The spirit of never giving up made him stand apart. Inspite of facing arduous challenges, he (left) tried day and night and his hard work paid him in the end. He was not afraid of walking on the road alone and he outshone himself.
Getting this internship in DCU was a great opportunity for me to enhance my learning in network and communication, to familiarize myself with the emerging technology in the field. I was ebullient when I was selected for this internship by my university with a full scholarship. On reaching the place, I was introduced to the dean of the college, my project manager and my guide. People seemed as friendly as they are here. I started my work with my supervisor Liupeng Cheng, a Chinese Ph.D. candidate working in the same field. In just a week, I was supposed to submit my field of interest in the research and my goal for the internship. I was confused as the research that was being conducted was really complicated and to figure out some area where a newbie like me could contribute in just a few weeks was really hard.
On one such confused moment, I met another professor at the college working on Cryptography and I started discussing with him the various types of public key encryption techniques. He respected my knowledge and interest in the field and suggested me to pursue something in the respective area. People told me the difficulty of the task and that it was pretty precarious to take up such an ambitious proposal since no one would be able to help me out in the area as everybody in the team was involved in different part of the research.
I took up the challenge and got to work the next day onwards. The entire trip was nothing but hours of staring at the computer screen and research papers. My work hours kept escalating every week starting from 5 hours a day to 14 by the last week. The first two weeks were mainly study oriented and my routine was stable. I got plenty of time to visit the city , take tours during weekends during which I visited almost all the places in the country that was worth seeing – the connemara castle, Galway city, Belfast titanic museum, Phoenix garden, cliffs of Moher and many more.
Met many interesting people during the tours, an Australian dancer who taught me lambarda for fun, an Iranian scholar with whom I kept having debates about almost everything and a Japanese elder who told me many things about the culture back in Japan. The first two weeks were loads of fun. I tried everything new whether in terms of clothes or food.
The middle three weeks were typically very hard. My work reached a stage where help from the technical staff was not that great since none of them knew too much about the software that I was using. Hours of work finally produced some results which proved to be meaningless in terms of the hardware that I was using. I then started searching for ways to make the algorithm machine specific. After a week of searching, I finally landed an algorithm called Present algorithm which was a lightweight algorithm designed for the purpose of being used in a restricted environment with limited sources.
The next week I read everything about the algorithm and implemented the working simulation of the algorithm in Xilinx software. However working with the machine required a lot of patience since each emulation took about an hour to complete and if there was any mistake the entire process had to be repeated again. The 3 weeks were the toughest since I was not getting the result that I desired. The reason of the problem was not being apparent to anyone. We tried everything and still it was showing strange errors that made no sense. I remained frustrated for the two weeks following the emulation stage.
There even came a time when I started thinking this was not possible but then just when I was about to give up on the project I got a call from my friend who told me to show them who Indians are and I could not give up any further. The final week I went in overdrive working about 20 hours a day trying to figure out what the error was all about. In order to figure out the error I finally assumed that all the well-established protocols to be wrong and carried out an empirical process of trying different inputs to figure out a pattern in the output to find the error.
A day before the end of my internship at about 3 A.M in the morning I saw a pattern repeating itself. In order for my program to confirm to the pattern, I made a few changes in my program and loaded it into the processor and waited for the result. To my amazement, the error was removed. I felt so happy as if I could kiss anyone right then. I recorded all the data and immediately prepared a report on my findings. It turned out that the initial assumption was wrong and the platform worked on a different protocol.
I did not have enough time to figure out why that happened but my work paved the way for future research in the field without these problems coming their way as well as my research into the lightweight algorithm will help them know the proper area for the security of the platform . The next day I presented my work to the dean of the college and to the research students in the university and got certified. I then made a paper on my research and sent it to IEEE conference in India for this December where it got selected for publishing a few days ago. I informed everyone about the success of the research and thanked my friend for reminding me that wherever I go people must see that in me a true Indian resides one who never gives up!
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