Where Are They Now?

I mailed my former undergraduate project students a few days ago to find out where they are now and what they’re doing, and thought readers of this blog might be interested in their answers.

Muhammad Ali

I’m working in the Jurisica Lab, where I develop visualization software to help biologists manipulate and analyse large-scale protein-protein interaction networks to assist them with their cancer research goals. We develop in Java and use OpenGL for the visualization front-end.

Tony Balkissoon

I’m finishing my first of three years at Harvard Law. I’ll be working for a free legal clinic for low income residents of York Region this summer, and as of next year will be focusing on issues relating to gender violence.

Robert Beghian

I’m going to spend the summer in Europe seeing Italy and France. After that, who knows?

Pardis Beikzadeh

I will be doing an NSERC USRA this summer with Professor Kutulakos, then starting grad school at U of T in September.

Ian Burkell

I am at Novator, and enjoying it.

Julia Chen

I am still working in Broadridge Canada (previously ADP). I am a Systems developer, our product provides services for investment brokers to send stock to exchanges, mutual funds and GICs.

Daniel Che-Yi Chu

I am in Vancouver, working for TELUS in their Leadership Development Program, which is a program that lets you rotate through different business units/teams to gain perspectives for being the leaders of tomorrow. Right now, I am about to rotate into a position in Corporate Affairs, working with their communication team.

Jennifer Chung

I’m working as a developer/consultant at VisionMAX, and I’m having a great time. Since I’ve started, I got to work with various clients such as Bell, the Ontario government, and Pizza Pizza. It wasn’t all just coding, of course. I got to talk and socialize with clients, try out a business analyst’s job of gathering requirements, test competitors’ products, and of course, design and code while working either on-site or back at the office. I found that the opportunity to try out different roles other than being strictly a developer while in the same position is present even after graduation (although it may not be the case everywhere). It gave me the flexibility to continue to explore and further define what I’d like to do down the road.

Winson Chung

I’m currently working on the BumpTop project. My time is split mostly between normal software development (we are going more “agile”), visual design, ui research, dreaming/brainstorming features, and other miscellaneous tasks. We do primarily C++ development (surprisingly, as in all my internships thus far), with a little bit of Python that I’m trying to sneak in along the way.

David Cooper

In September, I’m beginning my final year of my software engineering degree. Afterwards, I hope to continue on with a MSc here at the University of Toronto. This summer I’m working for Dr. Thomas Wolever in the Nutritional Sciences Department building a calculation framework and web application to automate his process of measuring glycaemic indexes. Of course I’ll be using my favourite programming language, Python.

Sean Dawson

I’m a senior software engineer at LinkedIn.

Isaac Ezer

I’m moving to Tokyo to write financial software at an investment bank and play jazz.

Jitendra Gupta

I will be joining IBM as a software developer within the install team of WebSphere Commerce.

Nicolaas Handojo

I’m currently working for RIM in Waterloo as an embedded software developer. My role is to develop device drivers, bootloaders and file systems for BlackBerry devices. I am also responsible for ‘bringing up’ new BlackBerry platforms, i.e. when a new processor for a future BlackBerry device is introduced, I have to figure out how to boot the new chip up to the point where the RIM OS can run. This among other things involves designing boot sequence solution and memory map for RIM software to suit each particular platform hardware limitation. I also have to support any manufacturing issues (that has to do with software) for the platforms that I am responsible for.

Nichlas Hawrylyshyn

I will be doing a Masters in Mathematical Finance at New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematics.

Kiera Heath

I am in Hollywood California, working for Live Nation, North America’s largest concert promoter. I’m a Product Manager working on their new ticketing system.

Jeffrey Jia

Currently, I’m an application developer in Symcor. My daily work includes J2EE projects build, deploy, trouble-shooting; configure, performance-tune various servers (Websphere Application Server, Websphere MQ, Geronimo, Apache Web server); and writing code ( most of the time use Shell script, some time use Java) to automate the above tasks.

Leo Kaliazine

I am a Software Developer for Allegro Mobile Solutions (Allegro Wireless).

Alex Krizhevsky

I’m still in grad school at UofT. Right now I’m working on a project whose goal is to see whether we can separate people who have colon cancer from those who don’t, given roughly 470,000 snips of their genome. The aim is to detect a genetic predisposition to colon cancer.

