Comments from Doctoral Students
Dr. Surendra M. Gupta
Recent doctoral students made the following remarks in the acknowledgment section of their dissertations (most recent listed first):
- "Pursuing a Ph.D. is a difficult and sometimes a lonely path. In pursuing this path, first and foremost, I would like to thank Dr. Surendra M. Gupta whose constant encouragement was vital in making this dissertation a reality. He spent endless hours proofreading my research papers and giving me excellent suggestions which always resulted in improved versions of documents. Evaluating new topics with him was always interesting for me to investigate and provided me with alternative ways to improve my dissertation. He taught me how to be a researcher and encouraged me to determine appropriate solution methodologies to organize research findings. How come a person can be busy and available at the same time? In fact, he is. I was full of motivation whenever I left his office. I wanted to see him often as it brought new energy in me and left me with a glimpse of smile on my face after our meetings. When I mention about him to my friends, they always tell me how lucky I am. Years taught me how he is a source of knowledge and wisdom. Let me put it this way: stay near him and learn something new! Dr. Gupta is not only my adviser, but also, sometimes acts as a father or a big brother under different circumstances. Best feature of his unique character is being a great listener. He was always there to listen and to give me sincere advice about anything I hoped for. I may not be the easiest student, but he never gave up on me and always preserved his confidence in my ability to complete this Ph.D. Without his encouragements and continuous guidance, I could not have finished this dissertation. We went to Washington D.C., Providence and Boston conferences together which gave me the opportunity to know him as a travel companion as well as his academic skills. Among these conferences I cherish the most are the Northeast Decision Science Institute Conferences which took place in Washington D.C. and Providence, in 2009 and 2012. He traveled with us and showed us how good an adviser he is by not abandoning us in the presentations away from home. His sense of humor will leave those trips as fun times in my memory. The many skills I have learnt from Dr. Gupta will constantly guide me how to be a great adviser throughout my life. I will certainly try to be as good as him. This is a promise I would like to make to my prospective students. I can never thank Dr. Gupta enough. I gave my youth to this Ph.D., but it wasn’t for nothing. I would not hesitate a minute to start another dissertation adventure with Dr. Gupta!"
Dr. Can Berk Kalayci, 2012.
- "First of all, I would like to thank Dr. Surendra M. Gupta, the real owner of this dissertation. Dr. Gupta is a great advisor. He always listened to me to understand what I really had issues with and guided me to a direction in which I could “comfortably” excel. This was because he knew what my strengths and weaknesses are. He always had time for me although he published five books and many articles during my PhD. He is the busiest and the most available person at the same time. Dr. Gupta is a great story teller. He has his unique way of telling his many stories. Our meetings always involved funny stories that were related to what we dealt with. His sense of humor gave me comfort and liberated me. I never got stresses out before or during any meeting. Dr. Gupta is a great supporter of extracurricular activities. He is, in contrary to many engineering professors, really interested in performing arts and cinema. He fully supported my acting and came to see my show. Dr. Gupta is a great mentor and fatherly figure. He helped me through many difficulties I had during this journey. I could not thank Dr. Gupta enough."
Dr. Onder Ondemir, 2012.
- "First and foremost, I would like to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude to my advisor, Dr. Surendra M. Gupta, for his academic guidance and enthusiastic encouragement throughout the research. Besides completing a PhD dissertation, he stimulated and directed me in publishing conference papers, journal papers and a book. During these projects, he was always there to provide necessary assistance and academic resources. Without his support, I could not have done what I was able to do. He was very generous in sharing his experiences on industrial engineering, academic life and beyond. These experiences will be my primary guide during my life and academic career."
Dr. Mehmet Ali Ilgin, 2011.
