When COVID-19 hit, Rajiv Basnet was one of millions of people who saw their carefully laid plans deferred when his summer internship in Germany was canceled.
Yet, for the Academic Center for English Language Studies (ACES) scholar and budding data scientist, the trifecta of adversity, perseverance and success comes second nature.
“Originally from Nepal, the hard work and dedication that Basnet has displayed to overcome many obstacles is inspiring,” said David Seppala-Holtzman, Ph.D., professor of mathematics and computer science at SJC Brooklyn. “One notable example is that he learned computer programming by working out algorithms in his head, since he didn’t have a computer until he was in 12th grade.”
After speaking to last year’s valedictorian and alum of the prestigious Microsoft Data Science Summer School (D3) program, Adnan Hoq, Basnet decided to post an application and was selected to join the ranks of SJC ACES students picked for the prestigious program.
DS3 includes coursework in data science and group research projects. With an emphasis on increasing diversity in computer science, the summer school is taught by leading scientists at Microsoft Research, and will be conducted remotely this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Basnet hopes this opportunity enables him to pursue his interests in data acquisition, modeling, optimization techniques and software development.
“From Microsoft’s DS3 program, I hope to further understand and better implement these areas of study so as to broaden my academic perspective as well as to bring my ambitions to fruition,” he said. “I hope that these experiences will better prepare me by providing the insights to become a good researcher.”
SJC President Donald R. Boomgaarden, Ph.D. noted that “Rajiv joins a long list of distinguished ACES students pushing the boundaries of knowledge in the fields of data science and information technology.”
“Even during this crisis, our students continue to strive and work towards their goals.” Dr. Boomgaarden said. “It’s an inspiration to all of us, and I could not be prouder of him and our faculty on this significant accomplishment.”