Feng Lan

I found a job in Raleigh, NC last year, then moved to Washington DC early this year. I am working on web application development and hosting.

Greg Lapouchnian

I am at Nitido Inc. in Toronto working on server-side components of Nitido’s products as well as helping out on the client side whenever I can. Nitido builds web and mobile applications targeted for large telcos like Verizon and Telefonica among others.

Michelle Levesque

After graduating with a CS degree from UofT, I decided to continue my education by enrolling in clown college where I started a major in riding very tiny unicycles and a minor in catching pies with my face. About halfway through my second term, I was working part time as a hotdog vendor on south Spadina Ave when someone recognized me from one of my Chuck E. Cheese gigs during my internship the year before. We got to talking and I eventually confided to him that the tofu dog he was eating was actually made primarily out of circus animals, and some filler, because tofu is so much more expensive but we’re legally not allowed to charge more than 25% for the vegetarian alternatives. He thanked me for my honesty and handed me his business card – he managed a small library just past Dufferin – and said if I ever wanted a job that I should give him a call. I stuffed the card in my pants and didn’t think much of it; I was enjoying my low-work job making hotdogs in the afternoons and the occasional clowning gig on the weekends.

When I finally got my clowning diploma, I set off with the fourty other graduates of my year to compete in the fast-paced world of clowning. Since most jobs come from recommendations, getting your foot into a few high-profile doors makes all the difference in the end. What they don’t tell you about trying to get these gigs is the seedy underworld that you usually have to ally yourself with. Soon I was running errands for Big Nose in downtown Toronto: trading small brown paper bags in shadowy corners in Union station, and making balloon animals with death threats scrawled in permanent black marker on them, leaving them on back doorsteps. It was only one day when I woke up on the kitchen floor, confetti and clown wigs strewn all around me, that I realized how low I had fallen and how much I had lost.

As I stared at myself in the bathroom mirror, face paint smeared down my tear-streaked cheeks, the taste of fruit punch still on my breath, I made a promise to myself that things had to change. That’s when I remembered the business card that I had kept from a few months ago. I eventually found it on my cluttered desk and held it for a long time before I picked up the phone. Two days later, I had a job at the library.

Nowadays most of my work involves alphabetizing book returns, or helping parents find reading material for their fussy children, or chasing teens out of the adults magazine section. I find it to be incredibly rewarding because every time I put a book on that shelf, I realize that I’m helping somebody find it later. And since the hours are so reasonable, I’ve had enough time to pick up a few hobbies. I now belong to a badger breeding club, and my first baby badgers are going to be born sometime in June, and I’ve also started to learn how to do binomial expansion, and on the weekends I volunteer to do binomial expansion for entertainment at the old folks home on King St. I don’t know if I’ll continue at this job forever, but for now it fills me with an incredible sense of accomplishment, and I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Vladimir Levin

I’m in the second year of my Master’s degree program at University of Waterloo. I’m on the last stretch: writing my thesis. The topic of my research is calm technology, a part of ubiquitous computing. Hopefully, I will be finishing the degree by the end of summer, and then it’s on to looking for a job in either game development industry or teaching.

Reza Lotun

I just finished my masters three months ago, and I’m currently in London, UK working at a social media startup - we’re working on a desktop application combining p2p networking with one’s social graph, and implicit search for information on that social graph. We’re using Python and developing for Windows, Mac and Linux.

Marc Lubin

I graduate from medical school on a couple of weeks. After that I will stay in Israel for one year, hopefully pulling night shifts in the ER/ICU and involved in research. Already got my hands on some stuff looking at efficacy of 3D imaging in laparoscopic surgery. Seems like I’m heading towards surgery and I’m fairly comfortable with that decision.

Jonathan Lung

Is still a graduate student at the University of Toronto.

Melissa Luu

I’m at SS&C Technologies as a web developer/webmaster for the marketing team.

Lisa Ly

I am now employed at Nurun Inc. as a web developer. We are an agency specializing in digital strategies (including e-commerce) for our clients to advertise over the web. Our biggest clients include Home Depot Canada, Holt Renfrew and HBC. We do everything from design, back-end & front-end development, database design & management, and site hosting and management as well.

