Scientific Computing, Modeling & Simulation
Savitribai Phule Pune University

SCMS in Hindsight: Sameet Mehta /* 2020 Feb 06, 02:11:26 */

Modeler (Courtasy: XKCD)
Sameet Mehta
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Association with CMS

Epoch of Association
2008 -- 2010

Pre-CMS Education, Occupation, Field
M.Sc. Zoology (Molecular Biology)

Post-CMS Education, Occupation, Field
Ph.D (Zoology), Visiting Fellow (National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland, USA) 2010 - 2014 Associate Research Scientist, Yale Center for Genome Analysis, Yale University (2014 - Present)

Curricula and teaching programmes

I was fortunate enough during my masters to have Prof. Sohan Modak as one of my mentors. He knew the importance of mathematical modeling. He knew the importance of statistics. So, although I did know know of these disciplines as "true", "rigorous", areas of studies, I was aware that there are people who study mathematical modeling. That there is something called "Center for Modeling and Simulation" is something that my thesis advisor told me about.


I was never formally a student as the CMS. I did audit most of the courses while I was there during the first year. A lot of things were far too mathematical for me (coming from a completely biological background with zero formal mathematical training after twelfth standard). But the teachers were all very passionate. They were very creative and really took efforts to make sure that the topics covered were understood by the students. The tutorials were very informative. Even I managed to learn a few things.

Overall experience

I loved my time at the CMS. I learned a lot. CMS is where I learned the importance of writing good source code. CMS is where I was introduced to a lot of topics like machine learning, and evolutionary algorithms which are the "buzz-words" today. But we were given tutorials on those topics more than 10 years ago. There were no fancy tools like TensorFlow(r) like today, but the concepts were taught at that time. I also learned the value of open-source software. I learnt how to use LaTeX (ended up writing my PhD thesis in LaTeX). I learnt how to use R. That alone has now become like a super-power in the world of bioinformatics. Knowing basics of statistics, being able to properly state what are assumptions (which are many times implied) clearly makes you valuable to researchers. There are so many things that I have learnt at CMS, that I will not trade that experience for anything else. The amount of free that CMS afforded its students, in terms of times, and ability to make mistakes and time allowed to learn and internalize basic concepts is something that I have not seen at many other places, in India or abroad.

Impact on career and growth

Yes, CMS influenced what I am doing by a lot. Infact, I owe almost everything that I do today to CMS.

Advice for current and future students

Keep an open mind.

Which direction should CMS grow in?

University should let CMS be!! It should let CMS faculty decide priorities.

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