In Conversation with Dr. Sagar Dhanraj Pande, Assistant Professor of Data Science
In today’s rapidly evolving digital age, the integration of data science has revolutionized numerous industries, including education. As educators strive to provide personalized learning experiences and enhance student outcomes, the role of data science in the teaching domain has become increasingly critical. The ability to collect, analyze, and derive insights from vast amounts of educational data has opened up new avenues for understanding student behavior, optimizing instructional strategies, and ultimately transforming the way we educate and make an initiative for students to take data science as a career.
Today’s guest of honour is Dr. Sagar Dhanraj Pande. He has published and presented more than 60 papers in Springer, Elsevier, CRC, Taylor & Francis, and other reputable journals which are Scopus indexed & peer-review journals. Also, he has published papers at international conferences of Springer on the topics of Data Mining, Network Security, IoT, and its Application. He has supervised several postgraduate students in cybersecurity, computer networks, communication, and IoT. He is responsible for teaching Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning, Machine Learning, Cyber Crime and Security, and Python Programming courses to undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Professional Journey of Dr. Sagar Dhanraj Pande
AV: Can you tell us about your educational background and how it led you to your current position as Assistant Professor Senior Grade I at VIT-AP?
Dr. Sagar: Hi, I am Dr. Sagar Dhanraj Pande, currently working as Assistant Professor Senior Grade I at VIT-AP. I have done my bachelor’s and master’s in computer science and engineering from P. R. Patil College of Engineering, Amravati, Maharashtra, India. After that, I pursued a PhD from Lovely Professional University, Punjab, India, and there I decided to take Deep Learning and Network Security as my research areas. From there, my journey of becoming a Data Science started. After that, I worked as an Assistant Professor at Lovely Professional University.
AV: What inspired you to pursue a career in the field of Data Science? How did you get started in this field?
Dr. Sagar:I have always been a math nerd; when it comes down to it, data science, machine learning, and even sophisticated deep learning networks are just applications of it. Thus, my interest in data science was sparked by mathematics. Also, I opted for deep learning and network security as my Ph.D. area, I became more interested in this field.
AV: Can you describe a particularly challenging project you worked on in your career? How did you overcame the obstacles you faced?
Dr. Sagar:The project I did during my Ph.D. itself was very challenging as a lot of existing frameworks were available on the dataset which I had used for my project work. To overcome this, I proposed my own customized framework to perform feature selection on the dataset, and to cross-verify the efficiency of the proposed framework I applied it to another dataset where it performed very well.
AV: How do you balance your teaching responsibilities with your research and industry engagements. What strategies have you found to be most effective for managing your time?
Dr. Sagar: Well, I always try to explore new subjects which are more relevant to my research areas. I always love to read more recent innovations and happenings in the field of data science. I used to utilize lecture breaks to do my research activities. Whatever collaborative project work I do with my student my primary focus is that it should be converted into either patent, copyright, or research article. Due to this, I don’t have to take out separate time for doing the research.
AV: Can you talk about a time when you faced a failure or setback in your career, and how you bounced back from it?
Dr. Sagar: Mathematics is one of my favourite subjects. But during my bachelor’s, I got very fewer marks in mathematics due to which I didn’t get good grades that semester. I felt very depressed during that time. But my parents, teachers, and friends had shown faith in me. They motivated me from time to time and somehow, I ended my bachelor’s as well as master’s by getting University Rankings.
Tips On Data Science As A Career
AV: What are some of the most important skills or qualities that you think are essential for success in the field of Data Science?
Dr. Sagar: In the field of Data Science, one should have knowledge of mathematics, logic, statistics, probability, python, etc. Most importantly one should have problem-solving skills. Every time you will be provided with the raw data and you can analyze the data and provide more detailed insights of it will provide fruitful outcomes. I would like to recommend a few courses like Data Analytics with Python by NPTEL, Essentials of Data Science with R Software _ 1, Data Science for Engineers by NPTEL etc. Some of the courses from Analytics Vidhya are quite useful, Introduction to Python, NLP and so on.
AV: Can you share a few tips for students and young professionals who are interested in pursuing a career in Data Sciences?
Dr. Sagar: I would like to suggest to all the students that they should concentrate on not only their programming skills but also on their analytical skills. Apart from this, they should learn programming languages like Python and R. They should also practice mathematical and algorithms concepts. I would like to recommend some books like “Practical Statistics for Data Scientists: 50+ Essential Concepts Using R and Python” by Peter Bruce, Hands-On Machine Learning with Scikit-Learn, Keras, and TensorFlow: Concepts, Tools, and Techniques to Build Intelligent Systems by Aurélien Géron etc.
Latest Developments in Data Science
AV: How do you stay up-to-date with the latest developments in Data Science? What resources do you rely on for this?
Dr. Sagar: Mostly, I prefer to read relevant and recent research articles. Apart from this, I prefer to attend International Conferences and Workshop which gives me vision and ideas regarding the recent happening in this domain. I would like to recommend few insightful websites like ResearchGate, Towards Data Science etc.
AV: Can you tell us about any specific initiatives or programs you have implemented or led at VIT-AP to promote and advance in the field? What impact have these initiatives had on the university and broader data community?
Dr. Sagar: Currently, I am teaching machine learning and deep learning subjects at VIT-AP where I usually prefer to give assignments to students where they must create their own dataset and perform data analytics on it. Through this initiative almost all students were able to get acceptance for their research work in reputed international conferences and journals.
For students aspiring to embark on a career in data science, this success story serves as a beacon of inspiration. The field of data science offers an exciting and rewarding pathway, brimming with opportunities to make a tangible impact on diverse domains, including education.
As a data scientist, you hold immense power in your hands, capable of shaping decisions, policies, and outcomes. Remember, success in data science is not an endpoint but a lifelong journey of discovery and growth. Embrace the challenges, celebrate the victories, and never stop pushing the boundaries of what is possible. As you embark on this exciting career path, armed with passion, knowledge, and a commitment to making a difference. You have the potential to shape the future and become a true catalyst for positive change through the transformative power of data science.
If you want to become a full stack data scientist then enroll to our blackbelt program.