Monday 26th of February 2018
On 20th May 2011

An Exclusive Interview with Saurabh Pal from UNS Institute of Engineering and Technology, VBS Purvanchal University, India

"Open-access publication changes the dimension of research, especially in those countries where access to papers is not available due to fiscal constraint."

I obtained my M.Sc degree in Computer Science in 1996 from Allahabad University, Allahabad and completed the PhD degree in 2002 from Dr. R. M. L. Awadh University, Faizabad, India. The title of my Ph.D. thesis is "A Study of Certain Queueing Models with their Applications in Computers and Telecommunications". Since May 2001, I joined the VBS Purvanchal University, Jaunpur, India as a Lecturer in Department of Computer Applications. At present I am the Head of Department in the Faculty of Computer Applications. My current research interests include numerical analysis, Educational Data Mining, Grid Computing and Optimization Techniques.

How did you gain interest in Educational Data Mining?
Educational system as of now, especially in India is going through a radical transformation due to the efforts taken by UGC and HRD ministry. The reason behind this is that quality of education is not met in higher educational Institutions. Due to this many Institutes want to be a centre of excellence thus this leads me to do research in Educational Data Mining field.

What trend do you foresee in Educational Data Mining?
I believe that Educational Data Mining is an essential technology that will be used widely in the future and provide help to Institutions and Universities to find out students who needs special attention to gain high results.

What did you investigate in your last publication?
My last published paper is entitled "Data Mining: A prediction for performance improvement using classification". This paper conducted a study on the student performance based by selecting 300 students from 5 different degree college conducting BCA (Bachelor of Computer Applications) course of Dr. R. M. L. Awadh University, Faizabad, India. By means of Bayesian classification method on 17 attribute, it was found that the factors like students' grade in senior secondary exam, living location, medium of teaching, mother's qualification, students other habit, family annual income and student's family status were highly correlated with the student academic performance.

How do you approach research? How long does it take to complete a paper?
I first read the relevant books and articles in that area and then try to get a feeling of what has been done in that area. After that I choose a particular problem that seems to have lots of scope for future work. Once I choose a problem, I try to think about solutions first by myself. I then go to the literature and see if anyone else had already done that. If the idea has not been studied before, I start working on that idea, typically by beginning to implement the idea, generally in the form of code development and comparison with relevant existing algorithms. After I collect all the data, it usually takes me, 10-15 days, on average to start and finish a paper.

What are the most interesting or surprising things you have learned about since your arrival at VBS Purvanchal University?
The most interesting thing that I have learned is to conduct quality research, including joint publications and proposal writing.

What topics have you been teaching until now at VBS Purvanchal University?
I have 11 years of experience in teaching for both graduate and post-graduate levels. I have lectured many courses like Numerical Methods, DBMS, Operating System, Data Mining and Optimization Techniques.

What was your most successful moment?
The most successful moment happen when my book "Graph Theory" was published.

Your recommendation and advise for young researchers who would want to pursue research in Educational Data Mining?
Educational Data Mining domain requires a large attention in the near future. It help students and institutions, and your research play a major role in society.

Were you inspired by a famous scientist or engineer?
May be by Prof. Sunder Lal (famous), but more surely by Dr. S. S. Mishra, my supervisor when I was a PhD student.

What is your feeling about open-access publication? Do you recommend it?
Open-access publication changes the dimension of research, especially in those countries where access to papers is not available due to fiscal constraint. However, precaution must be taken so that quick and easy review process does not deteriorate the balance in quality. I wish the best for IJCSI. Hope that this journal will move forward with good results for the research communities.

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