Meet the PARC Intern: Pragati Sahu Answers the FAQs on MFDs

Pragati Sahu graduated this past summer from San Jose State University where she earned her master’s degree in Software Engineering with a specialization in Mobile and Cloud Computing. At PARC, Pragati is an intern in the System Sciences Laboratory. On many days, Pragati can be found roaming the PARC hallways whispering to Multi-Function Devices (MFDs) through a smartphone.

Pragati, what have you been working on so far at PARC?

Here at PARC, I’ve been working with Multi-Function Devices (MFDs), which are basically office machines that incorporate the functionality of multiple devices in one. My focus is improving the experience for people who use MFDs, providing innovative functionality while also ensuring that security is maintained.

How’s that going so far?

It’s going really well! I’ve made good progress in exploring how MFDs communicate with other devices on the network, especially mobile devices. Part of my job involves testing, so I’m continually experimenting with existing features and thinking of new ones.

How do you hope your project could impact the world?

At a high level, we want to make the experience of using Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices simple and intuitive. An important portion of this is to figure out how to improve the way these IoT devices speak with other devices on the network. If people are securely able to access the functionality of the IoT, and at the same time, have a pleasant experience while doing so, then they would feel good about including these devices in their day-to-day lives.

How does your project intersect with what you studied?

My project gives me good hands-on knowledge about mobile computing and networking technologies. My studies have given me theoretical knowledge on mobile computing whereas my project has given me the opportunity to work on some of its real-world applications.

What have you enjoyed most about interning at PARC?

We have a seminar series here at PARC called the “Dealer.” In these weekly talks, I get to hear highly intellectual people discuss their research and the latest trends in their field. Afterwards, there are snacks and refreshments and all of the PARC employees get together to chat and share opinions about the talk.

What was the last show you binge watched?

Parks and Recreation. I love that show.

What’s one thing you couldn’t live without in the office?

Hot chocolate. We have a yummy hot chocolate machine in the cafeteria.

Time travel or teleportation?

Time travel, of course.


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