Sabyasachi Basu

PhD Student, 1st year
Computer Science and Engineering

University of California, Santa Cruz
 
1156 High Street
Baskin School of Engineering, Engineering 2
Santa Cruz, CA
 
Phone: 831-900-8308


About me

Hi, I'm Sabyasachi. If you can't wrap your head around how to pronounce that, don't worry, you're not alone. In my native tongue, which is Bangla, you would write this as সব্যসাচী, which means ambidextrous. For all practical purposes, however, I am not ambidextrous. I usually go by my last name, Basu, or abbreviations of my first name if you know me well enough; Sabya, or Shobbo. If you're going to have a child in the foreseeable future, consider giving them names that are not longer than 2 syllables.

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I was born in the east Indian city of Kolkata, earlier known as Calcutta and the old capital of the British Indian Empire. I moved out of Kolkata, to the much more pleasant city of Bengaluru for college. I went to the Indian Institute of Science for college, where I received a Bachelor of Science (Research) in mathematics. I graduated in the summer of 2019 and immediately after, joined UCSC for a PhD in Computer Science. My advisor is C. Seshadhri, and I expect to be working on topics in theoretical computer science.


Academic/Research Interests

Most of my research interests are things that are things closely related to mathematics. In particular, I am a big fan of probability theory in its various forms. Most of you will have a rough idea of what probability means, but if you are unsure of what you know or want a refresher, I heavily recommend checking out William Feller's book on probability . If you're interested in measure theoretic probability, check out Billingsley's book . You should ideally do a fair bit of real analysis in between. For this, check out the absolutely wonderful book by Stein and Shakarchi. For a more heavy duty text, you should try Folland's book.

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Coming back to where this converges with computer science, the answer is discrete mathematics. Wikipedia describes it as "the study of mathematical structures that are fundamentally discrete rather than continuous", which isn't particularly illuminating if you don't read the rest of the article. A book that I really like that does a good job of exploring the intersection of the two is Alon and Spencer's book on The Probabilistic Method.
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Many topics in theoretical computer science overlap greatly with discrete mathematics; either being subjects of interests themselves because of naturally arising problems, or being useful tools in analysing other problems. Things I particularly like include enumerative and bijective combinatorics, graph theory (spectral, random, extremal), graph algorithms, random structures, and their manifold applications to topics in computer science. Of late, I have also been exploring theory of computation, and foundations of data science.
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Papers I like
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Recent Developments in graph Ramsey Theory; a survey by Conlon, Fox and Sudakov (PDF)
On multicolor Ramsey numbers of triple system paths of length 3; by Tom Bohman and Emily Zhu of CMU (PDF)
A constructive proof of the general Lovasz Local Lemma; by Moser and G. Tardos (PDF)

Here is a project I worked on in a course while at IISc. It talks about finding bounds on Ramsey numbers, a problem that has defeated mathematicians and computer scientists for decades. Perhaps the most significant breakthrough in the field was by David Conlon, whose website hosts a myriad of other resources on varying topics in graph theory. He is also one of the authors of the survey mentioned above. You can read more about Ramsey numbers, and why they are incredibly difficult to work with, here.



Other Interests

I take photographs, some of which can be found at my Instagram profile. My interest in photography grew while at IISc, as member of the IISc Photography Club, which I was convener of from 2017-18. Photographers I have looked up to include Alex Webb, Sebastiao Salgado, and Henri Cartier-Bresson. I also deeply admire many younger photographers, such as Lynsey Addario, Sarker Protick, Kitra Cahana, Erika Larsen, Robin Hammond, and Diana Markosian among many others.

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The Polis Project is a good website that I follow. Also, shout out to Tobias E Smith Jr for all the help with making this webpage *wink wink*.
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A random list of people I admire in no particular order is:


Last modified October 2019.