Star Contributor of the Month – Abhijit Ramesh
We are pleased to recognize Abhijit Ramesh, as our latest Mifos Star Contributor. Abhijit has been a long-time member of the Mifos community, serving in many different roles throughout the years which we are grateful to recognize him for. Abhijit first began his journey in the Mifos community as a Google Summer of Code intern for Mifos working on the Mifos Mobile CN project. He continued as a Google Code-In mentor later that year and then served a Mifos mentor for GSOC in 2020 on the Mifos Mobile CN project. In 2021, he acted as an Apache Fineract mentor on the Credit Scorecard project and as a leading member of our AI for All working group speaking at the most recent ApacheCon. We appreciate the tireless energy and passion he’s brought to our community and look forward to many continued contributions.
Abhijit Ramesh – Kerala, India
Brief Bio (in the words of Abhijit):
Currently pursuing my undergraduate in Computer Science and Engineering at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham. I work mostly on researching and applying AI on problems that have a social impact specifically in Finance, Healthcare and Education. I am part of the AI for Good working group of Mifos volunteering with R&D around bringing the benefits of AI as digital services to the 3 billion poor and underbanked.
Relevant Skills & O.S. Experience:
On the engineering side, I focus on building and integrating tools and infrastructure necessary in all steps of the machine learning life cycle -bringing data from source to putting trained models in production. On the research side, I focus on medical AI and developing RL environments where models can be trained to analyze the economic conditions of apprenticeship learning at scale. Open Source projects that I have been mainly involved with are Mifos Mobile CN and Finreact Credit Scorecard.
As a freshman in Computer Science, I did not want to just focus on theoretical knowledge. I knew that real skills were developed working on real-world projects and so I joined amFOSS – a community in my university that focuses on contributing to open source. I always had a grand vision for using technology to solve the real challenges the world is facing and it did not take much time for me to come across Mifos Initiative. Mifos checked a lot of boxes for me – contributing to bringing financial inclusion around the globe, working on projects that made a social impact, developing my skills at the same time but most importantly a very welcoming community that invited a beginner with no previous experience with both arms, guiding and mentoring to make contributions as well as making one be part of a noble cause.
Contributions Made to Date:
My experience in open source started out by contributing to the Mifos Mobile CN application as part of Google Summer of Code 2019 and being a mentor for the same the next year. I have also helped school students contribute to various other android applications of the community through Google Code-in. Recently I have been involved as a mentor for the credit scorecard project in Fineract and working on the whitepaper with the AI for Good community that researches on how AI can be democratized by bringing its benefits to Fintech.
Currently, I am working very closely with the AI for Good working group, right now we are focusing on the whitepaper as well as integrating credit scorecards to Fineract. We also have some exciting projects planned ahead to use federated learning to revolutionize AI in the Fintech space enabling training models on data that was previously inaccessible. This would bring the benefits of AI while ensuring that the data privacy is protected.
Impact on the Poor:
Being from a developing nation like India, I have realized the importance of technology and how this can revolutionize the way we live. I take extreme pride in being part of Mifos, especially being part of a community that makes technology as sophisticated as AI accessible to the poor and underbanked. I strongly believe that the Mifos community and the efforts around AI would set standards that would one day explain how poverty was eliminated by the use of technology and I was able to play a small part in that mission as a contributor.
What’s Rewarding about Working on Mifos:
My mentors in the Mifos community helped a lot in my development as a person and as a software engineer which motivates me to be a mentor and contributor. The most rewarding experience is that I am able to spread my knowledge to more people who are passionate about finance and technology and set them on a path to be with the community on its mission to eliminate poverty one line of code at a time.
Top Piece of Advice for Others in the Mifos Community:
Never be afraid to be wrong, we are all humans and we make mistakes. Ask for help – there is always someone who will be willing to help you. I find myself learning most of the things the hard way by making mistakes but it sticks to my mind and guides me not to make the same mistakes again.
Fun Facts about Abhijit
Favorite Open Source Project:
If Abhijit Could Travel to One Place in the World:
Interesting fact/tidbit about yourself you’d like to share:
Studied and practiced Carnatic music for 13 years.