Arvind Gopu's home on the web!

A long time ago...

Though this page is named about_ag.html, I am not a fan of folks who refer themselves in third person, so the rest of this page will be in first person :-)

I was born and grew up in Madras (now called Chennai), a nice -- but likely the most conservative of the five metros -- city on the southern part of India. After finishing high (-er secondary) school, I got an undergraduate engineering degree in Electronics & Communication Engineering. In fall 2001, I came to IU to pursue a Masters in Computer Science, then stayed on, in the School of Informatics to get a second major in Bioinformatics. Occasionally, especially when I am tired, I day-dream about getting a doctoral degree... not in the near future though, may be a few years down the road! Who knows?!

Education

  • M.S., Computer Science
    - Indiana University, Bloomington, IN - August 2004

  • M.S., Bioinformatics (Dual Major along with CS)
    - Indiana University, Bloomington, IN - August 2004

  • Bachelor of Engineering, Electronics and Communication Engineering
    - University of Madras, India - May 2001.

Professional/Research Interests

Interests: My primary area of interest is to enable and foster collaboration between the Computer Science domain, and other sciences, and to enable more efficient scientific research in those domains. I've been heavily focused on design/development/deployment/maintenance of mostly self-contained software systems [sometimes referred to as science gateways] that use University hardware resources, business logic contributed by domain experts, and are accessible via web portals. I strongly believe that we have more then sufficient number of pure computer scientists but not enough researchers/designers/developers who can bridge the gap between advancements in computer science and their subsequent use in other scientific disciplines (or even non-scientific domains).

I am also interested in increasing service levels of software applications, especially web based ones, to a near-perfect level using High Availability techniques combined with deployment infrastructure that enables rapid and easy redeployment of service stacks. Another area I am interested in is efficient use software engineering principles - design, development, implementation, documentation, and so forth. Back in college and grad school, I was proficient in database design, a skill I continue to use to design and maintain RDBMS schemas and the associated database service(s).

And finally, I am also very interested in computational biology (a.k.a. Bioinformatics); I've worked on developing algorithms for Biological sequence clustering using statistical methods, phylogenetic trees and the like in the past. I also occasionally dream about developing Bioinformatics systems using AI techniques like case-based reasoning.

Job: I currently work as a Project Manager, representing Indiana University's Research Technologies division, for the One Degree Imager - Portal, Pipeline, and Archive (ODI-PPA) project. ODI-PPA is designed to be a science gateway/compute archive, and serves as a single place of access for ODI data, and to rich computational and visualization capabilities. Our team has led the design, development, testing, and deployment of the portal and archive parts of PPA, as well as integration of pipelines and maintaining the deployment infrastructure. More information on the project can be found on the project webpage while the operational (production) portal can be accessed at http://portal.odi.iu.edu. I also manage a project similar to ODI-PPA called EMCenter-PPA, a science gateway application for microscopy data. Finally, I am in charge of coordinating science use-cases for an exploratory 100Gbps testbed support project at IU.

Previously, I worked as an Operations Infrastructure Coordinator for the Open Science Grid Operations group at Indiana University. I coordinated the design, development, and deployment of several projects including MyOSG, GOC Ticket, OIM, GOC-TX a ticket exchange and synchronisation application. Prior to that, I worked as a High Performance Computing (HPC) and Grid Software Analyst at IU. Before I started working full-time, I was a graduate student IU and got two masters degrees in Computer Science & Bioinformatics.

Hobbies

I am trying to think what I do in my spare time? Hmm...

  • Reading, lots of it, especially topics in current affairs. I don't blog at this time but do share a good chunk of the stuff I read with comments and opinions, on Google Reader. You would have to be in a specific group on my Google Contacts to be able to view the items - let me know if you are unable but would like to!
  • Lots of music - check out the music section later in this page. I also collect music concert DVDs!
  • I am an avid photographer - still learning the tricks of the trade; I do believe, I've improved quite a bit over the last few years. Check out my collection under the Pictures section to see for yourself - especially the fall/spring color stuff. Let me know if you'd like a username password to view those pages!
  • Have been doing gardening at a reasonably small scale in my patio - lot of fun!
  • I follow the NBA ( GO Pacers!) and NFL (Go Colts!). Though I am not a fan of the commercial aspect of either of those sports.
  • I love used to love to play my guitars -- one a Yamaha acoustic guitar and the other a nameless electric guitar. The small guitar amp I stole from my brother helps ;-) [Since 2008 or so, tendinities in the hand and wrist have led me to almost touch my guitars].
  • I like to take good care of our cars. In general, I like to mess with automobiles, electronic equipments and the like - whatever lets you fiddle around with it (and possibly fix 'em if they are broken).
  • Used to watch every cricket match ever telecast live (or recorded for that matter) when I was in India. After coming to the US, I've kinda kept myself away from most cricketing action even when the local Indian population has got web-telecasts and the like. I missed thw world cup 2003 much to the surprise of a lot of people (including myself). I did watch India's historic victory over Pakistan in Pakistan. Yeaaahhh!

