2018 Tillman Scholar

Vivin Paliath

Arizona State University
Ph.D., Computer Science

“As a scientist and an engineer, my goal is simple: solve difficult problems to improve people’s lives.”

Originally from India, Vivin immigrated to the U.S. in 1999 to pursue a degree in Computer Engineering from ASU. He enlisted in the Arizona Army National Guard in 2000 so that his parents wouldn’t have to pay his tuition. The Army taught Vivin the importance of teamwork and selfless service, and instilled in him a sense of confidence and discipline; it also helped reify his innate sense of duty and honor.

After graduating in 2004, Vivin started his software engineering career. In 2005, Vivin deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. As a logistics and supplies specialist, Vivin was responsible for the maintenance supply chain for his unit. During his deployment, Vivin leveraged his software engineering skills and wrote custom software to streamline and automate motor-pool operations, for which he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal. After his deployment, Vivin continued his software engineering career, and finished his military service in 2009. In 2010, while working full-time, Vivin pursued a Master’s in Computer Science program at ASU, graduating Summa Cum Laude in 2012.

Vivin is now pursuing a Computer Science Ph.D. with a focus on using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to address cybersecurity problems. Coupled with 14 years of practical software engineering experience, Vivin believes a Computer Science Ph.D. can give him a strong theoretical foundation to address myriad problems in multiple domains. Having always been motivated to fix things and make them better, he sees it as a way to continue his service to the nation and to contribute to society.