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Iconic Personalities

A tribute…Missile Man of India – Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam

On the 27th day of July 2015, the world endured the loss of a visionary, a scientist and one of the purest of people on this earth. His name Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. May he rest in peace. Not only did he empower India to become a nuclear savvy nation, he also served as President from 2002 to 2007. Some of the most prominent missiles with India’s armed forces, still, were developed under his supervision. But you can read all about his work on his wikipedia page.

This post is dedicated to the change and motivation that Dr. Kalam inspired with his words.

“Let me define a leader. He must have vision and passion and not be afraid of any problem. Instead, he should know how to defeat it. Most importantly, he must work with integrity.”

“You have to dream before your dreams come true.”

“Great dreams of great dreamers are always transcended.”

“To succeed in your mission, you must have single-minded devotion to your goal.”

“You see, God helps only those who work hard. That principle is very clear.”

“My message, especially to young people is to have courage to think differently, courage to invent, to travel the unexplored path, courage to discover the impossible and to conquer the problems and succeed. These are great qualities that they must work towards. This is my message to the young people.”

“Let us sacrifice our today so that our children can have a better tomorrow.”

“Man needs his difficulties because they are necessary to enjoy success.”

“If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher.”

“Look at the sky. We are not alone. The whole universe is friendly to us and conspires only to give the best to those who dream and work.”

-Akshar Rawal

Elon Musk, ladies and gentlemen! Get motivated.

Within 2 years of getting his first computer, when he was 10, Musk sold his first game written in BASIC for $500. He got his PhD from Stanford in 1995 in Applied Physics and went on to launch his first company Zip2 that was later bought by Compaq and Alta Vista for $22m. What it did? It helped get the old media onto this new fangled World-wide-web. We’re talking about 1995, yes, it was new-fangled. Guess what his next venture was. You guess it right! It was PayPal, or the firm that would later become PayPal. And eBay bought it for $1.65bn in stocks. Musk, got a whopping 11.7% shareholding $165m.

With two successful internet ventures under his sleeves, he went on to start Space Exploration Technologies (or as we know it, SpaceX) in 2001. SpaceX has received multiple NASA orders for unmanned space vehicles over the years. It is the first commercial company to dock with the ISS. If that wasn’t enough to work with, he also co-founded Tesla motors in 2003. Electric cars could well be the solution to moving away from fossil fuels. And this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Src/Complete text: gizmodo

-Akshar Rawal

Jeff Jonas – Realizing Big Data

We all live in a world that is on course to be dominated by big data soon, if not already. We have data all around us, data from so many sources, data in so many forms. But what do we do with that data? How have you used the data do better people’s lives, to make everyday a bit easier?

Jeff is a big data enthusiast that has actually acted on the data that he observes. He realizes it and puts it to good use. But how did he come to it? He has had exposure to computers and programming since early in his life. He sold a text-editor that he wrote in his school days. He started a software firm and managed 20 people when he was 19. Although he was highly unsuccessful, so much so that he had to file for bankruptcy, he took that opportunity to learn from his mistakes. He started another firm shortly after filing for bankruptcy. Wasn’t that stupid? Well, No! He knew what caused him to fail the first time.

He was hired by the Mirage Hotel in Vegas. He was started off with the task to analyze aquarium resources. He built a system that would track the resources that helped with ordering the right amount and making the spending efficient on the hotel’s part. Having done an excellent job with the given task, he was given more and more tasks that could improve operations with analysis. And he has since been a pioneer in using data analysis for the betterment of society. Lately he has moved his focus to privacy in information age.

He has founded two successful firms, NORA and G2. NORA was acquired by IBM and Jeff has since been nominated as an IBM fellow. He also started G2. In his own words, “G2 software is designed to integrate diverse observations (data) as it arrives, in real-time.  G2 does this incrementally, piece by piece, much in the same way you would put a puzzle together at home.  And just like at home, the more puzzle pieces integrated into the puzzle, the more complete the picture.  The more complete the picture, the better the ability to make sense of what has happened in the past, what is happening now, and what may come next.  Users of G2 technology will be more efficient, deliver high quality outcomes, and ultimately will be more competitive.”

You can check out his work @ Jeff Jonas. And for a brief life history of his, head on over to National Geographic.

-Akshar Rawal

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