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Community > Saurabh Mittal
Saurabh Mittal

Saurabh Mittal

Founder and Prinicipal Scientist

Dunip Technologies

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Saurabh Mittal is a member of:

My Advice
There's no substitute for hard work, patience, and ambition.
Most Rewarding Moment
The most rewarding teaching experience has been with by doctoral advisor at the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at the University of Arizona. He is a scientist par excellence and there are a very few things that he doesn't know :) At his age of around 70, his enthusiasm and quest for knowledge is unmatched. Before I knew myself, he had faith in me, in things I would achieve and accomplish in time to come. I learnt how an experienced and world renowned scientist could come to a level of student and empower him to the best the student could become. In the same research lab and the same department where I was a graduate student, after getting PhD, I came on the other side of the profession and became a Research Assistant Professor. I taught masters and Phd students. What I found was the following: In addition to the syllabus, engaging students in your objectives is a rewarding experience in itself. This brief experience motivated me to write a book, a graduate text, coupled with my understanding of the subject at-hand.
Family Background
My father was a post graduate Biology teacher. He taught senior high school students. He was a multi-faceted individual, a handy-man, an author, an entrepreneur and a social activist who worked for betterment of India. He passed away in 2011 and published his life experiences in a book titled "Time Bound Justice" (2008), published by Atlantic Publishers, India. My mother has been a Sanskrit teacher teaching high school students. My younger brother is a multimedia design specialist. I have a wife, an MBA professional and a three year old son.
Strongest Subject
My strongest subject has been Science. All the credit goes to my late father who had a great scientific temperament and throughout my childhood kept his focus on the fundamental questions of "why and how". He focused on doing and building stuff. He could make art, was handy at home and was an avid reader. His thoughts and discussions ranged from world politics to constitutions to engineering skills. He continues to inspire me in my thoughts. He allowed me to question and research anything I do not understand. Today, I am a Scientist because of his temperament.
Favorite Non-Academic books
There have been couple of books that have made an indelible impression on my psyche. The first one is SrimadBhagwad Gita. My mom being a Sanskrit teacher, gave me enough motivation to understand the deeper meaning as these books took center stage in our house. Most notably, A commentary on Bhagwad Gita by Rohit Mehta which I read while I was doing my engineering in India (some 14 years back). During the same time, a book onEmotional Intelligenceby Daniel Goleman made a huge impact on how to develop social skills and how emotions can be constructively used to propel yourself. Another book on a similar theme by Scott Peck, titled The Road Less Travelled helped me to channelize the mind and emotional energies toward a path of satisfaction, growth, acceptance and fulfillment. During the same time, I came across the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of America, that inspired me to the core. Later, I came across books likeEinstein's Dreamsthat take your imagination to the highs you never thought possible. It is my belief that in this short human history of a few thousand years, there is nothing you have imagined that has not been imagined before. The ideas are all 'out there' starting from the sages in India to the latest Internet startups!!! What changes in all the different eras is how one applies these ideas to the context at hand. To see the future, you have to look at history. I have come to love history and there is nothing more impactful than the stories of our forefathers (on a global level) who breathed before us. I love autobiographies and the actors who played their part, whether founding a religion or developing a scientific theory. What matters is: Given the opportunity, and should you choose to take that, how you do your piece and did you do it well enough? Nothing else matters.



Outlook about increase students’ participation
Students, the young blood, have one thing that no age group has. They have enthusiasm and nothing is "impossible" until they are told by their failures or by their superiors that they "can't" do or have it. It is my opinion that students brimming up with dreams and ambitions do their due diligence before putting their energy behind any cause. Nation building take a whole lot more than a mere idea. Sure, ideas are needed but an idea in its nascent stage is like a flower bud that is unprepared to weather a storm. It needs to be protected, nurtured and taken care of, before it realizes the dream it meant to be. We need to have think-tanks where such participation is encouraged from our young blood, where they can "own" their ideas and with help/supervision from Government and/or Industrial houses, we could examine the feasibility of such young perspectives and ambitions. This energy needs to be channeled. With majority of our population comprising of youth, lack of such opportunities will result in misdirection.
Outlook about way to raise quality education
I believe, infrastructure-wise you can buy the whole world and still can't make a student teach. You can buy all sorts of technological gadgets with a smoke-screen that you are making a 'better classroom' but the fundamentals of imparting knowledge won't change. Half of the world's population lives in eastern hemisphere and to the best of my knowledge, 90% of Masters and Phd students in American universities are Asian students. So, what's the takeaway. The Best of the students are coming from eastern countries where the classroom is not as advanced as the western nation but what is driving them to higher education is their quest of knowledge and opportunity to move ahead. This thirst for knowledge can only be strengthened by investing in the student-teacher dialogue and inspiring the younger generation to pursue advanced knowledge. If the technology is rightly used to better the student-teacher dialogue, India with his strong talent pool will forge ahead in a new era.
Future of Indian Education System
In the next few years, my hope is that we will see a lot of technologies getting developed closing the student-teacher gap. There is a lot a teacher can learn from today's student. We will see symbiotic educational practices shaping up.
Most Challenges facing by students
The biggest challenge facing by students today is information paralysis. They are distracted and continuously orienting themselves to "focus". In our age (some two decades back), it was easy to focus. In today's age, they are flooded with so many information channels that it is becoming increasingly difficult to stay above the base noise levels. They are either not asking the right questions or are not led on the path to right questions. There are too many questions on their mind and lack of direction from the older generation (or their teacher) in this new Information Age is resulting in a lot of unwanted energy dissipation.
My inspiring personality
My Role Model has been continuously changing as I moved ahead in my career. When I was in school, my role model was an engineer because there was none in my family tree and taking that jump was something big. When I went to an engineering school in India, my role model pursued higher education in US. When I was done with my education in US, my role model founded and advised companies and managed venture capital funding. Whenever I thought I have matched my role model's abilities, he dialed up a notch for himself telling me, either you continue the chase or you don't need to :) Can I find a role model today...Sure? Do I need one...Maybe!!! It is my opinion that your role model should not be the only vision you have for yourself. He can show you the lighted path to an extent but he is not your journey. You create your own path. The only question is: Do you have the WILL to pursue the dream, stand by your decisions and move beyond it? Your role model is only a living testimony that what you aspire to do has been done by another human and you can do it too. There is no reason you have to stop when you have done so.
My priorities
When scheduling my time, I tend to do the easy things first. The low hanging fruits, where less doing gives more results. There is always a quantum jump in your energy level when 'something' gets done. The more stuff you get done, the more charged up you stay. So, in between those medium term and long term goals, I ensure there are plenty of short-term goals that keep me charged up. Most importantly, never schedule anything at the cost of your wife, your kids and your parents. If your goals are not aligned with theirs, and/or their support is missing, you are not going anywhere. One’s achievements are only valuable when you have your loved ones to share its joy. Reaching at the top of pinnacle alone is no fun.  
Most Important Career Decisions
There are a couple of them. The first one was to pursue higher studies in one of the top colleges in US. The second one was to continue education while pursuing a full-time job. In my case, I was fortunate to have been offered a full-time job in the same university department where I was pursuing doctoral studies. And lastly, having an entrepreneurial bent of mind, setting up a Research & Development company,Dunip Technologies, to pursue the things I have come to love in science and technology, regardless of my day-time job.
My Accomplishment
Out of many honors, I have received, the 'Golden Eagle' recognition, awarded by US Department of Defense (DoD) in 2006, tops the list. Not because it is the highest honor that US DoD gives it to their contractors, but because I never competed for it. I was doing the job I loved and this award came as a pleasant surprise.  Next in the list, is my book, released in February 2013. This book is an outcome of a three-year long labor and the longest anything occupied my mind and my family.
Future expectation
I see myself doing what I love doing best. Breaking new grounds in science, research and technologies that advance the education and the quality of life. In couple of years, I see my startup, Dunip Technologies, playing a major role in my life and in society.
Outlook about Indian educational System
We have come to a point in history where we need to make certain amendments in our education system. Gone are the days, when the information always flew from the teacher to the student. Sure, that has been the epitome of the knowledge deliverance by the Guru but that paradigm was based on the assumption that the student was at Guru's disposal and in his total control. In the age of Internet, for the first time in human history, we are in a situation where students are connected to an information gateway and can 'search' for stuff. Internet is not going away and will never in the near future. It is a reality we will have to accept and the new generation will take it for granted just the way we take electricity and telephone for granted. The new generation will take Internet and touch-screens as their birth right! My three year old navigates iPad much better than me. He can't read/write but the way he navigates, he "knows" where to go! In my opinion, the teachers of today should be focused on inculcating the art of 'questioning'. The power of knowledge starts with a question. The question in one's mind formulates one's "search". Then you are on an exciting journey to find the answer. Sometimes the answer is short, and sometimes, it can take a whole life, or more than one life to arrive. The education system of India, with its curriculum is fine with some caveats. The curriculum is one of the best, I have come to appreciate. However, what is needed is instructions and training for teachers to frame the syllabus in two facets: the actual standard curriculum and various practical activities that start with questions that students are forced to find answers and advance in the standard curriculum. It is important for the new education system to incorporate student as an integral part of advancing the curriculum rather than just the teacher to finish the yearly syllabus. The old fashioned teacher would otherwise fade into the oblivion as they can't match student's energy anyway and the student of today is smart enough to find a teacher in his information network that can answer his questions. The education system of tomorrow has to understand and develop the student-teacher "dialogue", lack of which will keep both the sides dissatisfied.
Connect with Saurabh Mittal on Linkedin
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