- "First and foremost, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my advisor and long time teacher during my years at Northeastern, Professor Surendra M. Gupta. I knew Professor Gupta long before I started my graduate program in Northeastern University. He was a mentor and like a father to me. He was the first one to motivate me to join the PhD program. During the PhD process, he always encouraged me to express my ideas. He showed me how to research a problem and achieve goals. He spent endless time reviewing and proofreading my papers, asking me questions to let me think harder, and supported me during the difficult times in my research. He believed in me when I doubted myself. Without his encouragements, continuous guidance and insight, especially during my leave of absence from the University, I could not have finished this dissertation. Our weekly progress emails were our means of communication and way to keep in touch that gave me the motivation to work harder and make the best effort possible. His effort and patience will never be forgotten."
Dr. Badr O. Johar, 2010.
- "I still remember my first meeting with Dr. Gupta in his office and his words. Before that meeting, things were not looking so bright. I had no idea where my PhD was heading and whether it was possible to finish the PhD given my circumstances. There were a lot of unknowns in my life at that time and Dr. Gupta gave me hope and made me realize that with determination and hard work, pursuing my dream was not an impossible task. Throughout my PhD, I had numerous meeting with Dr. Gupta where we spent hours discussing various issues ranging from my research to daily issues and advices. Even though he was a busy person, he would always find time to meet with me whether it was to discuss my research or just to have lunch. Without his advice and guidance, I do not think this dissertation would have been possible. Dr. Gupta spent countless hours guiding me and helping me overcome some of the difficulties I encountered. He was always full of ideas and open for new ideas. My ideas and comments were always welcomed and no idea was a bad idea. This instilled a lot of confidence in myself and helped me express my thoughts without worrying that I might frustrate him or waste his valuable time. Dr. Gupta was also incredibly patient and never got irritated or upset over my missteps. Instead, he spent countless hours proofreading my research and discussing new research ideas. He never doubted my capabilities and always had confidence in my ability to complete my PhD. Dr. Gupta was very helpful and considerate of my personal issues especially when I had to leave for a week or two to go with my father for his repeated doctor visits after the surgery. I must say, I am very fortunate to have Dr. Gupta as my advisor and can never thank him for all he has done for me."
Dr. Amre Zuhair Massoud, 2010.
- "First and foremost, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to my thesis advisor, Dr. Surendra M. Gupta, without whom this thesis would have only been a dream. I am indebted for his constant assistance, encouragement, guidance and the tremendous support and opportunities he provided throughout my doctoral studies at Northeastern University. I do not have words to express my real appreciation for Prof. Gupta. He has always been there and gone beyond what I expected from anyone in navigating me towards my educational goals. He has taught me how to do research and given me plenty of opportunities to present my work in front of experts in the field at international conferences. He has also taught me many important lessons in life which will always guide me throughout my career. The many skills I have learnt from Dr. Gupta will constantly remind me of how great a teacher he is throughout my life."
Dr. Gun Udomsawat, 2008.
- "First of all, I would like to express my respectful gratitude to my thesis advisor, Dr. Surendra M. Gupta, who gave countless hours to make this dissertation a reality. Without Dr. Gupta, the accomplishment of this dissertation would otherwise have remained a castle in the air. All along, he guided me to overcome all the problems and difficulties I encountered as a student and a researcher. It is unimaginable how much time and effort he had to spend to discuss, proofread and correct all my works. He was extremely patient and never got upset over my mistakes. Instead, he always had confidence in me and never doubted my abilities. As a researcher, he is exceptionally intelligent and always full of new ideas. He constantly gave me valuable suggestions and kept me abreast with the state of the art which greatly boosted my morale and research progress. All in all, Dr. Gupta is a true master and I consider myself really lucky to be his student."
Dr. Prasit Imtanavanich, 2007.
- "I profusely thank Dr. Surendra M. Gupta, who is my co-advisor, director of Laboratory for Responsible Manufacturing (LRM), and a father-like-figure to me. He was always eager to help, be it a research issue or a worldly matter. Without his breadth of knowledge in the area of product recovery, finishing my thesis would have remained a distant dream."
