Q & A with Neeraj Iyer, 2012 Alumnus, MS Computer Science

Neeraj Iyer, 2012 Alumnus Computer Science, IUPUIWhere are you currently working?

I am currently a Software Development Engineer in Test at Microsoft.  I am working in the SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) Engine Team.  My role is to develop and test various aspects involved in the working of the analysis services.  I work primarily in ensuring the quality of the product and also in development of new features in the product.  I work with the SQL Server division and the Office team for powerpivot addin.  I started here in June 2012.  

What do you enjoy most about your current position?

I am totally in love with my work here at Microsoft.  I have huge responsibility in the team and the code I write impacts millions of users worldwide.  This gives both a sense of pride and responsibility that motivates me to put more than 100% of my efforts and focus to achieve highest quality which Microsoft takes pride in.  Microsoft offers me a lot of growth options by providing a lot of learning opportunities and letting me do something I love.  I am happy when it is Monday so that I can get back to my "High Impact"  work.

What accomplishment are you most proud of at this point?

I would say I am most proud of my thesis work.  My thesis required me to have knowledge of Image processing, multicore programming and a lot of research and hard work.  I had no prior knowledge and worked from scratch under great guidance provided by my advisors Dr. Tsechpenakis and Dr. Raje.  I also got a chance to see my code live at work which was quite satisfying.  That by far is the highlight of my Master's at IUPUI.  I also got a chance to come to IU Bloomington for recruitment representing Microsoft which was a lot of fun.  I hope I can come to IUPUI campus for campus recruitment in the future.

How did your time at IUPUI help you reach your goals?

IUPUI helped make my computer science concepts strong.  It helped me focus and always strive to perform better by being offered coursework that was both practical and fundamentally strong.  Doing a thesis made me realize that research is very difficult yet interesting work and working on something interesting is quite fulfilling.  It made me put in long hours and taught me patience to achieve the desired goals and results.

Neeraj Iyer with his graduate advisor, Gavriil Tsechpenakis, Assistant Professor in Computer Science at IUPUI Neeraj Iyer with his graduate advisor, assistant professor Gavriil Tsechpenakis

What was your favorite class?

I loved Programming Languages and Design and Analysis of Algorithms.  Both these core courses helped me strengthen my computer science concepts and helped me in critical and logical thinking and problem solving ability.  These courses were not the easiest courses but I now realize the impact these courses have made on me.  I strongly encourage all students to take these two courses.  I also had a lot of fun working on my thesis under the guidance of Dr. Tsechpenakis.

What is your lasting impression of the Department of Computer and Information Science?

The Department of Computer and Information Science was a "Home Away from Home".  For someone from the other side of the world, the department accepted me with open arms.  They helped me achieve my dreams and made my stay in Indianapolis the best two years of my student life.  The professors and the staff are very approachable and help the students a lot.  They helped by guiding me through the entire program and also helped me get an on campus job and assistantship to help pay the fees.  I have become a strong proponent of our department and keep encouraging all my friends to apply here for their bachelor’s, master's and Ph.D. programs. 

Finally, I would like to express my express sincere appreciation to my advisors Dr. Gavriil Tsechpenakis and Dr. Rajeev Raje for their constant support during my master's at IUPUI.  Dr. Tsechpenakis was more than a mentor to me.  He was very approachable and helped me at each phase of my master's.  He was a friend when I needed motivation, a professor when I needed guidance and helped me be proud of my work.  Dr. Raje also helped me know my interest and guided me throughout my master’s.  They not only helped me with my studies but also helped me by teaching me time management skills and were always welcome for my doubts.  I would not have gotten my dream job without Dr. Tsechpenakis and Dr. Raje and also the entire CS staff guiding me through each stage of my master’s.