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Pointing in the distance, he said we used to play cricket here and all the glass windows used to get constantly broken.

I was ragged a bit but it was all in good spirit Sundar Pichai revisits IIT 23 years later
news Interview Thursday, January 05, 2017 - 15:41

Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, was back to his alma mater, IIT Kharagpur, after 23 years. In a freewheeling interview with NDTV, he discussed various aspects of his campus life.

On being asked about how he felt to be back where it all started, he said it’s quite overwhelming. Pointing in the distance, he said we used to play cricket here and all the glass windows used to get constantly broken.

“It used to be cold in winter so we used to tape it up with paper. Looks like nothing much has changed. So it’s great to be back here.”

He said that they used to stay up late in the night and used to get Maggi and have it here. They did that pretty much every night and he said it brings back great memories.

To a question on what his parents wanted him to become when he first entered the IIT campus, he said in a lighter vein that they were worried about ragging and just wanted me to be safe. They just wanted me to do well and they have always been very supportive. So, it was a great four years of my life.

He admitted that he was ragged a little bit but it was all in good spirit adding ‘I am glad it’s much better now’.

Asked whether his hostel room number B308 was the same or had changed, he said it’s remarkably the same, from 23 years ago. Everything looks a bit cleaner, it’s good to see the old buildings as they are and it brings back fond memories.

On whether he met his wife at IIT, he said that although she was not allowed to come inside his hostel, he did meet her at IIT Kharagpur where she was his classmate.

During an interaction with students, when asked by one of them studying Mathematics on how to get into Google, he said “The good news is Mathematics is foundational. Earlier I talked about machine learning. What machine learning is, most of that, to improvements in machine learning algorithms, it’s all Mathematics. In fact, I think it is easier to train a good mathematician, train them in computer science to make them a machine learning expert than the other way round.”

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