Dr. Srikanth Vadde, 2007.
- ".....there are several people who helped in their respective capacities that made this arduous journey (doctoral studies) less complicated, if not easier, for me. The foremost among those people is my advisor, Dr. Surendra M. Gupta. Without hesitation, I would say he is a blessing in disguise for me. During those moments, when I had no clue where my PhD and consequently my life are heading for, I came across Dr. Gupta and I struck gold. I still remember our first meeting in the student center and the words Dr. Gupta said to me. That meeting showed me a ray of hope, made me realize that doing a PhD is not impossible. Since that day, my life took a complete U-turn, I started enjoying my new field of research, and I never looked back. Those numerous meetings with Dr. Gupta, during which apart from my research, we discussed a variety of issues in life from which I learnt the art of looking at things as an “optimist” and he instilled self-confidence in me. I had neither a research assistantship nor the time to work peacefully on my research in my lab. Nevertheless, all I had is the greatest human resource in the form of Dr. Gupta. He spent countless hours proofreading my research papers, discussing new ideas for my research, and providing me with soft copies of countless latest technical papers related to my research (thus saving lot of my time and money). It is under his supervision that I got my first opportunity to present my work at international conferences that helped me grow in confidence. I can never thank Dr. Gupta enough for all he has done for me, but I still want to say, from the bottom of my heart, “Thank You, Sir”."
Dr. Satish Nukala, 2007.
- "First of all, I would like to thank Dr. Surendra M. Gupta, whose efforts and support made this dissertation possible. Dr. Gupta has been both my dissertation adviser and my mentor, providing me with endless encouragement and guiding me through the multitude of challenges to be expected in the conduct of any research doctorate. He spent countless hours proofreading my research papers, discussing my research, evaluating contemporary topics for me to investigate, and providing me with countless ways to improve upon my dissertation. More importantly, his demonstrated confidence in me and in each of the students under his tutelage regularly challenged all of us to perform to the fullest extent of our capabilities. He gave me several opportunities very early on to provide critical reviews of technical journal papers and to edit several textbook chapters, and he quickly provided me the chance to present my early research at my first academic conference. Along with his technical guidance, he freely and regularly provided me with personal guidance and his individual insights. This appreciated perspective was especially valuable, ensuring I was not only on the right track with my research, but seemingly in life as well. A pioneer in his field, Dr. Gupta proved to be not only a conscientious advisor and meticulous engineer, but also a patient leader and a thoughtful and personable ally. As such, he provided more than I could have ever ask for in an advisor, which can be seen in each of his graduate students with his tremendous character successfully nurturing so many of them confidently to the esteemed rank of “doctor.” I know that I can never repay Dr. Gupta for all that he has given me so I can only hope that the contents of this document, the impression he has indelibly made upon me, and the academic and personal skills I have gained from him of which I will attempt to pass on to others will be thanks enough."
Dr. Seamus M. McGovern, 2006.
- "I am grateful to my thesis co-advisor, Dr. Surendra Gupta, for being friendly, caring, supportive and helpful in numerous ways. He guided me through tough times and was with me to check on my research progress. Also, through numerous seminars and conferences, Dr. Gupta helped me sharpen my learning and presentation skills."
Dr. Lerpong Jarupan, 2005.
