Student Debarati Kundu Awarded Qualcomm's Roberto Padovani Fellowship

Monday, November 24, 2014

In recognition of her outstanding performance as a summer intern, Qualcomm awarded WNCG Ph.D. student Debarati Kundu the Roberto Padovani Fellowship. 

The fellowship was created in 2008 to recognize Qualcomm’s corporate research and development interns who demonstrate superior technical performance during their summer internship. Roberto Padovani was Qualcomm’s chief technology officer for nearly 10 years and was a leading innovator for the company.

The winners receive a cash award of $5,000. In addition, they are eligible to receive a return bonus of $12,000 if they return to Qualcomm Corporate R&D for a second internship or full-time position.

“I would like to thank the great team I was fortunate enough to work with and the numerous awesome mentors, both professional and personal, who have crossed my path,” Debarati states.

During her engineering internship, Debarati worked with the Qualcomm Corporate R&D team in Bangalore, India. Debarati was directed by Dr. Dhananjay Gore, along with manager Dr. Pawan Baheti and her mentor, WNCG alumnus Dr. Rajiv Soundararajan. 

Debarati’s research with Qualcomm focused on developing algorithms for automatic online handwriting recognition of Devanagari script and their implementation on the Android platform. Devanagari script is used by India’s nearly 310 million native Hindi speakers, with many more millions speaking and writing it as their second or third language.

Debarati shared some advice for fellow students.

“Never stop trying,” Debarati states. “I did not get an internship offer at Qualcomm in 2011 or 2012, despite two interviews.” 

In this case, Debarati’s patience paid off. Out of hundreds of summer interns, only seven receive this prestigious recognition each year.

Throughout her internship, Debarati also participated in Qualcomm India’s Intern IdeaQuest, where each team of five interns had to prototype a new idea. Her team implemented a secure speaker-recognition system on MATLAB.

At UT, Debarati’s research interests lie at the intersection of image and video processing, computer graphics and machine learning. She is advised by Prof. Brian Evans.