Impact Award, Fall 2020
Electrical engineering is not just an interest of Sinjini Mitra, it’s a true calling. As the daughter of an electrical engineer, she had a basic understanding of the subject, but in 2014 when she attended her first signals class at NIIT University in India, her path became clear — focusing on signals was the way to go.
“A lot of people don’t realize that signal processing is everywhere,” Mitra says. “Our phones, iPads, Apple watches, sleep trackers and even AI use concepts from these areas. I want to be a part of improving people’s lives with it.”
Mitra came to Arizona State University as a graduate student in 2018. While weighing her options of where to study, her top priorities were to find a school with a large international population, an excellent track record on diversity and world-renowned faculty. The Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at ASU checked all her boxes.
Shortly after arriving at ASU, Mitra met Professor Antonia Papandreou-Suppappola and made an instant connection.
“I aspire to be as kind as she is,” Mitra says. “Not only did I learn a lot from her classes in terms of subject matter, I learned that being a professor is not just about having an expert grasp on knowledge, but it also includes impacting the lives of the students in the classroom.”
Papandreou-Suppappola also inspired Mitra to do a master’s thesis instead of the regular comprehensive exam. Mitra tackled the subject of identifying and analyzing the computational challenges in detecting bradycardia in preterm infants. The project helped her gain critical skills as an electrical engineer and was a catalyst for her own personal growth.
Although Mitra’s time at ASU has been short, she has made a considerable impact inside and outside of the classroom. She became a lead tutor at the Fulton Schools Tutoring Centers. During her time there, she helped create an immersive learning program to help international students adjust to their new lives abroad.
In her spare time, you can also find Mitra at the roller rink, skating for the roller derby team, the Derby Devils.
Mitra’s future is bright in electrical engineering. She plans on starting a doctoral program soon and looks forward to entering the workforce as a researcher. One day, she hopes to become an inspiring educator like those she’s crossed paths with in college and as a high school student at La Martiniere for Girls in India.
Mitra looks back on her time at ASU as genuinely inspiring. The education she received has created a highly competent and innovative researcher. But she is also taking a very personal lesson with her.
“I learned to be thankful for what I have while also realizing that my life is my canvas to paint,” says Mitra. “I am confident this lesson will remain with me for years to come.”