2018 Incoming Grad Series: Meenakshi Shyamsundar

by Daina Tagavi, Professional Development Peer
Tuesday, September 18, 2018 9:40 AM

This is the second article in our 2018 Incoming Grad Series, which features backstories and fun facts on 8 students who are part of our most diverse incoming class in recent memory.

We are delighted to introduce you to Meenakshi Shyamsundar, an incoming ​master's student in Electrical and Computer Engineering, with an emphasis in Communications, Control and Signal Processing. Meena was born in Michigan, but grew up in Bangalore, ​India. During ​her time at UCSB, she will be focusing on wireless communication and wireless networks.

Read on to learn more about ​Meena's research interests and what she is looking forward to at UCSB.


Meena was born in Troy, Michigan, and spent the first seven years of her life in Detroit. Her family then shifted to Bangalore, India, as they wanted her and her brother (6 years younger) to grow up in an Indian culture and inculcate Indian traditions and values. She has lived in beautiful Bangalore since and has enjoyed every bit of it. Both of her parents were born and brought up in Tamil Nadu, and she is passionate about calling herself a Tam Brahm. ​Living in metropolitan Bangalore helped her ​become a confident young woman and an Indian soul with a global outlook. Meena says that she is now ready to "step out of her comfort zone, and live her American Dream!"


For Meena, "UCSB is a perfect fusion of everything a girl like me would like to have!" There are amazing academic and research opportunities, diversity, a relaxed atmosphere, and the chance to hike, surf, and explore other hobbies. Santa Barbara is an ideal place to learn and have fun - the best of both worlds! During her time at UCSB, Meena hopes to strive to be the best version of herself and make lifelong friends.



Meena writes that "communication is ubiquitous, and everything we do is dependent on it." During her time in undergrad, she took wonderful courses in the area of communication, and also got to work on some projects in the domain of Satellite Communication​, which piqued her interest in this ​area. Here at UCSB, Meena would like to focus on Wireless Communications and Wireless Networks, and she hopes to carry out her research in the Wireless Communication and Sensornets Lab at UCSB.



Meena has always been very fond of singing and would never say no to a karaoke night! She is an extrovert and enjoys any activity that involves socializing - whether it’s shopping, playing a board game, a good conversation over coffee, or even late evening walks. She enjoys making crafts and you’ll find her browsing on Pinterest quite often. Meena watches many types of shows and reads "geeky" articles in her free time. She also looks forward to learning photography soon to capture some memorable moments!

Meena reports that she is phenomenal at Othello, the strategy board game. She is undefeated to date and is open to anyone who would like to challenge her for a quick game. She also loves collecting shells from every beach she visits and anticipates her collection growing much bigger in the months to come!

Welcome, Meena!

Be sure to subscribe to the GradPost and check back each day until the start of classes for the continuation of our Incoming Grad Series. Up next is Tanner Cassidy, an incoming MA/Ph.D. student in ​Music from ​Chicago, Illinois, who is 6'4 and has a 6 pound toy poodle named Raincloud back home.