CS Alum Turned Google Engineer Pays It Forward
Published in Creating Tomorrow – Oct. 15, 2016 – Just one year after graduating from USU with a master’s degree in computer science, Subash Gutala donated funding for a scholarship that would give future students the same quality experiences he had.
The computer science alumnus came to Logan from a small town near Hyderabad, India and instantly connected with new friends, colleagues and the faculty and staff of the Computer Science Department.
“Utah State has a very special place in my heart,” said Gutala who now lives in Mountain View, Calif., and works as a Sr. Software Engineer for Google Play – Music. “Coming to Logan, was my first time in a different country, and I found the people to be very friendly and supportive.”
Gutala worked under Dr. Stephen Clyde on distributed systems – an increasingly common area of study for computer scientists. Distributed systems are the backbone of cloud computing and any platform in which users access information from multiple computers. The two worked on cutting-edge technology that linked databases at the Utah Department of Health to simplify the way health practitioners access patient data.
After graduating, Gutala worked briefly for the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management, developing software tools used to improve the lives of children who have hearing loss. He then worked as a software engineer at Microsoft and in 2011 landed a data analytics job at Google where he studies data on Google Play users.
“We’re trying to understand how users search for music, what recommendations they receive and, overall, how to better understand user behavior,” he explained.
Gutala credits his mentors and members of the community for making his USU experience so positive. He recalled how a local family invited him into their home for Thanksgiving one year. They picked him up and dropped him off afterward and even – to his surprise – accommodated his vegetarian meal preference.
“I loved my experiences in Utah,” he said. “When I came to Utah State, I arrived with almost no funding. And later when I did get funding, I realized that it makes a big difference in the quality of education and quality of life. That’s why I wanted to give something back to the university.”
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