and colleagues. During non-academic hours I get myself busy in both student leadership activities and executing my social and personal goals.

Mr Satyabrata Sarangi

5-what motivates you to keep moving forward in life ?

I am a strong believer of internal motivation and that acts as a stronger factor towards driving me forward as compared to any other catalysts that deliver intrinsic or extrinsic motivations. I feel like we just need to do the little things that bring us respect, trust, happiness, and ultimately, they will drift us towards our end goals.

6-what are your hobbies ?

I love to drive around the west coast to enjoy the beautiful landscape, hiking trails, and sightseeing places. Apart from that my hobbies include photography, getting myself updated with technology innovations, student leadership work, trying out various cuisines, and playing online FIFA or chess.

7-what is the biggest challenge you have faced in your life ?

I am an ardent believer of learning everyday to push my boundaries and thereby, strengthening myself to face any challenge. However, one of the biggest challenges I had to face during my PhD university applications was the impressions of top schools abroad about my undergrad university and college, although I had a good CGPA. In fact, one of the top UK schools mentioned this as the reason for my rejection – “your undergraduate degree was equivalent to a low Upper Second class honours. Our minimum requirement for entry is an Upper Second class”. However, one thing I want to point out here is that the undergrad school can’t be a constraint for someone to dream bigger if you are conceptually sound and have good technical expertise.

Mr Satyabrata Sarangi

8- what are your current goals ?

My current research goals include drafting a few more high quality research papers in the computing paradigm. In terms of my personal and professional goals I am looking forward to wrapping up my thesis, exploring many more destinations, and keeping myself updated with the latest innovations.

9-what makes you excited about studies and why?

I feel that higher education helps us in achieving better personal development, broadening the frontiers of knowledge, and pursuing a passion apart from the practical economic benefits.

10-What are your future plans ?

I am looking forward to contributing my technical expertise in a top class industrial research group or academia post my graduation. Moreover, I want to keep myself indulged in following my passions, teaching and community services.

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