Spring graduate Anindya Bijoy Das receives Karas Award
May 18, 2022 - by Sarah Igram
Shortly before defending his dissertation this past April, Dr. Anindya Bijoy Das learned he had been selected as a Karas Award winner for Outstanding Dissertation.
Established by Dr. George Karas, who retired from his position as Associate Dean of the Graduate College in 1995, the Karas Award honors students with superior dissertations in four rotating disciplines. Das, who earned his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering this spring, is this year’s winner in the Mathematical and Physical Sciences and Engineering discipline.
“This award means a lot to me. Previously, I have received awards within my department, but a university-level award like Karas Award will not only make my CV stronger, but also will be a big motivation for me to do some more impactful work in the future,” Das said.
Das’s dissertation, “Coded approaches for straggler-resilient distributed matrix computations: numerical stability, sparsity and leveraging partial computations,” is a fundamental contribution to his field of study.
“During this current era of big data, it is quite impractical use just one or a few computers for necessary computations. Things could be done faster if we used many computers in parallel. This is called distributed computations,” Das explained. “My research is basically on how to mitigate the slower nodes in distributed computations in an efficient manner, where the efficiency could be measured by required time, cost, and level of accuracy.” If Das’s methods of distributed computations are incorporated, many of the machine learning processes will be faster while still being similarly accurate.
Das completed his undergraduate studies at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology before coming to Iowa State for graduate school. He chose Iowa State because of its accomplished faculty members who shared his research interests.
In the four years he spent working toward his doctorate, Das published conference papers and research articles that have already been cited numerous times by other scholars. His dissertation is the culmination of that research.
“It felt very nice when I could see the results of my hard work over those four years in a single document,” he said.
Previously, Das received both a Research Excellence Award and a Teaching Excellence Award from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. His major professor, Dr. Aditya Ramamoorthy, nominated him for the Karas Award.
“Anindya is clearly one of the top students in our program; he has made fundamental research contributions, demonstrated superior teaching/communication skills and been an active participant within the CyMath program (an initiative within ECE at Iowa State for helping elementary school children from under-represented groups with Math),” Ramamoorthy wrote in his nomination letter.
Das graduated with his doctorate on May 12 and is now starting a postdoctoral position at Purdue University, where he will continue to work on different applications of distributed computations.