madhur khandelwal
TAMU M.S., 2004, Computer Science

How it started?
I totally loved the idea of browsing the web in the units of text chunks and images and immediately wanted to be part of the ecologylab. To get acquainted with the nitty gritty detalis of combinFormation, I wanted to implement the next big feature in combinFormation. Lucky for me, I did not have to think much because while playing with cF I came up with a really cool information space and realized that there was no way to save it. So I started working on a project for implementing the "save" and "load" feature for information spaces.
In the process of designing the data structures and algorithms for save/load feature, I got acquainted with XML and Java Reflection and quickly made very good friends with these technologies. As a result, the entire save and load mechnanism of cF is based on Java reflection and XML. I was also learning Software Engineering at the time and really wanted to apply all the good stuff learnt in that class. As a result, Andruid and I sat one day and "refactored" the complete save/load implementation to separate all cF specific code from the underlying XML infrastructure to come up with ecologylab.xml [link to paper here] library for serializing and deserializing Java data structures to XML and back.
Masters Thesis
Then came the million dollar (= 5 credit hours and one semester) question of choosing a research topic to do for the Masters thesis. We were already missing the undo/redo features in cF and realized how easily that could be done with the save/load infrastructure. Once that was implemented, within no time came up the idea of doing undo (going back) multiple times and then doing redo (come forward) which eventually led to the evolution of "time travel" idea in cF. We knew this was going to take some dedicated research and I took this up as my thesis topic, Semantics of Time Travel in a Generative Information Space.
As a part of the research, I worked on design and implementation of data structures, algorithms and interaction semantics for the "time travel" features in combinFormation by which the user can travel back and forth across the information space timeline. The timeline can be traversed using the custom designed UI controls including jog-shuttle and tape-recorder metaphor controls like play, record, forward, reverse. As the user moves across the timeline using jog-shuttle, a preview is shown in a small window, which gives an idea of the collage from previous point in time. The thesis also involved conducting a user study in order to evaluate the usability and usefulness of the developed feature.
What I am up to
Started off my professional career as a software professional and have gained technical experience in a variety of fields including mobile software (Motorola, Bangalore, India), system software (Windows Vista OS group, Microsoft, Redmond, WA) and application software in the Internet domain. Currently working in an early stage search startup focussing ( on innovation in information retrieval, machine learning, data mining and query processing.
Working in the industry over past few years, I have come to appreciate other aspects of business including marketing, business development and leadership. In the pursuit of developing these allround business skills and strong technical excellence, I have developed a strong passion for entrepreneurship. My professional profile is here.
Outside of work, I like to play music (keyboard), do outdoor activities (hiking, swimming) and spend remaining time blogging. Check out my blog covering Internet industry in India.