RIT Program: Computing Security MS (projected graduation in 2020)
Hometown: Chennai, India
Last summer Nishi completed a co-op with RIT and Eaton Corporation, testing embedded devices. The co-op opened doors for her at RIT as a student leader and connected her to the university and Rochester community. Through her engagement with the department as a Research Assistant and her involvement with Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS) and RITSEC (a student club dedicated to “Security through Community”) Nishi has made a home for herself at RIT and is fully prepared to graduate in 2020.
Nishi has additionally been Co-captain of RIT’s Collegiate Pen Testing Competition Team (which took 2nd place in an international competition in November 2019), has instructed GenCyber Summer Camp, was chosen as the Computing Security Graduate Delegate for 2020 Commencement, and attended a Women in Cybersecurity Conference in Pittsburgh last March!
“My co-op over this past summer was with RIT and Eaton Corp. on testing their embedded devices (basically devices that are not as powerful as mobiles or laptops). My role involved performing a vulnerability assessment of a device given to the team by the company and test it for any vulnerabilities. Thereafter a report was written up highlighting any vulnerabilities (and their severity) that the team found in the device. I chose this co-op as it perfectly aligned with my interest in Embedded system security. Through this co-op, I developed a keen interest in penetration testing and reporting. And this just encouraged me to apply for the Documentation and Presentation lead on the CPTC team. So this co-op opened quite a few doors for me, some of which I never knew existed!”
Holi, the Hindu festival of colors symbolizes the victory of good over evil. It is one of the most cheerful and fun festivals in India. While many students have made this big change in their life by coming to a different country, RIT makes sure that their students do not miss their home country and feel the same amount of joy by celebrating Holi at the campus. The festival was organized by the OASIS student chapter at RIT.
While the entire Rochester is struggling to adjust themselves in long winters and unpredictable weather, RIT students managed to pick a warm day in Rochester and do complete justice to the day by celebrating Holi. At around noon, everyone got together in one of the open areas on campus and there were colors and joy all around.
Holi specifically marks the last full moon of the Hindu calendar’s lunar month, Phalguna. So, it is celebrated on a different day every year but usually, it is around March when it is very warm in India. So, if you were in India to celebrate Holi, it begins with a group of people gathering around and playing drums and singing along with firing wood to symbolize the triumph of good over evil. This is known as “Holika Dahan”. On the next day, all areas and the streets will be covered in colors as people will throw a bunch of colors to each other and also the water balloons.
The Holi celebration at RIT was totally beyond my expectations. There were vibrant color powders as you would use if you were in India. The brighter the better! They made an artificial the water guns were also there. Not to forget the food! There were free samosas too. The entire arrangements were very good and it was indeed a good feeling as people danced their hearts out and played Holi as if they were in their home country.
by Sanjay Varma Rudraraju, Computer Science MS student
It was 7 am and I was trying to frantically catch a cab after my 30 hour journey to India. I was going to surprise my family and friends and with every ticking minute I was getting impatient. This is how my winter break started and from there on it was an amazing trip filled with some really great memories. I managed to surprise my mom and got her to cry which kind of made me feel like Ellen DeGeneres. My family was very happy to see me after 9 months and so were my friends.
After successfully finishing my first mission to surprise all my loved ones, me being a foodie, embarked on my second mission to eat all my favorite food. I might have had a hundred different dishes which probably made my Snapchat followers jealous. Later as I was cruising through the city over the rest of my trip I was surprised with all the changes to my hometown and it hit me suddenly then that it was no longer the place I knew. I wasn’t even sure I can call it my hometown anymore, given for the fact that all my favorite places are either closed or renovated. For the longest time
this place was the greatest place on Earth but today I am really not sure if I still identify the place. That was when I started thinking about Rochester, the place where I have been for a couple of years now. I was remembering my favorite Ramen place in downtown Rochester, then I remembered all my friends at work and school who I spend my weekends with and a small bunch of people who I call my family. I wasn’t sure where home is anymore and that is when I realized I did grow as a person and can’t identify a single place as home anymore. I am now a man with two homes and after all as a wise man once said “Home is where the Heart Is”.