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I finished my graduation in commerce. During my graduation I realized that I was more interested in Social sciences and Humanities. This was partly due to my association with a studentsí organization for environment. I was an active member of the group and used to go around talking about environment protection in different schools of the country. After finishing my graduation I decided to dedicate more time to social work. I started an advocacy group and campaigned for an education system which can provide equal opportunity for children to earn their own fees. I was convinced that with little changes in present education system we would be able to come up with a better system. With initial success I tried to involve more schools to join the group. We encouraged students to make cards and sell them, we also started a studentsí magazine. The network grew up and I handed it over to UNICEF before I left for my further studies. But my experiences with children and present education system made me interested to understand different levels of cognition, personal as well as social. My basic interest still remains to provide a responsible and effective learning system to children.

I joined philosophy department in University of Hyderabad. I loved logic and analytic philosophy initially and later my capacity to understand and read Sanskrit gave me an opportunity to access original Indian philosophical literature that was available in our library. I must admit that I was one of those few who actually borrowed those books. I started comparing Indian and Western thought processes. I realized that many issues of philosophy can be partially resolved by integrating various streams. Philosophy provided a conceptual understanding to issues but streams such as linguistics, sociology and neuroscience can give us a detailed structure of the issues in question. I read more about them and found growing field of cognitive science which allowed an inter-disciplinary research, but cognitive science was a new name and prospects were unknown in India. At the end of course I did well and finished my Masters with gold medal. During this time I also cleared my NET.

With a Masterís degree and NET in hand I had two options. First was to continue with conventional PhD in Philosophy and the other option was an offer to join International Institute of information technology as a first PhD in proposed cognitive science lab. IIIT is a technical research institute and the focus is more towards artificial intelligence and computing. I chose to dive into the world of computing with my training in philosophical concepts. It was tough initially but this combination has made me confident to look for an application for my research. Research in cognitive science is interesting as well as challenging.

My present research interest in visual metaphors and its implication in teaching is a combination of my desire to come up with an interesting teaching methodology and conceptual understanding of mind. My research topic Visual metaphor is a less traded path. Visual contains extra information than text, it is said that a picture is worth thousand words. Images interact with concepts and provides an outlet for a better communication. We are going to be a visual society soon. Most of our communication is becoming image (static or moving) based and metaphors provide an alternative view of the world which can be utilized for creativity and new learning. It is high time that we understand the mechanism and come up with a theory of visual rhetoric and I am working towards it.

 
IIIT-H