Monday, February 25, 2008

Crossed the final hurdle, at last...

I passed my viva last week, and it was sheer joy, a sense of relief, a feeling that I can never explain in words. This is to acknowledge the love and cheer and encouragement from everyone -

"I remember the day I first came to Newcastle to attend the interview for an RA position in the
myGrid project. Newcastle was in stark contrast with the town of Gaithersburg, Maryland, where I used to live and work for Verizon Communications Inc. at Silver Spring. It was the middle of January - cold and cloudy and dark, and the wind from the North Sea almost blew me away. It was hard to make a decision about leaving the job in the US to join academia. Today, when I look back, I know, I was right. I have now spent more than five years in Newcastle, the longest period at one place since I left home in 1997 to join the software industry. And I can say that Newcastle has been nothing less than a home to me. It is like my hometown Calcutta - a city, which slowly grows around a person - Newcastle has grown all around me. And I owe it to Professor Paul Watson, Professor Pete Lee and Dr. Anil Wipat - who extended the first welcome to me. I owe my gratitude to the City of Newcastle, the university, all members of staff in the School of Computing Science, my friends within and outside the university, for the warmest five years I have stayed here, despite the chilling weather.

Professor Paul Watson was my supervisor and I could not have come this far without his constant guidance and support. Apart from always managing to get some funds to keep me employed as an RA without which I couldn't have continued with my PhD, he has provided me with valuable guidance and insights throughout the course of research. On numerous occasions when I was struggling to find the right approach, regardless of his busy schedule as the Director of the North East Regional e-Science Centre, Paul has been tireless in his attempts to make me focus on the problem from the correct angle. No word is sufficient to express my gratitude to Paul.

I would like to thank Professor Pete Lee and Dr. Aad van Moorsel, who were the two other members of my thesis committee for their valuable suggestions during and after the thesis committee meetings which acted as inputs to my work. Dr. Jim Smith is another person who has been a close friend in these five years and have always helped me when I faced any problem, be it regarding any architectural aspect of my work, or any silly question about LaTeX. I am indebted to Jim for his help and support whenever I asked for. Dr. Savas Parastatidis, who is now at Microsoft Research, was a source of inspiration during the years I was able to work with him. All the long discussions I had with him regarding the architecture of Web Services have contributed a lot towards my knowledge and the research. I must not miss mentioning about the support I received from the Computing Officers, especially Jim Wight and Gerry Tomlinson, who have always listened to my requests about new softwares on the cluster and helped me in configuring my experimental setup, which sometimes required Jim to bypass security rules of the Computing Cluster for the external computers I used during my experiments.

A large section of the work presented here was the result of collaborative research between Newcastle and Manchester Universities. I wish to thank my colleagues from Manchester, especially Professor Norman W. Paton, Dr. Alvaro A. A. Fernandes, Dr. Tasos Gounaris, Steven Lynden and Dr. M. Nedim Alpdemir, who unfortunately left for his country a couple of years ago, for all the active collaboration and support I received from all of them. Another part of the research, the development of the dynamic service oriented framework, was based on collaborative research as well, and I wish to thank Dr. Chris Fowler, Charles Kubicek, John Colquhoun for their valuable contributions.

I can not forget the amount of support I received from my family during this entire journey. My parents, Mrs. Binata Mukherjee and Mr. Prabhat Mukherjee have inspired me to dream since I was a child. And I am extremely indebted to them, and I hope that these three letters, if I am able to achieve them, will fulfil a part of their dreams. I can never express enough gratitude for the support I received from my sister, Dr. Nandini Mukhopadhyay, who has constantly encouraged me, at times pushed me - when I used to get frustrated. One person needs a special mention here, and that is my wife, Sumana, who never fell short in supporting me in every step, and was not shy in sacrificing her perfectly good job in the US, when I decided to join academia in the UK to pursue my dreams. Our little boy, Rik, has been my source of joy at home and our newborn daughter, Riti, has been another source of inspiration during the last few months of my work.

Finally, I would like to thank EPSRC, who have funded the major projects I have worked in, and my colleagues at OGSA-DAI for their valuable support during the course of research."

1 comment:

Aparna Ray said...