Meet the Award Winners and Graduands of Spring 2020 Convocation

June 08, 2020

Meet the award winners and some of our amazing students graduating from the Faculty of Applied Sciences from our Spring 2020 Convocation!



Degree: BSc (Hon), School of Computing Science
In his own words: The only way out is through! I have had my share of very low points in life, and it took me a very long time to find a lifestyle that truly fulfilled me. We grow only very slowly, through incremental changes. Each of us need to define happiness for ourselves, and then push towards it every day, through a commitment to optimism and indomitability. And for the graduating class, this is just the beginning! While we've spent the last little while working on ourselves, it's now a great time to turn our focus outwards. Each of us can decide now to find a way to use our education for the betterment of our communities, no matter how big or small.
Plans after graduation: Bignell will be working for Google as a software engineer and plans to move to the Silicon Valley once the COVID-19 travel restrictions are lifted.



Degree: BASc (First Class with Distinction), School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering
In his own words: It’s very important to find the passions that really make you tick, and integrate them into your day-to-day work. This helps us to find purpose and belonging, especially through uncertain times. 2020 has been a wild year, and it’s so important to take care of yourself, your loved ones and your community at this time. But there is so much hope. At SFU, we’ve spent a big chunk of our lives achieving dreams that we never thought was possible. That is not going to stop. Your skills, resilience and incredible experiences will help build an amazing, just and fair post-pandemic future as leaders of the next generation.
Plans after graduation: Chatterjee joins SFU’s eBrain lab as a graduate student. He will be working with mechatronics professor Faranak Farzan, to research technology-based solutions for mental health challenges, such as depression and addiction, using non-invasive magnetic brain stimulation technology.

Read his full story here >>



Degree: PhD, School of Computing Science
In his own words: I would like to thank my advisors and lab mates for their help, suggestions and insightful discussions. During my years at SFU, I had a wonderful time working with my advisors and lab mates on cool research projects. I also had the chance to collaborate with researchers from industrial labs from Facebook or Disney and other universities on various papers. The PhD experience is really a journey of self-discovery. It was fun but there were also ups and downs. It is important to aim high but also take concrete steps. I got this advice from one of the senior students in this field and will pass it on.
Plans after graduation: Deng will be continuing his research on machine learning and computer vision at Princeton University, hoping to contribute more to the field.



Degree: BASc (Hon, First Class with Distinction), School of Engineering Science
In her own words: I am thankful to my friends and family for sticking with me throughout the wild ride at SFU, and to all the professors who helped me learn and grow as a student. I will never forget the friends I made along the way, the experiences we shared, the late to all night sessions in the labs, the laughter, the frustrations and the scrambling to meet deadlines. Doing my undergraduate thesis in SFU's Synthetic Aperture Radar Laboratory was an incredible opportunity where I experienced cutting edge research firsthand while learning from brilliant and welcoming lab members.
Plans after graduation: Peiters will help design and build radio telescopes, focusing primarily on HIRAZ (Hydrogen Intensity and Real-time Analysis eXperiment).


Degree: MSc, School of Computing Science
About her research: Hoping to make a real-world impact with her research, Al-Zeer focused her thesis on the topic of hate speech. Working with a large dataset of online hate speech, Al-Zeer used natural language processing and linguistic techniques to propose a framework that summarizes the harmful language in a manner so that analysts can use the data without having to directly read offensive material and experience the psychological effects that may come with it. