Linda Kanyamuna

March 13, 2020

Tell us a bit about yourself, where you come from, your interest in CMNS?

Hi! My name is Linda Kanyamuna, I am from Burnaby, British Columbia and I am currently a second year CMNS student at SFU! I love traveling and trying new foods, while documenting these memories through mediums such as vlogging and photography. I am very passionate about the fashion industry; I like the idea of self-expression through artistry and creativity. Being a fashion enthusiast prompted me to study communications, as I am also interested in studying social media and information technologies. I find both of these topics to be leading influences in the development of fashion and popular culture.  

Why are you interested in this subject (your presentation)?

Many of us agree that improving lives and increasing connectivity are the focal point for data driven technologies. I have always been enticed with developing technologies, as they are simultaneously altering and shaping the way we live, especially with the debut of machine learning that involve deep learning and algorithmic ‘deep fake’ technologies. Having been introduced to such technologies, I wanted to home in on their ethics as well as potential limitations to these innovations.  

Can you give us a sneak peek about your presentations?

I will be presenting my research that I completed for a course on information technology (CMNS 253W), where I analyzed how facial recognition technologies are jeopardizing privacy and systemizing human agency. I will be touching on current and upcoming uses of facial recognition systems in contemporary society, as well as how such technologies may challenge ethics concerning privacy, jeopardizing the significance of consent in surveillance systems.  

What was the process like to prepare for your presentation?

I am ecstatic and full of gratitude to have been given the opportunity to share my passions and research at the FCAT UGC this year. Growing up, I was exposed to a great deal of speaking opportunities, which helped nurture my love for public speaking. The process of preparing for my presentation consisted of translating my academic research paper into presentable dialogue and searching for ways to address my findings in an engaging and compelling manner. I liked being able to personalize my presentation, express my own ideas, and having the flexibility to inform the audience on a subject I chose to prolong my research on.

What is your experience in CMNS and SFU so far?

I am really enjoying my experience in CMNS. I love the program; I find it highly versatile and caters well to my various interests. CMNS offers a diverse array of courses that spark a lot of insightful discussions and encourage creative solutions. Everytime course selection comes around, I find that there are many interesting CMNS courses I am eager to take. Furthermore, I look forward to participating in a co-op position this fall. The CMNS department has been a great support in my academic journey; guiding me through the job-seeking process and encouraging me to take advantage of all the tremendous opportunities the FCAT has to offer, such as the FCAT UGC!

What would you tell students who might be interested in CMNS or to get more involved in presenting research?

I say to go for it! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Presenting your own research may seem intimidating, but you just have to remember that your audience is eager to learn from you and wants to indulge in your innovative findings and gain more perspective. The FCAT UGC is a great event where students are able to collaborate with one another, as well as their fellow professors and delve into topics they are passionate about, while gaining public speaking experience. I am glad I took advantage of this opportunity, as presenting information is something that I expect to do more of throughout my academic career, leading up to my industry career. Overall, I will remember it as a meaningful part of my overall experience at SFU.