“When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodg’d with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide”.
Like John Milton, an immortal poet of English Literature, T.V. Raman lost his eyesight at an early age of fourteen yet his will so strong and his integrity so firm kept him moving and made him achieve his goals. Like Milton, who believed that God had sent him for a purpose for the mankind similarly this notion enthused T.V. Raman to go an extra mile and do well to the society. There was certainly a like conviction in him and Milton, that the Maker has definitely sent them for a reason, a reason to do good to the society, a reason to excel in a field and create history to be remembered for the ages.
T.V. Raman is the man of enthusiasm and enthusiasm is the very fuel in all great men. By inexhaustible ardour for whatever they undertake to accomplish, they generate an extraordinary drive for action. This invoking of trajectory force of true and flawless enthusiasm is a must and T.V Raman in this aspect is a blessed one. He has many books and patents to his credit like “User Interfaces -Toward The Speaking Computer”,“System For Technical Readings”, “audio renderings of digitized works”, “access system, information presentation system”, “stream processing on networks”,“speech and text”, “description format”, “interface for computer application programs”.
T.V.Raman was a bookish child who developed a love of math and puzzles at an early age.
That passion didn’t change after glaucoma took his eyesight at the age of 14. What changed is the role that technology — and his own innovations — played in helping him pursue his interests.
A native of India, Mr. Raman went from relying on volunteers to read him textbooks at a top technical university there to leading a largely autonomous life in Silicon Valley, where he is a highly respected computer scientist and an engineer at Google .
T. V. Raman is a blind computer scientist born and raised from Pune, India. His accessibility research interests are primarily auditory user interfaces and structured electronic documents. He has worked on speech interaction and markup technologies in the context of the World Wide Web at Digital’s Cambridge Research Lab (CRL), Adobe Systems and IBM Research. He presently works at Google Research.
Along the way, Mr. Raman built a series of tools to help him take advantage of objects or technologies that were not designed with blind users in mind. They ranged from a Rubik’s Cube covered in Braille to a software program that can take complex mathematical formulas and read them aloud, which became the subject of his Ph.D. dissertation at Cornell. He also built a version of Google’s search service tailored for blind users.
Mr. Raman, 43, is now working to modify the latest technological gadget that he says could make life easier for blind people: a touch-screen phone.
“What Raman does is amazing,” said Paul Schroeder, vice president for programs and policy at the American Foundation for the Blind, which conducts research on technology that can help visually impaired people. “He is a leading thinker on accessibility issues, and his capacity to design and alter technology to meet his needs is unique.”
Some of Mr. Raman’s innovations may help make electronic gadgets and Web services more user-friendly for everyone. Instead of asking how something should work if a person cannot see, he says he prefers to ask, “How should something work when the user is not looking at the screen?”
Such systems could prove useful for drivers or anyone else who could benefit from eyes-free access to a phone. They could also appeal to aging baby boomers with fading vision who want to keep using technology they’ve come to depend on.
Raman attended the University of Pune with a BA in mathematics, IIT Bombay with a M.Sc. in computer science, and Cornell University earning an MS in computer science and a Ph.D. in applied mathematics. His Ph.D. thesis entitled Audio System For Technical Readings (AsTeR) was awarded the ACM Dissertation Award in 1994.
Raman went on to apply the ideas on audio formatting introduced in AsTeR to the more general domain of computer interfaces Emacspeak. On April 12, 1999, Emacspeak became part of the Smithsonian’s Permanent Research Collection on Information Technology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
Mr. Raman’s approach reflects recognition that many innovations designed primarily for people with disabilities have benefited the broader public, said Larry Goldberg, who oversees the National Center for Accessible Media at WGBH, the public broadcasting station in Boston. They include curb cuts for wheelchairs, captions for television broadcasts and optical character-recognition technology, which was fine-tuned to create software that, could read printed books aloud and is now used in many computer applications, he said.
With no buttons to guide the fingers on its glassy surface, the touch-screen cellphone may seem a particularly daunting challenge. But Mr. Raman said that with the right tweaks, touch-screen phones — many of which already come equipped with GPS technology and a compass — could help blind people navigate the world.
“How much of a leap of faith does it take for you to realize that your phone could say, ‘Walk straight and within 200 feet you’ll get to the intersection of X and Y,’ ” Mr. Raman said. “This is entirely doable.”
The most perfect characteristic in an eminently successful life seems to be integrity – an inflexible, undaunted, firm integrity. And also it seems that everyone who has cultivated this trait has drawn from it many an unseen and personal advantage over others who are striving in the same field of achievement.
T.V. Raman himself has discovered and fully developed an indomitable integrity, he finds he is master of every challenge, and in all his efforts we observe a self – assurance which is both captivating and rewarding.
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts: who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.”
T.V. Raman gives us a lesson that those who bear the mild yoke or the wishes of God, Almighty and persistently work hard to attain the best and do the best by utilizing the resources given by Lord are the one’s who serve him the best.