School of Computer Science, University of St Andrews
I am a Reader (~Associate Professor) at the University of St Andrews and an honorary faculty member at Queen's University Belfast. I am the 2021 recipient of the IEEE Technical Committee on the Internet Rising Star Award. I was formerly a Royal Society Short Industry Fellow to British Telecommunications plc (BT) and a Visiting Researcher at the BT Ireland Innovation Centre.
As Principal Investigator of the Edge Computing Hub funded by Rakuten Mobile, Japan,
my mission is to tackle systems-based challenges for unlocking the scientific and societal opportunities in the next Internet frontier, Edge Computing.
Watch a New Scientist video series that I contributed to on future edge and cloud computing.
I was born in Doha, Qatar to immigrant parents from Kerala, India. I did my schooling in Doha and Kerala and was fascinated by the 3C's - Crosswords, Cricket and Coins. Academically, my interests were in the Science subjects and Maths, but as a student, I never felt much appreciation for the social sciences or humanities. A Commodore-64 given by an aunt and uncle on my 9th birthday sparked my ever-growing interest in Computers.
After leaving school, I went on to do an undergraduate degree at Trivandrum, India. The four years spent away from home made me more fascinated with computers, but also helped me focus on developing my soft skills and seeking answers to more important questions of life. Subsequently, I worked in Chennai, India, for a multi-national company. I enjoyed it, but still had a desire to pursue my academic passions.
When I was offered a place to do a Masters at Reading, England on the Felix scholarship, the interview question - "how is your research going to benefit a poor farmer?" was eye-opening. This was the first time I had ever considered the societal aspects of computer science. These became guiding principles of my research as I then went on to do a PhD at Reading.
After obtaining a PhD I was privileged to gain post-doctoral experience at Halifax in Canada, St Andrews in Scotland and Belfast in Northern Ireland. During this time I submitted a ton of faculty job applications worldwide, with little to no success. I even came close to leaving academia for an opportunity in a horticulture business. Over five years I was interviewed for six lectureships and was offered three.
Finally, I joined Queen's University, Belfast, where I launched my career, and am now employed at the University of St Andrews where I am realising my vision: "to unlock the scientific and societal opportunities in the next Internet frontier, Edge Computing". My Christian faith invigorates my commitment to useful research. I now live in the historic harbour town of Carrickfergus with my wife and four children.