- "Pursuing a Ph.D. degree is difficult. It was much more so in my case because I had neither a research stipend nor the time to work peacefully in my research lab. All I had was luck, the best of which was in the form of my advisor, Dr. Surendra M. Gupta. He is the greatest human resource I have ever interacted with. All I did was use that resource, be it for getting soft copies of umpteen latest technical papers to read (I saved a lot of time and money) or for getting appointments at short notices to thoroughly discuss my research proposals/projects (I always got the earliest of the time-slots I had requested for) or even for receiving free rides to numerous national and international conferences (where I got rid of my stage-fear). The fact that Dr. Gupta walked all the way to the dorm in which I was working a ‘receptionist’ shift one day, just to give me some research material to read, speaks volumes about his exceptional role as an advisor. Dr. Gupta has the optimal and successfully tried formula for Ph.D. pursuit, and knows exactly how to motivate his students (read - how to keep his students on their toes ;)). I immensely enjoyed and learned from every meeting I had with him, where, besides research, we discussed a variety of things in life. Due to Dr. Gupta’s honesty, I always felt safe and never got frustrated (unlike the norm) at any time during my Ph.D. program. And, as contradictory as this might sound with the first sentence in this paragraph, I produced an outstanding record of more than 20 technical papers (for publication in journals, books, and conference proceedings) while working with him. I can never thank Dr. Gupta enough."
Dr. Kishore K. Pochampally, 2004.
- "Foremost, I would like to thank my thesis advisor, Dr. Surendra M. Gupta, for his continuous encouragement, optimism and confidence in me to make it possible to write this dissertation. Dr. Gupta not only put enormous amount of time and effort into directing this research but he also helped in editing the documents and confirming every aspect of research results to the tiniest level of detail. Dr. Gupta taught me how to be a researcher, starting from understanding the problem thoroughly to determining appropriate solution methodologies to organizing research findings. In addition to his great technical guidance, he helped me in all types of personal problems that I encountered. I thank him for his patience, kindness and the motivation he provided to bring this dissertation to fruition. I will always be indebted to Dr. Gupta for encouraging me to participate and present our research papers in national and international conferences, which not only improved my confidence but also gave me an opportunity to get feedback from the leading researchers in the world."
Dr. Hasan Kivanc Aksoy, 2003.
- "First of all, I would like to thank Dr. Surendra M. Gupta, who made this dissertation come into being. Dr. Gupta is not only my adviser, he is also my mentor who gave his endless support and helped me to go through all the difficulties I came across during my Ph.D. study. He spent countless nights proofreading my research papers, several days discussing my research, seeking topics for me to improve my dissertation. These are all one student can ask and hope for from an adviser. However, what makes him special is his unique character. Even for once, I do not remember him getting impatient or angry over frustrating mistakes or missing points in my studies. He always encouraged me by praising my work, always preserved his confidence in my ability to complete this Ph.D. program. He cheered me up when I was feeling down whatever my problem might have been, research related or personal. Even though he is one of the busiest men on earth, he was always available, always there, always listened and always cared. He never let me feel away from home.
We went to Florida, Pittsburgh and San Francisco conferences together which gave me the opportunity to know his travel accompanier side as well as his academic skills. His sense of humor and efforts to make us happy will leave those trips as joyful times in my memory. Adviser-student relationship is similar to parent-child relationship in many ways. The child can never pay her/his parents back, yet, parents do not expect a return anyways. I guess, the best way to return the favor is to provide the same care and attention to your own children. I know I cannot thank my mentor and adviser Dr. Gupta enough but at least I can promise that I will try to be a similar coach and mentor to my own students in the future."
Dr. Elif Kongar, 2003.
- "I am thankful to my advisor, Dr. Surendra M. Gupta for the tremendous effort he invested in this dissertation and in my quest to become a researcher. From the first day on, he clearly defined the requirements and explained the level of commitment for a Ph.D. degree. He set high standards for me, and showed me how to maintain them. He guided me through tough times, and never doubted my abilities, not even when I doubted myself. He was with me at every phase of the learning process, patiently watching over my progress. He set a great example for me as a researchers, teacher and advisor. I believe that scientific research requires a unique craftsmanship, something that is not possible to find in textbooks. The only way to acquire this skill is by working along with a master in the field. Prof. Gupta is such a master, and I consider myself lucky to be his pupil."
Dr. Aybek Korugan, 2002.
