TA Spotlight: Varun Agrawal

Varun Agrawal

Varun Agrawal is a TA for CS 6475: Computational Photography. Keep reading to learn more about Varun!

What do you do professionally?

I am a PhD student in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech where I study and perform research on robot autonomy. My long term goal is to build robots that are capable of co-existing with humans and assisting them in various ways.

Why do you TA for OMSCS?

I hope to continue in academia, thus TA-ing is a great way to gain teaching experience. Moreover, online learning has proven to be the way forward given the Covid-19 pandemic, so OMSCS has equipped me with the skills needed to continue this for the near future.

What is your advice for future OMSCS students?

Spend the extra time on your classes. Georgia Tech offers some incredible courses taught by some amazing faculty, and a lot of thought goes into setting up the course. By spending a fair bit of time on the course, you will gain a much more significant understanding of the subject and set yourself up for success. These strong foundations then act as an investment towards your career and future. If a course seems difficult, that is because its reward is greater!

What's your best study hack?

My best study hack is writing code for small toy or test problems that I'm currently studying. If you are taught something new in class and you feel you don't quite understand it, recreate the problem using a language like Python, which has vast support for various scientific and engineering libraries. Construct a trivial problem using the library and attempt to solve it via code using the technique you learned in class. You can then print out intermediate steps and plot various figures, while taking off cognitive load for lower level mathematical operations in your brain. Most importantly, comment every line of your code so it captures your thought process during this, thus serving as review notes in the future. Jupyter Notebooks are great for these and you really get a grasp of what is happening when you implement it. Try it a few times and you'll see what I mean!

Find Varun on...

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/varagrawal/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/varagrawal
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/varagrawal/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/varagrawal/
Website: https://varunagrawal.github.io/