Alumni Features

Alumni Features

Meet some of SIAT's outstanding alumni! Learn more about their experiences in SIAT and find out more about their careers post-graduation. If you would like to be featured, share your story with us through our updates form.

Master's and PhD alumni

GÖKHAN CETIN, MSC 2018
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE ENGINEER, AMAZON

"My research at SIAT opened the gates of visual analytics and the science of data visualization for me. My SIAT experience has refined my interests, helped me determine what I ultimately want to do, and provided me with the skills and expertise to apply to the careers I wanted to pursue."

Read Gökhan's full feature →

MAYRA DONAJI BARRERA MACHUCA, PHD 2020
DATA ANALYTICS, VIRTRO

"SIAT is one of the best places for human-computer interaction research in Canada and I wanted to study with the best. During my Master's degree, I was constantly referencing the work of SIAT professor Dr. Wolfgang Stuerzlinger on 3D user interfaces and based on these two reasons, when it was time to do my PhD I applied to SIAT."

Read Mayra's full feature →

AUDREY DESJARDINS, PHD 2016
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON

“When I applied to SIAT, I thought I wanted to learn about interaction design to become an interaction designer. I didn’t know that design research was a field, or that people could have a career as a design researcher. It is only once I started to do research, with my advisor Dr. Ron Wakkary, that I realized I wanted to be a researcher more than a designer.”

Read Audrey's full feature →

AYNUR KADIR, PHD 2018
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO

"I chose SIAT because of the interdisciplinary nature of the school and because its prominent scholars appealed to my intellectual curiosi. The strong, supportive environment for collaborative research and involvement in large research projects provided me with the skills I needed to become an independent scholar and researchers."

CHERYL QIAN, PHD 2009
PROFESSOR, PURDUE UNIVERSITY

"I benefitted greatly from the variety of professors at SIAT. It was a new program when I started and being able to collect such a diverse group of professors who are all very unique is rare. I’m very fortunate that I was able to learn at SIAT, a friendly environment that combines a lot of different knowledge. The uniqueness of SIAT is hard to replace."

Read Cheryl's full feature →

ERICK ODUOR, PHD 2015
IBM RESEARCH SCIENTIST, IBM RESEARCH AFRICA

“As a graduate student, I pursued highly interdisciplinary research that spanned the areas of computer science and human interaction design. At IBM, I am now a Research Challenge team lead performing in the cross section of machine learning and human-computer interaction. The skills I acquired at SIAT provided me with the breadth of knowledge needed for my current research on developing a UX for technology that can support the collaboration and improved communication beeen data scientists and decision optimization experts.”

Read Erick's full feature →

Undergraduate alumni

MARINE AU YEUNG, BA 2019
INTERACTION DESIGNER AT ARTEFACT

“What makes the SIAT program unique is the people. There is a strong sense of comradery, and the courses bring people together. A lot of the time, this comradery grows into long-lasting friendships and mentorships that continue teaching and driving you to become better at what you do and to be a better person.

"SIAT also provides opportunities to work in the industry before graduation, which I consider crucial, including co-ops, internships, and the annual Touchpoint conference where students meet and interview with industry professionals. Beyond technical skills, SIAT prepared me for life after graduation by helping me develop in-demand soft skills such as efficient communication, working well under pressure, and understanding how to compassionately and effectively collaborate in a realistic work environment.”

SEAN LEACH, BA 2019
PRODUCT DESIGNER AT INSTAGRAM

“The people you meet in SIAT are truly incredible, and I have developed life-long friendships with people who started off as classmates. SIAT offers so many different opportunities outside of the classroom. I took part in two field schools studying design and architecture in the Netherlands and Italy. The experiences I had there taught me how different types of learning can broaden our perspectives. I also had multiple opportunities to get industry experience which prepared me for life after graduation. I was able to complete three internships during my undergrad, one of them ending with a full-time job offer at Instagram (which I gladly accepted!)”

SYDNEE MCLEOD, BA 2019
COMMUNITY MANAGER, NORSFELL

“SIAT covers such a wide variety of creative areas. From graphic design to video editing, to game design, you get to try out such a variety of classes and can decide which path you prefer to head down. I think that benefitted me as I gained different skills, whether they be art-related or more on the technical side of things. I focused mainly on the arts side of the program, and on classes about why people use technology the way they do.

"The SIAT co-op program helped me to polish up my resume and cover letter, which I believe set a foundation for getting a job. Co-op also had opportunities for networking events, which led to interviews. I always knew I wanted to work in the games industry, and I now work at a games’ company as a Community Manager for a PC title. I use a little bit of something I learned in (nearly) every class in my job now.”

BRENDAN VANCE, BSC 2011
LEAD SOFTWARE DEVELOPER, EPIC STORY

"The cool thing about SIAT is you get to make a bunch of projects (which let you try as hard as you want to and learn as much as you can). I got to learn practical skills like videogame programming' but I also learned how to work collaboratively and adapt my skills to new design contexts.

"I've since worked on Flash games, mobile games, indie games, and the occasional art project. I've written some critical essays, and helped run alternative game exhibitions and even done a few talks. But all that stuff is really just the continuation of my SIAT experience. I'm still programming creative projects on small-sized teams, or slapping together jury-rigged art exhibitions, or doing group presentations. It's fun!"