- "I am particularly indebted to my co-advisors, Dr. Surendra Gupta and Dr. Jacqueline Isaacs. Their guidance and supervision have been instrumental in my continuing education. Through their good humor and insight, they taught me how to undertake research, and helped sharpen my thinking. Their influence can be seen throughout this thesis, and I am positive that it will be evident well beyond this thesis also."
Dr. Jane E. Boon, 2002.
- "I am extremely grateful to my thesis advisor, Dr. Surendra M. Gupta, for his continuous guidance and encouragement throughout my masters and doctoral programs. Over more than a decade that we have known each other, he has supported me both professionally and personally. I am thankful for his understanding, support and belief in me when I had to return to my home country for family reasons. In spite of the many obstacles, he constantly encouraged me to continue in the Ph.D. program. Over the years, he helped me sharpen as a critical thinker and researcher, and dedicated his time and effort to help me continue my research. He always gave me useful suggestions so that I could improve my research and writing skills. Whenever I was in doubt, he always encouraged me and brought out the best in me. His continuous dedication to his students is both admirable and inspirational. I feel honored to have had a chance to work with him and learn from him. My appreciation for his guidance and continuous support is immeasurable."
Dr. Raymond W. T. Mak, 2001.
- "I would like to thank Professor Surendra Gupta for his constant guidance, encouragement, comments and care. Through the Laboratory for Responsible Manufacturing (LRM) seminar series, a brainchild of Professor Gupta, I have sharpened my presentation skills and kept a check on the progress of my thesis. Professor Gupta's constant care for all LRM members is instrumental in the success of LRM. He helped me in shaping my research and completing it."
Dr. Naken Wongvasu, 2001.
- "I am extremely delighted to express my gratitude to Dr. Surendra M. Gupta for his constant guidance, encouragement and support. Through many Friday-seminars in the Laboratory for Responsible Manufacturing (LRM), I have sharpened my presentation skills and kept a check on the progress of my thesis. The idea of Friday-seminars is the brainchild of Dr. Gupta. These research seminars acted like a self-governance mechanism for me to manage my time and make a steady progress. I can never forget Dr. Gupta's heart-warming encouragement in times of slackness in research or when a research paper came back for revision with a mind-bending critique. His constant support for my work helped me to stay on track and complete it on time."
Dr. Pratap Sriram Sundar, 2000.
- "Being in a Ph.D. program is just like being in an Olympic game. Although it may seem like one-person's effort, it couldn't be far from the truth. It comes with the efforts and sacrifices of a coach, assistant coaches and supporters........The first person I would like to thank is my thesis advisor, my coach, Dr. Surendra M. Gupta, whose confidence in me enabled me to put this dissertation together. From the day I met him I learnt a lot from him. He taught me how to be a researcher. He instilled in me that in order to be a good researcher, the most important thing is to thoroughly understand the problem because understanding the problem is half the battle. He kept his positive attitude and created excellent game plans when I was feeling low. His office door was always open to me whenever I needed his advice on the research or other problems. He proofread my papers and chapters, gave me excellent suggestions which always resulted in improved versions of documents. His great personality is cherished by me as well as all his other students. He encouraged me to present my research papers at national and international conferences. The exposure to conferences improved my confidence and inspired me to do more research. Conferences are not just about research but they are also about seeing different places, meeting different people and having some fun as well. Among the conferences I cherish the most are the Computers and Industrial Engineering Conferences which took place in San Juan, Puerto Rico in March 1997, Chicago, Illinois in March 1998 and New Orleans, Louisiana in March 1999. He traveled with us and showed us how good a coach he is by not abandoning us in the games away from home. Without his constant guidance, I could not have completed my dissertation. I feel fortunate to have had a chance to work with him."
Dr. Askiner Güngör, 1999.