Yimei Miao

Yimei is working for The Jonah Group Ltd. in Toronto. She is a technical developer on a USD$12-million data warehouse project. She is also involved in project management in the project, including planning, milestones tracking, resource planning as well as project status and performance analysis. Oracle, Sybase, SQL, Java, Shell, Informatica and Business Objects are the technology/tool used everyday.

Volodymyr Mnih

I’m currently finishing up my Master’s degree at U of Alberta and I’ll be starting a PhD back at UofT in the fall.

Andrew Potapov

I work as a Software Engineer (C++) for Actel Corp. in Mountain View.

Charles Roy

I am finishing up articling at a law firm in Calgary. I am enjoying the work a lot. There is a lot of good corporate tax and international tax work with some more specific considerations relating to oil and gas tax. Also, there is some more general corporate work at times. The other large firms in Canada do a rotation during their articles, which provides exposure to a broader range of areas. Most of my time is spent researching and learning about tax law in these areas and is assigned by lawyers at the firm. There is a bit of work directly for clients. This is mainly because its supposed to take a few years to get up to speed and it can be a bit of an academic area. I think other areas are probably doing a bit more “practical” work at this point. The experience at a smaller firm seems to be even more “practical” from what I’ve heard. Probably the most noticeable application of computer science I can think of is that it provides a good base for reading and interpreting things, particularly where there are defined terms and concepts that build off each other or plug together, such as legislation.

Clara Severino

I’m a standards specialist at Research In Motion. My job description uses words like “monitor” and “facilitate”.

Tong Shen

I am in Shanghai China and working as a project manager for Thales Software Systems (Shanghai) Co., a french company.

Jianlei Su

I am a technical support engineer with Perforce Software Inc. in Victoria, BC.

Eric Tang

I work at TD now, doing online banking application enhancement and support.

Thuan Ta

I got my foot in the door to the games industry with Ubisoft, which has a number of hit franchises.

Sana Tapal

I work at The Jonah Group as a technical developer. I’m currently in a team lead position and I’ve had the opportunity to do a bit of business analysis which is quite fun as well.

Sukhmeet Toor

I am in Mountain View, CA now working with Microsoft for their Macintosh Business Unit (MacBU) which owns Microsoft Office, Messenger, Remote Desktop etc for the Mac platform. In particular, I work with the core team which is responsible for the common libraries and frameworks used across the office suite and anything else that is not application specific. Since starting here, I worked on revamping the Unit Testing framework for use across the MacBU and setup a system for caching build binaries for faster build times.

Simon Tsai

I will be starting as an Application Developer at the Toronto office for Merrill Lynch. In this capacity, I will be developing/enhancing/supporting their various systems, which includes their trading systems and risk analysis systems. When July rolls around, they will also fly me out to New York for some training to get me up to speed on the financial/equity markets and the technology that they have within the firm. Through this experience, I am hoping to get a better understanding of how the financial sector works and gain insight on the types of technology employed by these firms.

Rick Valenzano

I am working towards my Masters at the University of Alberta in the area of heuristic search and planning.

Dmitri Vassilenko

I work at the Jonah Group. It’s mostly J2EE technologies in the finance/automotive industry. Fun!

Martin Williams

I’m heading down to the Bay Area to work at Cataphora. Their work is primarily in natural language processing - specifically, tearing through emails, chat logs, phone records, etc. looking for insights into what sort of relationships and interactions existed in a company over time. Their system has primarily been used to support the legal discovery process, but they also provide services that help in testing for standards compliance and other general analysis of corporate electronic data. I’ll be joining their back-end engineering department, working on software to process and manage the huge amounts of data they collect from their clients for analysis.

Debbie Winter

I’m headed to Duke University for a Ph.D in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics.

David Wolever

I’m heading to Brazil for the summer to do setup and development for a non-profit. I’ll be back in the fall to do more courses.

Ming Cong Wu

I’m currently working as a Quality Assurance Analyst with Clarity Systems. Inc.

Richard Zhao

I am in my second year Master’s program at the University of Alberta. My research area is AI for computer games. I am currently working on a reinforcement learning algorithm used to produce smart adaptive Non-player Characters.

Zhong Zheng

I’m now working in CGI as Java Developer focusing on Bell projects.

In the wake of posts about Shopify's support for white nationalists and DataCamp's attempts to cover up sexual harassment
I have had to disable comments on this blog. Please email me if you'd like to get in touch.