Saugat Pandey

Computer Science & Engineering
Degree pursuing: PhD in computer science
Hometown: New Delhi, India

Where did you complete your undergraduate degree?
Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin

Please provide your lab and a description of research.
I am currently working under Dr. Alvitta Ottley, understanding visual literacy and applying visualization tools in medical decision-making focusing on both doctors and patients.

What played into your decision to get a graduate engineering degree?
A combination of research experience, teaching assistantships and summer projects with various faculty members at Beloit College motivated me to pursue a graduate engineering degree at WashU.

Why did you pick WashU?
After I decided on pursuing graduate studies, WashU was the first school that came to my mind. I visited WashU before to present my research work at the Midwest Undergraduate Consortium.

The medium-sized campus and the collaborative nature of the research labs are some of the main reasons I picked WashU to pursue my graduate studies. I also like the idea of "small town, big opportunities" and WashU is an ideal place for it.

What was your favorite course and why?
It will be a tie between Introduction to Visualization by Dr. Alvitta Ottley and Machine Learning by Dr. Netanel Raviv.

Visualization has been one of the most insightful courses for me about understanding the use of visualizations in various fields. It has also helped me shape my research interests. Machine Learning, on the other hand, has been one of the most challenging courses I have taken so far due to my limited background in machine learning. It was really interesting and I feel like I learned a lot.

Who is your favorite instructor and why?
My favorite instructor is Dr. Alvitta Ottley, not because she is my advisor, but because I enjoy her teaching skills. She explains everything with confidence and involves group discussion during every lecture. Her class discussions have helped me a lot with brainstorming for research topics.

What advice would you give to a new student?
There will be obstacles on your way to success. It is all about how you overcome these obstacles. Don't stress yourself and take a break whenever necessary.

What is your favorite thing about St. Louis?
It is probably the nearby restaurants, museums and Forest Park.

What campus activities or groups would you recommend to a new student?
I would recommend going to happy hours and joining organizations like the Association of Graduate Engineering Students to socialize and take part in organizing fun events.

What are your plans for the future?
I have not decided yet, but, I would like to explore research-based positions in both industry and academia.