Yep, its true! I just defended my Ph.D. dissertation yesterday! w00t! w00t! The defense presentation went quite well and I had all the paper work turned in today. A few minor updates to my document and I should be done. I was back in the lab today and attended the CSEE colloquium talks and then the Hi Tea. Doesn't feel like I am no longer a grad student. But it is time for me to move on.
I am real excited about my new position: I will be joining Microsoft Live Labs and moving to Seattle next month!! w00t! Live Labs is a wonderful place and I am absolutely thrilled at the opportunity to work with so many smart folks there. When I interviewed at Live Labs I just knew for sure that this is where I wanted to go. It is a fun place and a perfect match especially for the type of stuff I am passionate about.
Everyone has been asking me about how I feel now that I am done? It hasn't sunk in yet, but all I can say is that I just feel glad to have finally completed my Ph.D. I feel honored that I am Prof. Finin's protege. There is so much I have learned from my advisor and many qualities that I still aspire for. Prof. Joshi has been equally instrumental in guiding my research and ensuring my progress, for which I feel grateful. There are many colleagues at UMBC who have enriched my skills and I feel my school (and definitely the lab!) has been a second home. A special shout out to my good friend and academic sibling Pranam Dr. Kolari. Also, through various internships during my academic years, I have been fortunate to have collaborated with many brilliant researchers who have been inspirational to me. I think I was also lucky to find myself doing research at just the right point of time in Web's history where things are changing so quickly and becoming richer and more social. This has been incredibly exciting for my research. Most of all I feel thankful to my parents, my family, friends and so many people who totally believed in me. Thank you all for always being there for me.
On Monday, I will be heading home to India for a few days to spend some time with my family. Blogging might be intermittent for a while. :-)