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Office: Upson 529, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Email: rt398 at
LinkedIn: rtakkar
Twitter: @RickyTakkar
GitHub: ritwiktakkar


Cornell University     PhD, Systems Engineering; PhD Minor, Computer Science (2021-2026)
        Thesis Committee: Oliver Gao, Ken Birman

Syracuse University   BS, Computer Engineering (2017-2021)
        Undergraduate Advisor: Shiu-Kai Chin

Research Interests

Cities create over 80% of the world's GDP at the cost of producing 80% of the world's CO\(_2\) emissions. Studying ways to increase urban well-being and reduce environmental damage is most impactful when applied to cities. How can urban big datasets be leveraged to develop the predictive capability to support better decision-making at scale? Specifically, I'm interested in exploring how digital twins technology may tackle such questions. The digital twin concept, at best a complex yet robust distributed system, lends itself to leverage exciting technologies like IoT and ML to reap benefits such as low latency and higher fault tolerance. At the same time, challenges like privacy considerations, cost of implementation, and lack of standards need to be addressed.  


August 2022. Released my second iOS app: WordDefiner - a lightweight, ad-free online dictionary. The most challenging part of building this app was parsing the complex nested JSON structures consisting of maps and lists from the Free Dictionary API (hat tip to this Medium article). Luckily, the Flutter SDK makes showcasing entities within objects of the deserialized decoded JSON response in the UI quite simple with its ListView.builder widget.

May 2022. Pleased to have Professor Ken Birman join my PhD committee as a CS minor member. Looking forward to exploring ways of boosting smartness in cities by leveraging Cascade, a performant C++ cloud application framework powered by optimized RDMA data paths, with his group.

January 2022. Thrilled to be awarded a teaching assistantship (TA) for the Spring 2022 semester! My teaching assistantship will be for Project Management - ENMGT 5900/6910 taught by Professor Robert Newman, a senior lecturer in the Engineering Management program at Cornell.

December 2021. Completed my first semester as a PhD student at Cornell. Check out my group's final project report and presentation from our Learning with Big Messy Data course. We tried to uncover the extent to which a company’s earnings call affects their next day opening stock price using 3 datasets from Kaggle and methods like Lasso and Huber for regression and gradient boosted tree ensemble for classification.

August 2021. After completing my second internship at ParallelChain Lab, I created an online research database scraper. Excited to start my PhD at Cornell University on a systems engineering departmental fellowship!

June 2021. Joined ParallelChain Lab, a blockchain-focused financial technology start-up based in Hong Kong, as a returning software engineer intern.

May 2021. Received my Bachelor of Science – BS in Computer Engineering from Syracuse University.