Professor of Computer Science
Sandip Sen, pictured with his son, Onkur, on an Alaskan cruise, has been an avid world traveler since he left his home in Calcutta, India to pursue his master’s degree in the United States.
”When I left India in 1987, I had never been on an airplane, and my wife had never even left Calcutta,” said Sen. “Since then, I have visited 48 states and about 40 different nations on five continents.”
Sen said he makes it a priority to travel to four or five destinations every year, often tying his visits to international conferences.
”We return to India to visit family every December,” Sen said. “Then in the summers, my family and I will take two or three more trips. My 16-year-old son has visited more than 30 countries.”
Sen said his favorite location on earth (so far) is Alaska, which he visited in summer 2009.
”You are marveling at scenery and wildlife and realize there are no words to express what you are feeling,” he said. “Everyone just stands there and says, ‘oh’ or ‘wow’ or something. It’s crazy sounding but that’s all you can say.”
Sen’s passion for travel fit well into his other avocations — writing and photography. He shares many of his original and artistic photos, poems, and aphorisms on his Web site http://www.mcs.utulsa.edu/~sandip. Sen particularly admires the writings of Rabindranath Tagore, a fellow Calcuttan who was the first Asian to receive the Nobel Prize for literature in 1913.
“Tagore was a true renaissance person: a poet, novelist, dramatist, composer, painter, and philosopher of the highest order,” Sen said. “His work is an inspiration for my life and challenges me to be creative and to seek beauty and perfection in things small and large, near and far.”
Sen said that, through travel, he is able to be constantly surprised and learn new things, a passion that he tries to pass on to his students.
“Exposure to new things is the essence of creative endeavor,” Sen said. “It keeps you young.”