Personal Information

I was born in one of the smallest states (Tripura) of India in 1963. However, I spent most of my childhood in Calcutta. Because of my father's transferable job, I had the opportunity to return to Agartala (capital town of Tripura) and complete my secondary and higher secondary education from Agartala. Securing the fifth position in the (10+2) board examination, I was also lucky to get into IIT Kharagpur for my Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering. IIT KGP days were the most memorable days of my life, where in addition to becoming a Mechanical Engineer, I had the opportunity to graduate as a `Nehruite'. Realizing that I had had enough studies, I joined Engineers India Limited (EIL), New Delhi in 1985 for some real job experience. At EIL, my engineering courses took a practical shape, a matter which I have always found useful in my research and teaching.

In 1987, I had the opportunity to join the University of Alabama for my Masters degree program. Registering for two compulsory courses in the first semester, I was searching for a third course. That is when I came across the course on genetic algorithms, to be offerred by David E. Goldberg. I had no clue then that I would not be doing genetic algorithms for only that semester, but for the rest of my life. When I got to know more about the research on genetic algorithms, I found myself very lucky to be working with a pioneer and a leading researcher in the field. I did not want to leave Dave, before I had the intention of leaving US. I continued with him to get my Masters and PhD degrees and then followed him to UIUC. I still think that the one and a half years (1991-1992) of stay at UIUC were my most successful years.

The year 1993 was the beginning of a new era for me. I returned from US after about six years of stay and joined IIT Kanpur (situated in an industrial town about 440 KM south-east of New Delhi) as an Assistant Professor. Initially, I wanted to get settled by interacting with the students, industries and funding agencies. Beyond my comprehension, I found that there was already a course offerred on genetic algorithms at IIT Kanpur and there were students interested in working in such an esoteric subject. My first DST-funded young scientist project and the academic freedom at IIT Kanpur helped me tremendously to launch a research program on genetic algorithms. I have been very lucky to have the assistance from some of the brightest and diligent students of IIT Kanpur. With the help of them, my colleagues, and with the financial support from AICTE, DST, DAE, and MHRD-sponsored projects, I established a research laboratory dedicated to promote development and applications of genetic and evolutionary algorithms in 1997. I was lucky to get my first promotion to Associate Professor in that year and eventually to Professor in 1999.

While trying to make a career in research and teaching, I did not forget the social aspects of my life. After preparing a draft of my doctoral thesis in January 1991, I got married to Debjani. She, being interested in computers and classical Indian dancing, kept herself busy during her two years of stay in Urbana-Champaign. In 1994, we had our first child, Debayan (Ronny). He kept us on our toes since he was born and fits really well with what one of my senior colleagues will describe him as a `dustu chele' (naughty boy). Our lives were not full till we were blessed with Dhriti (Rini) in 1999. Although she likes to learn tricks from her more experienced companion, Ronny also wants her to grow like he did. They like to fight and yet they cannot live without each other. For me and my family, the latter is true, but you have to ask Debjani if the former is also true.

My younger brothers, Ashish, Debasis, and Subhasis are all married and settled. Ashish is an Electrical Engineer and currently working in General Electric-Alsthom in Calcutta and has a lovely daughter, Sahana and a smart son Tubai. Debasis has joined IIT Kharagpur in 2001after returning from USA. He also has a charming daughter, Didhiti and a playful son Riky. Subhasis has a diploma in mechanical engineering, but now works in a reputed IT industry in Salt Lake, Calcutta and has a beautiful daughter Rimli.