Who Am I?

“Yoga is the journey of the Breath, through the Body, to the Mind. Conquer yourself!”

My name is Anindita Goswami and I generally prefer to be called Anin.  I am a Research student and I finished my Masters in Biotechnology (Biomedical  Science) at the  University of Adelaide, Australia.

My master’s project was mega interesting but I suffered a few bumps on the road and learned sooner than later that failures are the strength of your success. My thesis was based on Pathway analyses, Network biology and Integrative Genomic Analyses. The world of networks, machine learning, statistics and programming swallowed me in and spat out a whole new version of me; Albeit I am still a Barney! I am interested in data mining , machine learning , probability, statistics and world politics.

I have been doing yoga since I was 6. It is the key element that maintains the balance in most aspects of my life.

I am a bit of everything; I love riding horses; Squash is my favorite sport. I played competitive swimming, soccer, badminton, tennis, basketball, volleyball and I am a long distance runner with special interest in cross-country marathons. I play the Sitar, which is an Indian Musical instrument. Moving to Oz, parted me from my dearest instrument but I will reunite with it soon. My current activities involve learning how to surf, and teaching yoga mostly. Recently, my housemate helped me jump out of a plane and I definitely intend to experience flying again!

I am a lab geek by experience but recently the world of programming has made me feel like a fly in the web. There is so much to learn and I probably put too many pies on my fingers and struggled throughout my research year. I probably would have nailed the initial wipe outs but due to lack of experience from both ends,  I could not meet with the people who could help me half way down the line.

Over the last three months I have acquired skills in Python and Perl and I also studied basic physics, mathematics and computer science from MIT OCW.  My goal is to make an interactive app and therefore I am learning how to master Swift. I spend almost 10 to 12 hours learning everyday  and when all else fails I write poems.

I have always been extremely active and fast in my thoughts. I always hung out with people who I could learn from. There are many lessons I learned very early in age.
I always did great in school and was always learning new things. I was an all-rounder and being jack of many trades helped me pick up many skills under the sun.

I was a children tutor, a language teacher, a yoga instructor and even followed some entrepreneurial activities to fund my mountaineering course. I scaled the base of Mount Everest and climbed other Himalayan ranges to a maximum height of 4000 metres. All this before graduating from college at 20. I got a job at one of the Big Four banks of the USA (Wells Fargo & Co.). I worked there for more than a year, before I realized that I had to master something and be a big part of the big picture (“SuperWoman Cape” kind of picture).

Everything was moving, I did perfectly and I embraced every challenge until I entered the computation world of biology.  I was so overwhelmed at the battlefield in front of me and even after knowing that I had much to learn,  I  still went in straight for the battle without carrying any ammo (obviously I was badly bruised and dragged myself to the shore somehow)!

My mentors were very helpful but, I had set extremely unrealistic goals for myself and when I saw that I had to come down to earth; I panicked! Maybe it was a phase where I could not hear them and I thought if I stopped I would be totally out of control and wouldn’t reach the finish line. I still don’t really know why I struggled during my thesis writing. The fact was that I just couldn’t stop imagining the consequences of my performance in my research year. I couldn’t help myself or receive the help that was being given to me.

I was exhausted, hungry and lonely!

Also, the reminder that I probably was not ready to endure the struggles of independent research, did not help at all! ( Mind you, it came from people who I was extending out a hand for support. I thought I was better off being dead!)

I had no patience for myself, until I realized  that “Time is relative”! I found my peace in yoga and meditation. So I started doing what I love doing the most: Learning! I learned that time could be a great friend and not a foe.

Through the simplicity of learning to breathe,  I learned that slow was much better than fast. It was steady! I realized that there is no peace in worrying about the milk that has a probable chance of spilling (trust me statistics is a different kind of horror for us OCD perfectionists!).

I learned to observe how the breath flows through the body to the mind and conquered every challenge I faced, one breath at a time. First I learned Linux, then R, moved to writing scripts in Python and now I am exploring GitHub and trying to design an app from scratch.
I know that I have miles to go before I sleep and that the journey has only begun. I have learned that there will always be the crest and the trough while swimming with the waves. That certain things will only be perfect with their imperfections.

Now, the most important lesson was that practice makes you perfect and that is the ultimate truth. So, to be a expert, you have to begin somewhere. Hence, I started this blog to keep track of my learning in machine learning and data mining. I will continue writing about my experience and projects I have done.

I am seeking a mentor who is a specialist in Computational Biology. My current research interests are here. However, I am interested in any projects that will employ my biotechnology skills and help me develop tools for deciphering big biological data. Currently, I am preparing a manuscript from my thesis and performing data analysis for a paper which is being reviewed by other collaborators.

Imagination is utmost important if you want to find solutions to a problem. It’s like looking at the world upside down. ‘Tis when I speculate the Bards and Geeks of the bygone years. I want to build my writing skills in languages that both humans and bots can understand! I am open to suggestions and advice on how to master the art of story telling in science and if you are reading this, then feel free to drop in a thought from your mind’s eye!

Viele Danke!

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