Fall 2021

Student Spotlights: getting to know our CS students

There is no question that the Department of Computer Science is home to amazing faculty, staff, and students. I wanted to provide an opportunity for those inside and outside the department to learn about our students. The Student Spotlight provides a platform to tell our students unique backgrounds, experiences, and stories. After reading, I know that you will agree- our students are incredible.

Thanks for reading! - Martin Marquez, Director of Academic and Support Services


Shreyas Khandekar

Shreyas is a junior pursuing dual degrees: BS in Computer Science and BSBA in Management Information Systems. He recently interned with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) at Bloomington. Shreyas was awarded the "Best in Class Competition Winner" at HPE-Bloomington for his internship experience.
Where are you from originally? What high school did you attend?
I was born in New Delhi, India and have lived there for most of my life. I finished up my High School from Modern School, Barakhamba Road, New Delhi which is one of the premier education institutes in the country and just recently held its centennial celebrations.

Why did you decide to attend UA?
It was a big decision to move halfway across the world for college, but with the University of Arizona, I found a great combination of majors that represented my interests. I am double majoring in Computer Science and Management Information Systems. With the ever-evolving complexities in business and its widening chasm from the world of computers, I wanted to bring those two aspects of any organization together to minimize the frictions between innovation and industry. With the education I get from The Department of Computer Science and Eller, I will be able to realize this goal. The big scholarship was just the icing on the cake.

Why did you select CS as your major?
With hordes of people working for the computer revolution, only Henry Edward Roberts stated, "I'm going to put one on your desk". Millions were front-runners in computing but only Steve Jobs said, "I'll put one in your pocket". Out of the millions, only one kindles the spark to ignite a new era into a full-fledged revolution that transforms the way of life for a common man. The revolutionary transformations which changed human existence for the better inspire me. Envisaging myself as the niche league of technocrats capacitated to institute constructive transformations for an overall benefit, my early interest in mathematics and science exemplified my persona as tailor-made for the world of computers. I vision a future where, as leaders of academia and industry, we do not create products, rather we create solutions to transform lives. Beyond mere gizmos and the internet, Computer Science is a medium through which a successful sustainable society can be nurtured. Desirous of working for the greater good, I seek to leverage my problem-solving abilities to bridge the gap between ideas and code and create secure and connected humanity and I surmise that here, there exist several creative ideas that inspire the panacea of all human ills.

Tell us about the Bloomington Intern Program. What did you do during this internship?
Over this summer I interned with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) as part of the core team developing the Chapel programming language. Chapel is a modern parallel programming language that is meant to challenge the status quo in parallel computing today. Due the to remote nature of the work HPE divided its interns into "geographical" groups, even though their location had little to do with what group they were assigned. So even though most of the Chapel team is based out of Seattle and I was in North Carolina for the summer, I was assigned to the Bloomington, MN site along with about 50 other Interns working on various different projects at HPE. I worked on several tasks as part of the Chapel team including improving documentation, fixing bugs, and adding additional functionality. My primary project revolved around adding support for two open-source libraries in Chapel - Apache Arrow and Parquet. Apache Arrow describes an in-memory format to store data that is an open standard for any language to use. It cuts down translation time between different representations of data in memory to almost zero. Such a data structure has a lot of applications in the high-performance computing (HPC) industry. By enabling Chapel to interact with Apache Arrow and its data structures along with the ability to read and write to Parquet files we further the use cases of the Chapel programming language. As part of the Bloomington Site, I participated in the Best-in-Class competition for that site where I presented what I had done over the course of my internship to a panel of judges from various positions within HPE. I was adjudged to be the winner of that competition.

What are your career goals?
As I outlined earlier, I am a big believer in amalgamating the tech and business aspects of an organization. The rate at which jobs are evolving makes it very hard to predict what I might be doing in the future. But I realize that only at the forefront of innovation will I be able to have the most impact using my skillset. I want to work in the software engineering field but also make sure that I am able to effectively manage and communicate my team's goals and requirements with the management to maximize these synergy gains from working together efficiently. It will lead to more effective solutions with less resentment of corporate aspects and let the researcher focus on their innovations.

What do you enjoy doing outside of school/free time?
I like to spend my free time in more expressive outlets like music (singing or instrumental) or more relaxed activities like stargazing and watching meteor showers and comets. I also love to travel; I will jump at every feasible opportunity and in the past three years I have toured Denmark, Sweden, the Andaman Islands, most of the US East coast down from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida up till Niagara Falls in New York, Colorado, San Francisco, and even Alaska. I'm a glutton for novel experiences and next I'm thinking of going to the new board game café on university blvd for their trivia night.

Something interesting about yourself (unique skills, experiences, - chess master; dog trainer; certified public accountant; climbed mt kilimanjaro)
I am a certified scuba diver, I've broken both my knees during skiing (on independent occasions haha), I'm trained in playing the Electronic Keyboard from Trinity College as well as in Indian Classical Singing. I can speak 3 languages, I've never had a Capri Sun.