A Journey from Nepal to Drexel CCI: An Interview with International PhD Student Manil Shrestha

Manil Shrestha
CCI PhD student Manil Shrestha is pursuing his passion for research at Drexel University.

Manil Shrestha, a College of Computing & Informatics (CCI) PhD student at Drexel University, recently worked with Dr. Edward Kim, associate professor of computer science, in the Sparse (SPiking And Recurrent SoftwarE) Coding Lab.

“My focus is on continual learning, also called lifelong learning, where we try to model the machines to learn more like human babies, where they can learn continually over time and they retain the previously learned knowledge,” Shrestha said.

Before coming to Drexel, Shrestha completed his undergraduate degree in Kathmandu, Nepal, and worked as a software engineer at one of Nepal’s top companies for more than four years.

A colleague on a Drexel Co-op at Shrestha’s company at the time told him about the university. “I had a chance to mentor him [as part of the co-op] and during that time, he introduced me to Drexel culture, co-op programs, good research activities,” he said.

Drexel University’s location was also a draw. “I always wanted to experience American city life and it’s a perfect combination of great environment, culture and research,” Shrestha said.

As an international student coming to a country where he knew no one, he has felt embraced by the City of Brotherly Love and driven by his work with CCI colleagues.

“All of my colleagues are brilliant at what they do, and that actually pushes me harder,” he said.

His advice to those considering Drexel? “Be prepared to work hard, widen your horizon, and do your best,” Shrestha said.

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