"Cornell students dream bigger dreams."

--Frank H.T. Rhodes, Cornell University Commencement, May 28, 1995

Monday, March 17, 2014

63. Nayan Hajratwala

Saline, Michigan · Engineering

Twitter: @nhajratw
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nayan.hajratwala

Tell us about what you're doing with your life.
I am an independent Lean/Agile coach. Essentially, I help organizations that build software to build it faster, with higher quality, and with greater value. I spend a lot of time teaching technical software practices at a developer level as well as coaching Project Managers and C-Level folks.

As a side note, in 1999, I discovered the 38th Mersenne prime, which is a prime number with over 2 million digits. 2^6,972,593-1. As a result of this, I won a $50K anonymously donated prize from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

What was your favorite class at Cornell, or the one you found the most useful?

In the Computer Science program, I remember a lot of people complaining that it was too theoretical with not enough practical applications. As I've progressed in my career, I've come to value the theory that I learned at Cornell. It applies to all the emerging technologies and doesn't get obsolete.

What is your favorite memory of your time at Cornell?

During summer session, grabbing a Snapple Iced Tea and a chocolate croissant from Oliver's and walking over the suspension bridge & waterfall to class.

What does being a Cornell alumnus mean to you?

In the business world, it's amazing how much credibility you start with when someone discovers you're from Cornell. Of course, you have to live up to that standard, which in turn helps those coming behind you.