The first of Tata Consultancy Services’ (TCS) Bond University scholarship students is preparing to head home to India where the results of his Masters research will be shared with his colleagues in the global software giant’s research team.
Following last year’s signing of a landmark Memorandum of Understanding between Bond University and the IT services arm of one of India’s largest corporations, Prasad Bokil was the first TCS researcher to be awarded a Dean’s Scholarship to study his Masters of Science (by Research) at Australia’s highest ranked university.*
“I joined the research division at TCS after I finished my undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering at Pune University in India several years ago,” said Prasad.
“The opportunity to study my Masters at Bond came about as a result of the MOU between TCS and Bond and I was very keen to take advantage of it.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Prasad relocated to Australia’s Gold Coast last September to undertake the first year of his postgraduate research degree at Bond. At the end of the current semester, he will return to Pune to complete the remaining 12 months of study at TCS.
“The personal guidance I’ve received from the professors and academics here at Bond has been a huge benefit,” he said.
“Not only has my supervisor been available at any time to provide advice; a lot of the other academics have shown an interest in my research, offering their valuable input. The facilities on Bond’s campus – including state-of-the-art IT equipment and online access to the latest IT journals – have also been a big help.”
Headquartered in Mumbai, TCS is one of the largest providers of software services consulting in India, with 42 offices worldwide, including Australian offices in Sydney and Melbourne.
They have developed IT and business process systems for some of Australia’s premium blue chip customers including Qantas, Woolworths AGL, Superpartners, Foxtel, ING Direct, Vodafone and Hutchison Australia, as well as the New Zealand Stock Exchange, across the Tasman.
According to Bond’s Head of the School of Information Technology, Dr Iain Morrison, TCS’s agreement with Bond University has opened up a wealth of opportunities for information sharing, staff exchanges, joint research projects, international industry experience for Bond’s academics and study opportunities for TCS employees like Prasad.
“Bond’s School of IT has established partnerships with a number of leading software giants, including IBM and Microsoft; both of whom now employ Bond graduates,” said Dr Morrison.
“Our MOU with TCS offers yet another international platform for the School to expand its research capacity, work on collaborative projects and share technology with a global industry leader. TCS have asked us to renew the MOU, so in the coming years, we expect to see several TCS employees like Prasad coming here to study and vice versa.”
The focus of Prasad’s research is to ‘generate a better test suite using specification mining’. He has already presented a research paper – co-authored with Bond academic Dr Padmanabhan Krishnan and fellow researchers – to the 2012 Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. He is now improving on these techniques and is ready to experiment with actual industry software when he returns to TCS.
“I definitely feel that I now have an advantage in the industry through being able to discuss every stage of my work with all the experts at Bond,” said Prasad.
“My knowledge base, concepts and thinking capabilities have changed radically over the past 12 months and I know this will give me a headstart in my future career. On a broader scale, this study opportunity and the MOU between Bond and TCS is really bridging the gap between academics and industry.”
* Bond University is Australia’s highest rating university after earning the most five-star ratings of any university across an impressive ten key performance indicators in the 2012 Good Universities Guide.