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Finding Meaning in Your PhD Struggles

16 minute read

Published:

4 years ago, if I had known all that I’d have to give up to be able to do my PhD, if I had known the impact that it would have on my mental health, and if I had known the struggles that came with it, I probably would’ve hesitated to go to grad school. Today, all of those things have become my lived reality. In this article that I wrote for @thefacultypub on Medium, I draw on lessons from Logotherapy, developed and pioneered by Viktor Frankl, and I share my thoughts on how I was able to find meaning in my struggles and better cope with them.

Curiosity, Ignorance, and How to Spot Pseudoscience

15 minute read

Published:

We live in an age where despite the unprecedented ease of access to information and facts, misinformation and pseudoscience have a tremendous impact on our lives. From anti-vaxxers in the US to miracle cures of the coronavirus in India, pseudoscience is seemingly everywhere. The battle against this trend is not one that can be won by scientists alone. It requires collective action. In this article, I wrote down my thoughts on pseudoscience and listed some popular tips on how one can spot it.

What to Look for in a Potential PhD Advisor

12 minute read

Published:

Grad school (PhD) is hard. A particularly tricky yet important aspect is mentorship and academic supervision. A PhD advisor greatly influences the graduate school experience (and chances of success) of a student. Choosing an advisor can be a confusing process, yet it is one that the student must get right. Now that I have the benefit of hindsight – and while my grad school experiences are still fresh in memory – I have written down some thoughts on this subject.

Hopeful for a better tomorrow

10 minute read

Published:

The times that we live in can seem paradoxical. As I write this during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are witnessing deep uncertainty but also immense potential, great challenges but also promising solutions, and extreme inequality but also increasing prosperity. In this blog article, I write about some of the social challenges facing our societies today, about hope, optimism, the role of the scientific method and collective, inclusive action.

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publications

Ultra-precise Sensing and Control of Suspended Optics Breadboard in the Crackle Experiment

Sai Kanth Dacha, Gabriele Vajente, Rana Adhikari, 'Ultra-precise Sensing and Control of Suspended Optics Breadboard in the Crackle Experiment', Caltech Undergraduate Research Journal (2016) pp. 21-33

Regeneration of 10 Gbps BPSK signals through phase sensitive amplification coupled with injection locking

S. K. Dacha, A. N. Iyer, A. Sobhanan and D. Venkitesh, "Regeneration of 10 Gbps BPSK signals through phase sensitive amplification coupled with injection locking," 2017 Twenty-third National Conference on Communications (NCC), Chennai, 2017, pp. 1-6, doi: 10.1109/NCC.2017.8077068

Time-Domain Interference of Nonlinearly Interacting Spatial Modes in a Multimode Fiber

S. K. Dacha and T. E. Murphy, "Time-Domain Interference of Nonlinearly Interacting Spatial Modes in a Multimode Fiber," 2018 Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO), San Jose, CA, 2018, pp. 1-2.

(2+1)D Spatiotemporal Characterization of Nonlinear Interactions between Selectively-Excited Spatial Modes of a Few-Mode Fiber

S. K. Dacha and T. E. Murphy, "(2+1)D Spatiotemporal Characterization of Nonlinear Interactions between Selectively Excited Spatial Modes of a Few-Mode Fiber," in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, OSA Technical Digest (Optical Society of America, 2020), paper FTh3A.6

Spatiotemporal characterization of nonlinear intermodal interference between selectively excited modes of a few-Mode fiber

S.K. Dacha, T.E. Murphy, "Spatiotemporal characterization of nonlinear intermodal interference between selectively excited modes of a few-Mode fiber", Optica 7, 1796-1803 (2020)

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