Major Projects and Employment History

* Rohit Khare

* Box 103, Caltech * Pasadena, CA 91125

* 818/792-9114 * 818/795-1547 FAX


* This file was last updated fall 1994

eText Project / The eText Engine

* Employer: K. Mani Chandy (Caltech)

* Dates: January 14, 1993 -- 6/95

* Hours: Varies; minimum of 7-10 / week; maximum ~80

* Supervisors: Dr. Chandy. Also responsible to the entire team.

* Phone: (818) 395-6559

* Description: The `multimedia textbook' we intend to construct will embody Dr. Chandy's pedagogical technique of `templates' and present most of the material from CS138 in a manner appropriate for self-study by anyone fluent in a major programming language (C, Pascal, FORTRAN). Particular emphasis will be placed on extending these templates (Divide-and-Conquer, Branch-and-Bound, etc..) to parallel systems; it is intended to be a primer on systematic sequential and parallel programming, with numerous, exhaustive examples surrounding each template. Technologically, we aim to integrate audio, video, hypertext, and animated and interactive figures, including actual algorithm animation. The project is being implemented under NeXTSTEP, using custom programming, MediaView, and Callisto. Skills learned: Interface design, information design, group management. Assessment: This project embodies exactly the kind of problems that really interest me, and drew me into CS to begin with, at the level of the book's material, at the level of the book's design, and also at the level of the book's underlying technology.

System Manager

* Employer: Envirosystems, Inc.

* Dates: July 1989 -- present

* Hours: Varies; on-call at all times.

* Supervisor: William T. Brewington

* Phone: (410) 964-0330

* Description: Envirosystems is an environmental-analysis laboratory. My duties include supporting a half-dozen PC's, and several specialized instrument-control systems (NOVA minis), as well as several large custom reporting and analysis programs. In addition to hardware support and purchasing, I also support the Finnegan FormMaster and System J database that hold the company's sample data. Also responsible for maintaining backups and security. Skills: DOS, Windows, PC hardware. Assessment: not very challenging, mainly crisis and purchase management.


* Employer: Caltech and JPL Users of NeXTSTEP, Southern California NeXTSTEP UG (SCaN)

* Dates: November 1991 -- present

* Hours: varies; 1-2 / week

* Supervisor: Ernest Prabhakar

* Phone: (818) 395-8379,

* Description: This is not a paid ``job.'' I am the Vice-President, Ernie's the President, the group is mainly electronic. We get information out to our list, and form a point-of-contact for the NeXT presence on campus. In addition, we host the Southern California NeXT User Group at Caltech for a meeting every year along with NeXT Computer's promotional visits. Skills: meeting management, advance work, silkscreening.

* Update: I'm now the President, since we reorganized as charter members of nügi.


* Employer: NEXTSTEP/OpenStep User's Group International

* Dates: 6/94 -- present

* Hours: varies; 1-2 / week

* Supervisor: nügi excomm

* Description: I was one of the founding members of nügi, and current webmaster. Participated in drafting the constitution, policymaking. Official Southern California voting rep to nügi.


* Employer: Venture team of myself and two executives formerly of NeXT Computer, Inc.

* Dates: mid-November 1992 -- present

* Hours: Varies; total is ~300 hours so far.

* Supervisors: Dain Ehring, Chet Kapoor

* Phone:

* Description: Confidant is a NeXTSTEP encryption system, designed to protect e-mail and files. It uses DES for bulk encryption with a file format supporting text and audio comments (designed to be easily upgraded to RSA public-key encryption). It also offers a sophisticated key-distribution and key-management scheme based on per-user master passwords, as well as a secure transaction logging for file-recovery. Finally, encrypted Rich Text Format files are treated as a document type within Confidant; upon decryption the text and embedded graphics/files appear within this app, where saving and printout access is controlled. Skills learned: legal and technical aspects of encryption systems, human-interface testing and design, extensive design documentation, and robust coding techniques. Assessment: Technically not very difficult, but it offers a very well engineered interface and tight integration with NeXTSTEP.