- "First of all, I would like to thank my thesis advisor, Dr. Surendra M. Gupta, whose edification inspired my interest in disassembly and remanufacturing. Dr. Gupta was always there to listen to me and to give me sincere advice. He taught me how to ask questions and express my ideas. He showed me different ways to approach a research problem. He guided me how to write conference and journal papers, had confidence in me when I doubted myself, and brought out the best in me. More importantly, he inspired me to work hard by being a role model himself. He was always there to meet with me and talk about my ideas, to proofread and mark up my papers and chapters, and to ask me good questions to help me think through my problems. His enthusiasm and abilities are contagious and developed my interest and understanding of the subject. I thank him for his constant encouragement and support throughout my doctoral program. He helped me overcome what seemed like hopeless impediments, and put a lot of work into publishing my research. He has taught me to be always persistent, maintain high morals, and look forward to achieving even higher goals. Without his everlasting encouragement, constant guidance and genuine care, I could not have finished this dissertation. This experience has been extremely valuable to me and I will treasure it for the rest of my life."
Dr. Pitipong Veerakamolmal, 1999.
- "I would like to thank my thesis advisor, Dr. Surendra M. Gupta, for his constant encouragement and support throughout my masters and doctoral programs. He assisted me in overcoming what seemed like insurmountable obstacles, helped me maintain composure throughout the process, and was patient when I needed to attend to my job. He has been especially supportive of and put a lot of work into publishing my research. This experience has and will continue to be invaluable to me. He has supported me both personally and professionally over the twelve years we have known each other during which time we have become friends. I especially admire his positive attitude and the time and effort he puts into each of his students."
Dr. Kendra Moore, 1998.
- "I am extremely grateful to my advisor, Dr. Surendra M. Gupta, for the guidance and encouragement. For helping me through a difficult transition with ease, my appreciation is immeasurable. His sincere dedication to his students is both admirable and inspirational. His high values earn him great respect as an esteemed professor, both in research and in the classroom. It was a privilege to work with him and learn from him."
Dr. Leanne Moyer, 1997.
- "I am thankful to my dissertation advisor Dr. Surendra M. Gupta for the incredible amount of time he put in to direct this thesis. Besides his suggestions in directing the research, Dr. Gupta not only edited the text but also confirmed the findings to the tiniest level of detail. I will always be indebted to him for teaching me how to become a researcher, starting from technical issues and ranging to organization of work and attention to detail. Dr. Gupta will always be my role model, in terms of his professionalism and work ethics. Apart from the technical issues, I would also like to thank Dr. Gupta for his advise and support in all phases of life. Over the years, our relationship has gone beyond a typical student - advisor relations, I consider Dr. Gupta a wise older brother whom I can consult for almost any problem I encounter."
Dr. Fikri Karaesmen, 1996.
- "I thank Dr. Gupta for his everlasting encouragement, optimism and belief in me. Besides being an outstanding advisor he is a good friend. He is genuinely interested in my well being not only in my research but life in general. He has guided me as a friend through his wisdom and valuable experience. I also thank him for the generous time and promptness he offered in giving me feedback on my research. He was always a source of encouragement during demanding times. I will always remember his patience, understanding and kind personality. Through his superb leadership qualities, Dr. Gupta provided the required motivation to make this thesis a reality. I will treasure this experience as a unique and an enlightening one."
Dr. Ayse Kavusturucu, 1996.
- "Foremost, I would like to thank Dr. Gupta for his encouragement and his optimism throughout the development of this thesis. Dr. Gupta acted as an advisor, as a coach, and more importantly as my friend. ........ I sure will miss the brainstorming and creative discussions with Dr. Gupta in his office and during our frequent coffee breaks!"
Dr. Karim N. Taleb, 1995.
- "I would like to document my immense gratitude to my thesis advisor, Professor Gupta, for being my teacher, my philosopher, my friend and guide throughout my educational program at Northeastern University. Prof. Gupta went beyond normal means in helping me and providing useful comments in the development of my thesis. I have learnt a great deal from him and will always cherish all that I have learnt from him."
Dr. Yousef A. Y. Al-Turki, 1994.