I come from Hospet, a town in
Karnataka , India . I spent
the first 17 years of my life there. Did 12 years of my schooling there. For
the record, I studied at Little Flowers Convent, Deepayan Secondary School and
then Vijayanagara College.
(Note: This webpage has not been updated since June 2001)
Computer Sciences Department
Email: sastry at cs dot wisc dot edu
3652, Engineering Hall
930, Jenifer St.
Near Hospet(about 10 kms away) is
Hampi , the ruins of the Vijayanagara Empire. Also, 5 kms away, is
the Tungabhadra Dam, built across the Tungabhadra river.
I was an undergraduate at the
Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur , in the
Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Those 4 years
were wonderful. My photo album has a few
photographs from that time. The
IITK Class of '95 homepage has information about my classmates
The folks at Silicon Automation Systems India (SASI) let me work with them
for about 2.5 months during June-August 1995. I also did an internship
with them the previous summer. During this time, I worked on developing
data structures, algorithms and Motif-based GUIs for their applications.
All this development was done in C++. At that time, they were going through
the process of getting an ISO certification for software quality.
As a result, I got exposed to good programming habits over there.
Currently, I am a 4th year graduate student in the
Computer Sciences Department at the
University of Wisconsin, Madison. I got an MS from this department in
May 1997. At this point, I am working towards a PhD. My advisor is
Very broadly, my academic interests lie in the fields of
Programming Languages and Compilers and
Specifically, I am interested in studying how a close interaction between
architectures and compilers can enable the use of useful programming language
features and good programming practices without the performance hits that are
normally associated with them (Example: inheritance and abstraction in
object-oriented languages). The Self Project
has demonstrated through the use of dynamic compilation and optimization
techniques that it is possible to alleviate some of the performance penalties
of object-oriented languages. I am interested in studying how the right
kind of hardware support can enable the use of these and other adaptive
optimization techniques for achieving higher performance. In our group, we
are studying this in the context of virtual machines, specifically the
Previously, I worked on compiler support for exploiting idle floating-point
resources in a superscalar processor for executing integer codes. This work
was presented at the PLDI '98 conference at Montreal. The paper can be
From summer 1996 till summer 1998, I was a member of the Kestrel project in the
Multiscalar group. As part of
this project, I was involved in the hardware design of a four processing-element
So, how did I end up in Computer Science? It is a rather nerdy story
and here it goes. It all started with a little pocket computer, Casio PB-110,
that my father got me when I was in my 10th grade. It could be programmed
using BASIC and had very little memory, 512 bytes or so, if I remember right.
Over the next couple of years, I got access to x86 PCs and that is how I got
hooked onto programming. Then, I read about Artificial Intelligence and
got fascinated by the subject.
When I joined IIT, I could not get
admission into Computer Science. Instead, I opted for Electrical Engineering.
After the first year, I could change my major to Computer Science. Over
those 3 years, for some reason, my interest in AI died out. Instead, I got
fascinated by programming languages. At IIT, we were exposed to logic,
functional and object-oriented languages. I did quite a bit of programming in
Prolog and SML over there. I was especially impressed by the functional style
of programming (after having programmed in C and spent tons of time staring at
computer screens debugging pointer bugs). But, I was intrigued by the fact
that very few people in industry used these languages for developing their
Then, I read about dataflow architectures and how they can help exploit lots
of parallelism in programs and how they could support functional languages.
So, that is how I first got interested in computer architecture. When I got
into UW-Madison, I naturally got interested in this field, especially since
UW does very good work in computer architecture.
Anyway, for quite some time, I see-sawed between Architecture and PL and what
I wanted to concentrate on. At this point, I find myself equally interested
in the developments of both fields.
Asha for Education is a voluntary
nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting basic education in India. There
are a number of chapters (~35) in the US, India and other countries. There
is a local chapter at Madison and is a registered student organization at
has been around since 1995. I'm one of the many active members of this chapter.
Please visit the websites for more information about the organization. Other
than letting me do my little bit for the cause, it has also been a learning
experience for me.
Recently, I have also taken a fancy to photography. I am still honing my
skills in photography at this point. You can check out some of the snaps
that I've clicked in the past
(Photo scans) . This page has a collection
of links (organized by category) that I find useful.
Cricket is one of my favourite sports. I used to be a passionate fan of this
game. Though I still follow the game, I'm not as passionate about it any
longer. Back at IIT, I enjoyed playing phatta which is a
tennis-ball version of cricket.
My bookmarks have a few links to some cricket sites.
In general, I like playing most sports and games (jack-of-all-trades and
master-of-none!). During Fall '97 and Spring '98, some of our office people
and a couple other guys formed an intramural volleyball team, the Blackholes.
I enjoyed playing volleyball as part of this team.
I also like playing bridge. I first picked it up at Kanpur with a bunch of
other guys at our hostel. After getting here, took a couple of bridge
classes offered by ACBL (American Contract Bridge League).
Sometime around Spring '98, I took up jogging. I have been enjoying it so far.
My goal is to participate in a half-marathon and finally, a marathon. Remains
to be seen if I can get there.
I enjoy listening to music, anything that (I consider) sounds pleasant.
Hence, I dont listen to hard rock or heavy metal. Check out the web page
of the event listing
of the music department of UW-Madison. They have many free concerts for
students (as part of the guest artist and faculty concert series).
As far as reading goes, I am not a voracious reader. I've done my quota
of reading pulp fiction novels. Of the pulp fiction books that I've read,
Jeffrey Archer has been my favorite. Arthur Hailey comes a close second.
Among the classics I've read, I liked novels by Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy
a lot. At least until a couple of years back, I was not the greatest fan of
fantasy or science fiction. But, I'll give them a try once again in the
future. I read Vikram Seth's The Golden Gate recently and found it
to be a wonderful book. Lately, I've developed an interest in non-fiction
too. Talking of reading,
Ramesh Mahadeven's articles make for some interesting reading.