My name is Nimisha Sharath and I live in India.
At the age of 10, a cancerous tumor was detected in my grandmother’s throat and was told that a software detected what the experienced doctors had missed. Amazed by the depth of influence a software can have on human lives, I developed an interest towards ‘smart’ computer software. This interest only grew and led me to opt for an undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering from the prestigious National Institute of Technology, Karnataka (NITK), among the top 10 engineering colleges in India. Over the years, I have developed a passion for data science and game theory, which I intend on pursuing further by applying to the Masters in Data Science Program at the University of Washington.
I secured the prestigious Indian Academy of Sciences fellowship to work under Dr Mrinal Ghosh, faculty of the Department of Mathematics at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (IISc). I experimented with stochastic game theory and simulated a basket ball game. Using the Von Neumann Min Max theorem and linear programming, I was able to devise winning strategies for a team of players. Impressed by my interest towards mathematics in general, Dr Ghosh formally introduced me to probability and its applications which was the foundation for my interest towards statistical learning. Following this, I created a pattern recognition library for Quip, a bioinformatics tool as part of my Bioinformatics course in college.
During junior year, I was selected to be one of the 40 participants of the CMU Winter School in Technology Supported Education organized by Carnegie Mellon University. Here, I worked with Dr Bhiksha Raj and Dr Rita Singh, faculty of CMU in analyzing what makes images popular on social media. Based on social, emotional, geographical cues and image content my teammates and I performed linguistic, geospatial, probabilistic and statistical analysis on a dataset of 20 million Flickr images. We found that the advertisements featured on the images correlate with comments on it and used ARMA models to predict future trends in advertising strategies. I enjoyed implementing machine learning algorithms as part of this internship and developed an interest towards wrangling data.
In my junior year, I collaborated with a doctor at Mangalore Regional Hospital to create a mobile app that dyscalculic children can play. This game recommended appropriate levels of play based on strengths and weaknesses of the child during and after a complete game. This project taught me about recommendation systems as well as data visualization.
For the summer of my junior year, I secured the prestigious MITACS Scholarship offered by the Canadian Government to pursue a research internship in Concordia University, Montreal under Dr Chun Wang of the Department of Computer Science. The project involved developing an algorithm that would reduce the cost of home health care services for residents of Montreal given the existing system of nurse dispatches to the patient’s homes. The project involved developing an algorithm that would reduce the cost of home health care services for residents of Montreal given the existing system of nurse dispatches to the patient’s homes. Using Vickrey auctions, with incomplete information, the nurses performed bidding on the appointments requested by patients. An innovative approach developed during the internship improved the efficiency of the existing system and resulted in a publication inIndustrial Engineering and Engineering Management (IEEM), 2015, IEEE with the title “A game theory based resource scheduling model for cost reduction in home health care.” With this internship, I was able to apply both game theory as well as data science concepts to a real world problem.
Working for the advancement of healthcare technologies has been a long standing dream of mine.
I believe being involved in the research going on in data science at University of Washington, especially with respect to handling enormous amounts of medical data would bring me a step closer to achieving this dream. The university’s distinguished faculty, world class infrastructure and great scope for interdisciplinary interaction will supplement my efforts and provide a holistic approach towards realizing my dream.
I sincerely believe that I can make a difference at the eScience Institute at the University of Washington to help make more sense of data for a noble social cause.
Fund me and help me realize my dream of making ours a better world!