* Update: This technology was brokered to SHL Systemhouse on a nonexclusive basis, and is currently being explored by Gemstone, for the LA County Sheriffs' Department. A trademark complaint against Ensuing Technologies for infringement of the Confidant mark was not pursued for lack of funds/interest. Case would have opened new ground in claiming jurisdiction, since Trademark law is based on ``local marketing area,'' which in our case was the entire Internet.



* Employer: NeXTWORLD, an IDG publication

* Dates: June-July 1992 through late 1993

* Hours: 20

* Supervisors: Dan Lavin and Simson Garfinkel; later Eliot Bergson

* Description: I freelanced two installments of the regular column User's Hints and Tips. I assembled 22 tips from USENET and the technical support staffs of 13 different products. The first was published in the Fall 1992 issue; the magazine's reorganization for 1993 dropped the entire How-To section. Skills used: Phone/E-mail tag, non-technical writing on technical issues, journalistic skills inherited from 4 course-years in my HS program. Assessment: This was a very successful venture; the material, after review by both Garfinkel and Lavin, was published unedited, and drew several positive comments.

* Update: I continued writing for NeXTWORLD up until its closure in spring 1994, doing customer profiles, user group reporting, reviews, and technical correspondence.

NeXTSTEP 3.0 Beta Tester

* Employer: myself, on behalf of NeXT Computer, Inc.

* Dates: June-August 1992

* Hours: 100-200

* Supervisors: self, Greg Burd.

* Description: Having lobbied quite strongly to make it onto the list of 250 beta sites for 3.0, I took my responsibilities quite seriously. Putting in as much effort as I have for any other project in this list, I hunted down 15-20 bugs, with reproduction instructions and diagnoses, including one particularly nasty PostScript bug for which I rebooted my machine 60 times in three days. I eventually ranked as the 21st best beta tester in the world.

* Update: I continued as a field site of NS3.2 and NS3.3; currently 3.3 Developer/Sparc


Parallel Planar Graph-Coloring Algorithms

* Employer: Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, Mathematics department

* Dates: June-September 1992

* Hours: 50-60 / week for 12 weeks (only 40 times 10 was paid)

* Supervisor: Dr. Richard M. Wilson

* Phone: (818) 395-4362,

* Description: The Four-Color Theorem, proven in 1976, states that any planar map can be colored with four colors such that no adjacent regions share a color. The inversion of the proof yields an astronomically expensive, but polynomial algorithm to generate colorings for a given map using a database of some 2,000 irreducible configurations. Several sequential heuristics, however, bring the time probabilistically down to linear time. This SURF was an attempt at extending earlier research in sequential four-coloring and PRAM-based coloring to practical parallel coloring algorithms using domain-based decomposition. The project placed strong emphasis on experimental data on partitioning and coloring random planar graphs of various sizes and compositions. Skills learned: Formal graph theory, formal parallel computing theory (PRAM), technical writing and presentation, and research/literature search techniques. Assessment: Although no successful algorithms were produced, several promising heurisitics were presented.

ECHO: a no-installation file-transfer system (



* Employer: initially a partnership with Greg Burd, later developed under contract with Marble Telecommunications, Inc.

* Dates: January -- September 1992

* Hours: total of several hundred (~500)

* Supervisor: Ray Bloom/Greg Burd. Ray Bloom passed away in an airplane crash this year.

* Phone:

* Description: Initially, the project began around "I want my damn NeXTMail at home." Greg Burd and I designed an all-encompassing communication architecture under NeXTSTEP for everything from SLIP/PPP to {XYZ}modem. During this prototype phase, I developed a primitive object-database as the back-end storage system. Scaling back from this grand plan, we designed and specified a file-transfer system between two UNIX systems using only the Bourne shell, cat, uuencode/uudecode, compress, split, and sum. Coupled with custom mail-filters hooked into sendmail, we had a mail and file-transfer system that did not require superuser priviliges or any installation at all on the remote system. Marble hired Greg to implement parts of the master architecture in the second release of their Teleconnect software, and I was contracted to write a library implementing this protocol, as well as an arbitrary pattern-matching scripting system. Skills learned: Strict POSIX-standard portability techniques, data communications, and UNIX networking. Assesment: The project is complete, and has been tested for several months on my system, and will soon be integrated as one of the protocols of Teleconnect 2.0.

