Rahul Kumar '23

Rahul Kumar ’23
Rahul Kumar ’23

Computer Science major Rahul Kumar ’23 is heading to Fordham University after graduation to pursue a master's in computer science. "At UHart, I have not only gained the skills and knowledge to succeed at the master's level, but I also have a better understanding of who I am and what I want from an education," says Rahul. "Fordham's small classes emulate those which I have taken at UHart, allowing me to connect to faculty and students like I have done here."

Last summer, Rahul completed an internship as a claim tech at Travelers where he used machine learning to determine whether the company was paying the correct amount for its insurance claims. At Travelers, Rahul says he gained valuable experience in artificial intelligence (AI) while also benefiting from the connections he made—including its CEO Alan Schnitzer! “Everyone treated each other like they had something valuable to offer,” he says. “I enjoyed connecting with the people and know what I want out of a future career—a job that has meaningful work AND an inclusive and sociable environment where everyone can thrive.”

Rahul completed two research projects with UHart Assistant Professor of Computer Science Md kamruzzaman Sarker. The first is on Natural Language Processing, which he explains is teaching machines how to understand patterns in text and speech settings, such when people ask Alexa a question. Rahul’s research involves how to detect and classify hate speech online more accurately. “By detecting hateful comments posted on social media sites such as Reddit, Twitter, and Instagram, we can make models that can address these comments and flag and remove them,” he says.

The second project is an Honors thesis on Computer Vision. Rahul says that despite the valuable insights that AI models provide, they need thousands of images to perform the task at hand, such as classification. “Collecting and labeling data for these models can be pretty expensive for a company, especially a start-up in its early stages,” he says. “My research aims to use only one percent of the data usually required for a model but still has the same results, also known as transfer learning.”

In addition to doing research with Sarker, Rahul completed a preceptorship for the professor’s Introduction to Computing course and has taken three courses with him. Rahul says he also appreciates the support he receives from Computing Sciences Department Chair and Professor Carolyn Rosiene. After Rahul competed for and won a UHart National Honors Scholarship in 2020, Rosiene attended the awards ceremony and has since supported his academic success. “She nominated me for a student ambassador position for the College of Arts and Sciences and has acted as a resource for any questions I have regarding the school, the program, or computer science in general.”

As he looks back on his most memorable courses, Rahul says Data Mining, Discrete Mathematics, and Introduction to Robotics come to mind. “Data Mining was the perfect class to pursue my passion for machine learning and AI. And Discrete Math made me think outside of my conventional approach to problem solving and forced me to think outside of the box when it came to writing proofs.” Rahul says he really enjoys the atmosphere that faculty and students have created at UHart. “There is no fierce competition to be No. 1 in the class or any pressure to constantly get A’s,” he says. “We are free to be ourselves.”

Outside of classes, Rahul served as a proud co-captain of the Men’s Soccer Club, as well as treasurer of the Public Speaking Club, and member of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Society.

Rahul says his advice to an incoming computer science student is to not confine yourself to just software engineering and emphasizes there are many avenues to take in the major. “Make time to explore your interests,” he says. “I find that professors are more than willing to help guide you during a research project of your interests. And the coursework is not extremely intensive where it takes up all your free time. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and just enjoy the process!”


At UHart, I have not only gained the skills and knowledge to succeed at the master's level, but I also have a better understanding of who I am and what I want from an education.

Rahul Kumar ’23, Computer Science