Nishant Kumar

​Who are you and what do you do? Who are your partners?
My name is Nishant Kumar and I am a PhD student at the chair of Computer Graphics and Visualisation, Technische Universität Dresden. My PhD topic is focused on medical image analysis using machine learning techniques. Under the Software Campus program, I am collaborating with the industry partner Carl Zeiss Meditec AG.

When did you join the Software Campus and why are you in the program?
I joined the Software campus program in 2020. I think it’s a great platform to nurture IT talents and provide them with needed skills to take up industry roles in the future. As PhD students, our daily work activities are more focused on solving technical questions to real world problems. However, it is also important for PhD students to possess managerial and leadership skills required in both academia and industry. The Software Campus program provides an ideal opportunity to refine technical and managerial skills due to which I am excited to be part of this program.

What is the content of your IT project and how could it be applied in the future?
The development of non-invasive imaging of the human eye’s retina allows clinicians to identify retinal diseases such as diabetic retinopathy (DR) as well as monitor the progression of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. These diseases, if undetected for a long time can cause blindness in a significant proportion of the world’s adult population. Additionally, the detection of these diseases is a time consuming process since it requires careful examination of retinal images by clinical experts. Therefore, the aim of this project is to automate the detection of these retinal diseases using machine learning techniques. In the future, the prototype developed will significantly reduce the cost and time to diagnose the pathology of the human eye. Due to its low cost, the idea also has the potential to be utilised in underdeveloped countries where the availability of clinical experts is scarce.

Do you associate funny memories with computer science?
I especially remember one such instance. Few years back, I was working in IT as a software developer and had a habit of relating everything with computer logic. During that time, my mother used to visit me quite often. One day she asked me to visit a nearby supermarket and said “Bring 2 packets of 1 kg rice and if they had eggs, bring 6”. I followed the exact orders and since the supermarket had eggs, I brought 6 packets of 1 kg rice. She shouted at me, “Why the hell did you bring 6 kgs of rice?”. I said “Because they had eggs!”.

Which app/technical invention is indispensable for you?
I think renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power are some inventions that truly are indispensable to me. After all they are the biggest hope to save planet earth and mankind from ill effects of climate change.

Has a personality from computer science or management particularly impressed you?
Alan Turing and Geoffrey Hinton

Do you think there is “the” quality a top manager has to have today to be successful?
S/He needs to be a risk taker and should have a firm belief to overcome any obstacle with hard work and perseverance.

What has been the biggest challenge you have had to face so far in your IT career?
Transition from the Indian IT culture to the German IT work environment

What does your heart beat for – besides job and Software Campus?
I am quite passionate about outdoor sport activities. I like to explore the countryside, hike mountains, swim in lakes, ride bicycle and run long distances. I prefer not to use any digital devices when I am in nature doing these activities.