Ratna's Home

"Life can be magnificent and overwhelming. That is it's whole tragedy.
   Without beauty love or danger it would be almost easy to live"
                                                                                               -  Albert Camus
About me

I am Rethnakran. P.  You could call me 'ratna'. There is no fancy story behind this though. My parents and relatives used to call me that way since my childhood . That's it !. I was born 26 years ago in  the shade of a tiny place called Nileshwar of Kasargod District in the state of Kerala located in the  southern India . I did my entire schooling in Kerala and received my Bachelor's degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering at the Regional Engineering College, Calicut (now The National Institute of Technology Calicut, centre for excellence). Currently I am working with Synopsys in the area of Wireless Communications and Signal Processing. On 14 May 2000, I got married to my good old class mate-friend Maya Pai who is a Software Engineer.

My Interests

My main interests fall in the areas related to Digital Communications and Coding Theory. More specifically, the topics that interest me a lot are digital communication theory, information theory, error correcting codes , signal processing , combinatorics, complexity theory etc. But above all these, I have a deep love for mathematics.  For culture sake, I also maintain an interest in certain topics not directly related to my work (though the busy  life has made this a bit more difficult these days): Commutative Algebra, Algebraic Number Theory and Algebraic Geometry are some examples;  Off late I have also (Re) developed an interest in Physics (especially GR &Cosmology). Recently (after listening to David Forney's talk on "Codes and systems on Graphs" at the IEEE Information theory workshop 2002) I am quite interested in Graph theory as well.  At profession I am a Communication systems and Signal Processing Engineer doing design and research on Receivers design, Channel Coding Issues, Channel Models, Equalizer etc. Apart from regular work I also spend a lot of time understanding the theoretical issues of Information transmission, Coding techniques (especially the capacity achieving codes), Advanced Signal processing Algorithms etc.  The fact that I have not yet pursued for a PhD some time haunt me. If ever I get to go for a  PhD, then I would like to do  it in any of these fields. But I am still searching clarity on some ideas where I want to run after. More details on my work and research interest etc. can be seen here

My Hobbies
"Every man is a creature of the age in which he lives. Very
  few are able to raise themselves above the ideas of time"
                                                                                                 - Votaire

My favourite hobby is reading. Since my time is limited, most of my time I use to read books on maths and information theory. I solve a lot of problems in these fields and document in my computer which I hope to publish some time in the future.  Other than pure technical reading I also read books on poetry, non-fiction, biography etc.  I also spend time with my computer playing with some nice utilities and scientific tools. Latex, Gnuplot,Octave and Xfig are some of my the most often used Linux utilities. The most fascinating tool I have ever used is Mathematica which is a class apart from the rest of the scientific tools I have used. CoCentricSystem Studio, COSSAP (both from Synopsys Inc), MatLab, MathCAD are some of the other interesting commercial tools I have used. If I am not really spending time with books, I may be spending time with my wife or other close friends ( luckily I have many of them). Till recently I used to spend a lot of time watching and playing cricket, but that has come down considerably. Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara are two of my favourite cricketers. Beside cricket I used to follow most of the other sports, especially Tennis. I am great Pete Sampras fan as well.  Vishwanathan Anand and Gary Kasparov are two other Sport persons I admire. I also enjoy driving, but recently we had an accident with my car which sort of took me to the backfoot from having this as a hobby, really!!

My Philosophy

"Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions,like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a great ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair. I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy - ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of life for a few hours of this joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness--that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss.I have sought it finally, because in the union of love I have seen, in a mystic miniature, the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined. This is what I sought,and though it might seem too good for human life, this is what--at last--I have found. With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway above the flux. A little of this, but not much, I have achieved. Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward the heavens. But always pity brought me back to earth. Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in my heart. Children in famine,victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people a burden to their sons, and the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human life should be. I long to alleviate this evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer.   This has been my life. I have found it worth living, and would gladly  live it again if the chance were offered me."
                         -Bertrand Russel

I may have thought the road to a world of free and happy human beings shorter than it is proving to be, but I was not wrong in thinking that such a world is possible , and that it is worth while to live with a view to bring it nearer. I have lived (and am living) in the pursuit of a vision , both personal and social. Personal : To care for what is noble, for what is beautiful, for what is genltle: to allow moments of insight to give wisdom at more mundane times. Social: to see in imagination the society that is to be created, where individuals grow, freely, and where hate and greed and envy die because there is nothing to nourish them. These things I believe and the world for all its horrors, has left me unshaken.
 
 

My Friends
 "...Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
          Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
          Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;..."
                               -Polonius' advice to Laertes, Hamlet.

In the above snippet, Polonius gives some very sound advice indeed to Laertes , as he departs for higher studies to France. I do  not subscribe to the idea of a 'best friend'; rather I prefer to have a number of close friends, with whom I share my opinions, feelings and values. Some of them are very special to me  for them I have very high regards of closeness. In no particular order, my friends include ( to be added)

Last modified on June 08, 2003
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