Hi, I'm Ashris! I am a software engineer with a background in architecture. I love building products that that engage and educate people. I studied at the MIT Media Lab at the Fluid Interfaces Group where I worked on interdisciplinary projects like an Augmented Reality app that makes physics fun and a Brain Computer Interface that tries to guess what you are thinking. I did my undergrad in IIT Kharagpur studying Architecture. You might have stumbled upon this website from India in Pixels - one of my side projects that visualizes data about India across different fields like sports, culture, economy, politics and science and has garnered over 60,000 subscribers with a total of 13 Million views.
My work style makes me oscillate between two selves - on one end, I think deeply about humans, their emotions, their desires - akin more to a poet and a philosopher. On another end, I think like a mathematician, thinking about the right tech framework, software architecture and user interface. My end goal is always to build products that have empathy engineered into them. They are able to translate a fundamental insight about human beings to a solid tech product people love to use.
P.S: To jump ahead to the projects, click here.
I was the Winner at Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017 Hackathon organized by Gupshup. I built a Messenger chatbot that helped people find their missing items by pairing them with people in a 7 kilometer radius zone who have reported a found report to the bot matching their description. Source can be found here.
My team 'Trafix' was the Finalist ( Top 10 in India ) in the GE Edison Challenge 2016. We built an app prototype that uses gamificiation to make following traffic rules fun. Trafix uses route planning algorithms on crowdsourced data to predict traffic congestion and plan individual trips in a way that optimizes the overall traffic.
I was the Quarter Finalist ( Top 40 in India ) at Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2016 for 'Pullypal', a social initiative that focuses on generating employment through rural tourism. Pullypal offers a unique experience to travelers who wish for a more immersive cultural and social experience in their travel.
Spring Fest, IIT Kharagpur launched a series called 'Inspiring Minds' featuring students and alumni who are an inspiring role model for the student community and I was honored to be included in the list ^_^
My blog about my experience at ETH as a research intern got selected as a 'remarkable internship' by Internshala, India's largest portal for student internships.
Processing, OpenFrameworks, p5js, threejs, d3
Tensorflow, R, MATLAB
Photoshop, InDesign, After Effects, Premiere Pro, Rhino + Grasshopper
Arduino, Raspberry Pi
My Myers-Briggs Type Indicator(MBTI) is INFP [Introvert | iNtuitive | Feeling | Prospecting]. The favorite people I share my type with are Kurt Kobain, Bill Watterson, Lana Del Rey, and Calvin. You can find yours here.
I make movies about things that strike a chord with me. 'Sweeten' is both about nothing and many things at once. I made it on my visit to Sweden, and hence the pun. 'Melancholic Times' is shot in the ancient city 'Hampi'; it captures moments of contrasting inner peace and turmoil. I also make not-so-serious videos, mostly Indian college-centric ones under the banner of 'Spectecool' (34k+ views). While at it, you may also like to see me being kicked out of my comfort zone performing stand up comedy over here. I click pictures of pretty places here.
I pen down my thoughts on issues I care about on Medium and
answer questions that I think will be of use to others on
Quora. Some articles that I like are:
The Open Cage: Modern Day Slavery
and Religion 2.0.
My article on consumer behavior titled 'The Irrational Consumer' was published in Economica, the publication on economics and public policy by Economics Club, IIT Delhi.
Questions I've answered about architecture: What are the most well architected buildings in the world?, , What career paths combine computer science and architecture?, What is the difference between a 'space' and a 'place' in architecture?
and some general ones: Why is money not the most important thing in life?, What is a paradigm shift?, Why are some languages written with straight lines while others with curved lines?, How can I visualize 4D shapes in my mind?
I am part of the LGBTQ support group in my campus called 'Ambar' which is trying to sensitize the student community about gender diversity and make the campus a better place for all students irrespective of their orientation.
As the member of the Debating Society, I have represented IIT Kharagpur in four national tournaments: National Law University Asian Parliamentary Debate 2012, IIT Bombay British Parliamentary Debate 2013, IIT Delhi Asian Parliamentary Debate 2013 and Kalinga School of Law Asian Parliamentary Debate 2012. I am also the Winner of the National Level Debate at Spring Fest 2015 that had 300+ participants. I was the Director of Communications at Model United Nations too in 2013.
As the Executive Editor of The Scholars' Avenue, the campus newsbody of IIT Kharagpur, I am responsible to launch new projects and ensure their execution. I mostly take up creative assignments such as 'The Happiness Project', 'The Marauder's Map', 'The KGP Society Periodic Table', 'KGP: Year in Review' and such. Under my leadership, the media body has seen a rise in the Facebook followers to 36k+ and monthly readership to 10k+
I have a love-hate relationship with Architecture. To me, Architecture is a field which in its essence is as surreal as poetry or music but has been reduced to the stature of make-up for real estate. I think Architecture is more about the soul and the mind than about buildings. I do not inted to pursue the field in the way it is practiced, but I do value the impact of the architectural design process in all of my works. For my undergrad thesis (to be completed by July 2017), I am designing the 'Centre for Emotional Technology and Artificial Intelligence' that shall embody everything I have learnt and wish to give back to architecture.