Subhashini Venugopalan

Graduate Student
University of Texas at Austin

Personal

Here are a few things I do in my spare time.


Astronomy

Like almost every kid I have always had a fascination for the sky. I am a member of the amateur astronomy clubs at NITK (Star Gazing Club) and IITM. It was my interest in deep-sky objects that led me to work on data-mining techniques to classify such objects as part of my undergraduate thesis.

Sports

Sports has been a part of my life right from school. I play badminton, table-tennis and volleyball. During high school I had the opportunity to play throwball at the state-level. However, athletics has always been my forte. I do both track and field events and have represented my institutes in various inter-collegiate tournaments. The inter-IIT and inter-NIT tournaments, with their intense rivalry, are particularly memorable. I also enjoy jogging, cycling, yoga and trekking.

Music

I enjoy Indian classical music, both Carnatic and Hindustani genres. I learned some basics of Carnatic music when I was very young. While at NITK, I was a volunteer for the SPICMACAY Mangalore chapter. This gave me a wonderful opportunity to interact with innumerable artists and travel with them to various schools and colleges to promote Indian art and culture. This was also influential in helping me re-discover my passion for music. Here's an awesome carnatic music resource that can supplement your classes.

FOSS

I use free and open source softwares and support their cause. I have fixed bugs in KDE and Open Embedded. I was also a part of the organizing team for Hackfest at Shaastra-2010, the technical festival of IIT Madras. Currently, I volunteer with IT for Change and help promote the use of Open Source tools for progressive socio-economic change in India.

Sanskrit

I started learning Sanskrit by attending the 10-day-shibhiram conducted in the IITM campus by Samskrita Bharati. My teacher Ramachandran (RR ji) was simply brilliant. I currently lead the (informal) samskritam discussion group at UT. The focus in on spoken sanskrit and we learn samskritam for regular day-to-day communication. If you are interested in learning sanskrit, please feel free to drop me a mail and we can discuss opportunities in Austin, elsewhere in the US or in India.

Word games

My senior Satyajith initiated me and a bunch of my undergrad friends into cryptic crosswords in our freshman year. I guess I have enjoyed solving them ever since. At one point, the basement wing (where I lived along with - Sruthi Lanka, Sruthi Hariharan, Anusha, Sindhu and others) was quite obsessive about who would solve the Hindu daily crossword first. Now I guess I like most things that have to do with words - scrabble, word games, hangman and ofcourse crossies.