Swathi Meenakshi Sadagopan, one of the 10 TOEFL India scholarship winners this year, carries the same confidence as she speaks about Dalai Lama and her favourite subject

She is confidence personified or else she would not have won US $ 10,000 scholarship within four minutes impressing the interviewers who engage such lakhs of smart students across the world every year.

Swathi Meenakshi Sadagopan carries the same confidence as she speaks about Dalai Lama and her favourite subject Electro-magnetics. A mechanical engineering student from Anna University, Swathi is one of the 10 TOEFL India scholarship winners this year and the only girl to have won US $ 10,000 to pursue her MS in Canada.

In school, she was drawn to social studies thanks to a good teacher but at college she started enjoying Electro-magnetics for the cool use of logic and numerical techniques that it employs. And that is what she will be studying at McGill University in Canada.

“Computational Electromagnetics is a field that uses mathematically rigorous techniques to analyse and model the interaction of electromagnetic fields with physical objects and the environment,” she says. Apparently her interest in using science for a better environment took her to Central Tibetan Administration in Exile at Dharamshala where she currently is an intern at the Environment and Development Desk.

She is working on a paper that is exploring the possible environmental, security and strategic implications of the Gormo - Lhasa railway built by China in 2006 in the Quinghai - Tibetan Plateau. The summer programme has also exposed her to Buddhist Philosophy taught by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. And she thanks her parents who never objected to the mix of her passion with academics and let her travel to places like Dharamshala.

“I am passionate about the present day research in Computational Electro-magnetics that includes adoption of intelligent computer reasoning tools such as case based reasoning to improve extant techniques to a greater level of accuracy,” she says adding that the expertise she hopes to gain through her education will be used as a tool to solve challenging day to day problems.

An ardent fan of The Hindu and a keen reader of the Education Plus, Swathi doesn’t hesitate to acknowledge the role played by the newspaper in her academic growth.