Roll no: 158/1965 Babu Gireesh K
Roll no: 158 Babu Gireesh of 1965 batch, joined Pangode campus of SSKZM in 1962. A brilliant student at school he was keen on being efficient, maximizing the rewards while minimizing the efforts.
He joined IIT Madras for his B Tech to be the first alumni of SSKZM to join an IIT after which he decided to study Industrial Engineering at National Institute of Training in Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Bombay. At NITIE, as a summer project, he demonstrated the use of computer in a bridge construction (Panvel Bridge in Mumbai) to manage its planning and execution, a first in civil construction in India. Soon after NITIE, he joined Larsen and Toubro as managment trainee for a year and then ICICI in their investment banking division, to provide finance for industrial development in various parts of India. Keltron was one of his projects in Kerala besides few others.
Two years into ICICI, he decided to go to Syracuse for his MBA which was a two year course, but he finished in a year, with advanced standings and through waiver exams. He won the best thesis award for his computer simulation model to predict foreign exchange rates between countries. After MBA, he moved to Boston to work as IT Manager for VISA, the credit card company and here he got interested in fault tolerant systems in banking, a new field those days. He then decided to pursue a Masters course at Massachusetts Institute of Technology( MIT), to learn more about computers and their applications.
In 1980, he started a consultancy service offering advice on developing operating systems, computer languages and data bases. Over a period of 25 years, he worked with IBM, Walmart, TJ Max and dozen other companies advising them how to use computers to streamline their operations to increase productivity and to improve profits. He was associated with Marvin Minsky, the father of Artificial Intelligence in designing a database for “thinking machines” so that the “machine” learns through mistakes and tries to avoid them in future. He also worked on designing Very Large Data Bases, over a terabyte of a data, with its own query language, for American Express. It was a big achievement in the 90s, but very common these days. It was a sort of predecessor to Big Data.
Another of his project was to set a computer system for the White Head Institute at MIT for David Baltimore, Nobel prize winner in Medicine in 74. The project was unique since the design called for optimum use of computing power to manage their complicated genetic applications. Those days computing power was restricted and processes had to be synchronized to get the maximum output, which was a challenge. In the eighties, he also designed a comprehensive system to manage various administrative functions of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts when Michal Dukakis, the Democratic Presidential nominee in 1988, was the Governor and John Kerry, now the Secretary of State, was the Lt Governor.
Since 2007, he is retired and pursues his hobbies which include flying, sailing, travel, hand gliding, hiking and camping. He holds a private flying license and whenever he gets a chance he sails in Boston harbor. He has travelled to over 50 countries, hiked to Mt Everest Base camp and camped in Amazon river basin. Currently, he is working on a curriculum for students of Computer science in a Mongolian University.
He values his association with the school over his professional achievements and so inspite of his busy schedule he keeps in regular touch with the School. The Capt K Govindan Kutty Menon Roll No 151 Memorial Endowment for the highest rank holder in the Entrance Examination and who joins the Indian Naval Academy in the first Chance has been instituted by him to honour the memory of his classmate from the Merchant Marine who passed away in 2002. To honour the memory of another illustrious alumni, Col NJ Nair, Ashok Chakra, Kirti Chakra he institiuted a Trophy and Endowment in his name for the best all round cadet of each year. He also instituted the Lt Col BK Somaiah Memorial Trophy and Award for the most promising Cadet of the year to honour our first Principal. Another of his trophies is to be presented to the winner in the inter House Aquatic competition.
He believes in sharing his fortune with less fortunate ones. In the nineties, he set up an endowment to finance poor students in Kerala. So far, over 100 school and college students, including 3 students attending professional colleges and one IIT, have benefitted from the fund. His dream is to see “a Kazak on top of Mt Everest”.
He is being awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for his impressive academic achievements, professional excellence in the field of Computer Science and contribution to the School and to the society.