    Update 2007: I also watched the 2007 World Cup, what a waste of time and money!

    Update 2010: L and I watched the two test series between India and Australia including the first test that we won by one wicket, while we were on vacation in Madras!

  • Used to play a bit of badminton though I should admit sport has never been forte when it comes to playing 'em -- blame my poor hand-eye coordination or my laziness...

Music!

I mostly listen to rock music of the 1970s, 80s and the early 90s. The present day rock groups really don't appeal to me that much. I have quite a decent collection of CDs now thanks especially to offers of "free CDs" from websites like bmgmusicservice.com, do beware of their small print and annoying contracts -- see below.

Bands I listen to: Some of my favorite bands/musicians include: Rush, Joe Satriani, Iron Maiden, Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, Extreme*, Eric Clapton, Pink Floyd. I also like listening to Def Leppard's 1980s stuff .. Collective Soul, Mr. Big*, Guns 'n' Roses* -- mainly their Use your Illusion record, a bit of Aerosmith (though my musical taste has moved away considerably from their stuff).

* - While they existed as a band

Random thoughts about the music I listen to: The Canadian trio (Rush) is probably all time favorite band; Neil Peart is awesome (what's this web server's address?!)! Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson rock too! If you've not done so yet, you outta check out 'Natural Science', 'Xanadu', 'Jacob's ladder', <long list>. I love Satriani too, especially the Strange Beautiful Music record. Steve Harris (Iron Maiden) rocks my world!, as does Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big) and John Myung (Dream Theater) with his (their) bass guitar. Coming to Floyd, I mostly listen to the post-Waters stuff -- Division Bell is probably my favorite Floyd record. I've recently been listening to Porcupine Tree, and Steve Wilson appears to be a great musician! I really wish Extreme had continued making music, I love Nuno Bettencourt's guitar playing! Iron Maiden's harmony guitar playing has no parallel IMO! Def Leppard's earlier stuff - Pyromania and Hysteria - have a lot of good music, and really good production, no?

Cancelling BMG Music Service membership: If you're like me, you've probably figured out by now that BMG, despite giving me a pretty nice deal (about 12 CDs for less than $60) are an unethical organization. No where in their website will you find a way to discontinue your membership, i.e. a way to stop receiving those annoying featured CD emails. But thanks to the power of Google, there is a way. Details are here.

DVDs I currently own:

Music Concerts and such

  • Abba - Abba in Concert 1979
  • Alice in Chains - Unplugged
  • Bryan Adams - Unplugged
  • Collective Soul - Rocking in Morocco
  • Dream Theater - Metropolis 2000 (Scenes from a Memory)
  • Eagles - Farewell Tour 1 Live from Melbourne **
  • Eagles - Hell Freezes Over
  • Eric Clapton - One More Car, One more Rider
  • Eric Clapton - Unplugged
  • Goo Goo Dolls - Live in Buffalo, NY **
  • Genesis - The Video Show
  • Iron Maiden - Early Days Part 1
  • Iron Maiden - Raising Hell!
  • Pink Floyd - Pulse
  • Porcupine Tree - Arriving Somewhere
  • Rush - The Chronicles
  • Rush - Beyond The Lighted Stage
  • Rush - R 30
  • Rush - Rush in Rio
  • Rush - Snakes and Arrows (MVI Disc)
  • Scorpions - Moment of Glory
  • Simon and Garfunkel - Live at New York
  • Weird Al Yankovic - Ultimate Video Collection
** - Why the f*** did I buy this?

Random Stuff

Who shares my birthday?

Quotes/Sayings

Some sayings and the like, I enjoy reading. And a few more ...