Boss Logic Internship

* Employer: Informally, Boss Logic

* Dates: November 1991 -- January 1992

* Hours: total of 100

* Supervisor: Norman Furlong

* Phone: Mr. Furlong is now at Dolphin Software, (800) 843-0328,

* Description: Boss Logic/Los Angeles offered several free training materials to interested college students familiar with NeXTSTEP, with a view toward freelance employment. I studied Objective-C and Interface Builder with their corporate training materials, but further employment fell through because of time pressures from the ECHO project.

Explorations in Four-Coloring

* Employer: Centennial High School

* Dates: November 1990 -- September 1991

* Hours: total of 300-500

* Supervisor: Stanley Eisenstein

* Phone: (410) 313-2856

* Description: This was unpaid, and stemmed from a for-credit scientific research class at Centennial, but the workload was practically equivalent to my SURF above, and bears mention. Here, I developed several experimental sequential heuristics for four-coloring on the Mac. I independently rediscovered the wandering and saturation-ordering techniques I later found were initially found by Dr. Henry D. Shapiro and his graduate students in the 80's. This project was quite successful at the state and national science-fair level. Skills learned: C, elementary graph theory, literature search. Assessment: This was built upon an even earlier four-coloring project of mine in seventh grade, and it fueled my enthusiasm for ``real'' scientific research.

Wingspan & Vanguard

* Employer: Centennial High School

* Dates: August 1989 -- June 1991

* Hours: 20 / week in class, 20 / week outside of class

* Supervisor: Kathy Baer

* Phone: (410) 750-0015

* Description: This was also not a paid ``job.'' As Technical Editor, and later Editor-in-Chief, I was held to similar standards of performance and excellence, though. During my two years there, I moved the newspaper, the Wingspan from old-style pasteup production to an all-digital Aldus PageMaker setup, along the way raising the paper's editorial standards and ranking to the top ten in the state. Also in that time period, Centennial was selected as part of a 13-school pilot program with Apple and Gannett newspapers to provide electronic access to USA TODAY's graphics and news stories, which I used to launch an independent newsmagazine, the Vanguard. Skills: journalism, desktop publishing, project management. Assessment: Probably one of the most fundamental experiences in my life.

Assistant System Manager

* Employer: Harvard University, Chemistry department, Karplus group.

* Dates: June-August 1990

* Hours: total of 100

* Supervisor: Thomas Ngo

* Phone: (617) 495-1768. I have his recommendation on file.

* Description: Responsible for weekly backup, maintainance, software installation, and upgrade for the computational chemistry group network, which included two Vaxen, a Convex minisuper, a Stardent, an SGI Iris, and ten Sun SPARCs. Also wrote UNIX programs to secure the network. Skills learned: UNIX system administration. Assessment: First sink-or-swim introduction to UNIX in almost every aspect: printing, networking, programming, shell programming, and working in a heterogeneous environment (Ultrix, SunOS, Irix, System V, etc.).

Document Control Officer

* Employer: Envirosystems, Inc.

* Dates: July 1989 -- August 1991

* Hours: Varied; 40 / week in summer of '89 and '91, none in summer '90

* Supervisor: William T. Brewington

* Phone: (410) 964-0330

* Description: Maintained sample tracking documents including log-in and chain-of-custody papers. Office management duties. Shipping and receiving, wet chemistry. Maintained sample records and financial analysis on PCs Skills: Accountablity.

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WorkExperience was converted on Sat Sep 09 22:57:38 EDT 1995 by the eText Engine, version 5, release 0.95