I was born in Lucknow, India on VijayDashmi day in 1960, the day the Gomti overflowed and flooded Hazratganj. My father, then an Internal Revenue Service Officer, was busy moving his files to higher ground! I am the third of three children, my sister Shraddha is a Professor of Social and Preventive Medicine at Motilal Nehru Medical College in Allahabad (UP), and my brother Vivek is Professor of GastroEnterology at the Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institue in Lucknow (UP). My parents, Sh. Anand Prakashji, and Rukmini Saraswat, are settled in our house in Faridabad (Haryana), just outside New Delhi.
My father was transferred all over North India when I was a kid. So I went to school in Amritsar (Punjab), Meerut (UP), Bhavnagar (Gujarat) (at Fatima Convent -- interrupted by a brief stint at Bikaner (Rajasthan) with my mother; here I attended a Hindi medium school for a few months, but cant remember the name anymore...), Ahmedabad (Gujarat) (St Xavier's), New Delhi (St Xavier's), and Jaipur (Rajasthan) (St Xavier's). I entered IIT Kanpur, ostensibly for a Bacherlor's in Electrical, in 1977 -- so this means that the IIT Kanpur campus is the place in India I have stayed the longest.
In 1982, Neeta Sharma and I married at her house in Jaipur. Within a year we traveled outside India for the first time, I started graduate school (at Carnegie-Mellon University), and our daughter Shuchi was born at Shadyside Hospital. We are still recovering.
Our son Rit was born in 1985 (at McGee Womens' Hospital), when we lived in a tiny townhouse in Homestead, a steel town on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, whose best years had been in the 1930s.
Late that year I started consulting for Carngie Group Inc (a company now part of Logica, North America), and ended up designing and implementing CRL-Prolog (in CommonLisp) for them. I started work full-time at CGI in May 1986 and we moved into a (much larger!) house in beautiful Mt. Lebanon. I moved to Xerox PARC in November 87, and eventually after many threats submitted my thesis in late 1988.
In the Bay Area, we lived for the first year in Mountain View, and then moved across the Bay to Fremont, where we bought our first house in 1991. Our youngest son, Chit, was born at Stanford Hospital in 1993.
In November 1996, we moved to Mountain Lakes, NJ, as I moved from Xerox PARC to ATT Research. We took the train across the country (from Los Angeles, Ca to Newark, NJ) -- highly recommended. We got to appreciate the vast expanse of this physically magnificient country.
We had a great time in Mountain Lakes (thanks Gregg!), and will always remember Mountain Lakes fondly. Shuchi and Rit graduated from Mountain Lakes High, and still hang out with a large circle of friends from High School.
Shuchi started playing Field Hockey, and soon was completely engrossed with the game (and the whole team gestalt). She received many awards, and was one of the captains of the senior team. She went on to Franklin and Marshall, a Division III school, in part so she could continue to play Field Hockey. She graduated from F&M in 2005 (in English and Government Studies), and now works for a major news magazine in Boston. This Fall she will start on her Master's in Creative Writing at Emerson University.
Rit soon became involved with Drama, and went on to become the first Mountain Laker to attend Governor's School in Film-making. He is now finishing his Bachelor's in Film at Drexel. Along the way, entirely on his own initiative, he has immersed himself in the Indian film industry, with internships at AVS, New Line Cinema, and with Mira Nair. He worked with Karan Johar on "Kabhi Alvida Na Kahena", due to be released later in 2006.
Chit started school at Wildwood Elementary, and then went on to Briarcliff (middle school), in Mountain Lakes.
Around 2000, Neeta started as a realtor with Weichert. As usual, she has thrown herself vigorously into her work and has been very successful. New Jersey is a great place to be a realtor, with significant customer flow and movement in the market.
We stayed at the same house in Mountain Lakes even as I changed jobs several times. I left ATT in July 2000 to join a startup, Vayusphere. At Vayu, I was first Director of Development and then the CTO, designed the product, and led the team that delivered it. For a while I commuted every other week to San Diego and the San Fran Bay Area (where the company was based originally). Returning to the Bay Area turned out not to be practical since Rit was still in High School, and Shuchi was in college close by. The commute was clearly not sustainable.
In July 2001, I joined Kirusa Inc and Inderpal Mumick as VP Engineering, to develop a platform to deliver wireless multi-modal applications, Inderpal's vision and passion. We built a solid platform, and Kirusa and Inderpal are now going strong, moving from strength to strength.
But I really missed research, and in September 2002, joined Penn State University as a Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Being on campus was great, and I can see myself back in academia at a later stage. (Surprisingly, this was my first academic job.) However, the commute got to be a bit of a stretch: straight down Rt 80, about 160 miles from the heart of New Jersey to the heart of Pennsylvania. We seriously debated moving in the summer of 2003 -- Rit had graduated and gone on to Drexel -- but in the end, the lure of the real estate market in NJ and New York proved to be too great to overcome.
In September 2003, I joined IBM TJ Watson Research Center. For the first time in my life I am now working for a computer company, and in a research group focused on programming languages. IBM is truly very rich -- rich in talent, rich in problems to work on, rich in the diversity of research it must sustain. In Feb 2004, I stared work on the X10 programming language. I have really enjoyed working in High Performance Computing, a fascinating area, with real problems.
In January 2005, we finally moved to Mahopac, in Putnam County, NY. Like Mountain Lakes, this area is very beautiful --- hills, valleys, lakes, forests. Unlike Mountain Lakes, the area is semi-rural. Neeta always wanted to live in a semi-rural setting, so we are getting to enjoy that -- while living 40 miles from the Capital of the World! Neeta now has Real Estate licences for both New York and New Jersey, and still often commutes back to Mountain Lakes (about 80 miles away). Chit is excelling in Middle School, and has joined a basketball team.
Along the way we acquired Duncan, a frisky Beagle, to accompany our four cats (Joisey, Laila, Puff and Mase). King Joisey reigns over this kingdom. His fierce temper and machine gun thwaps reduce Duncan to a slink and a whimper!
Last updated 4/9/2006.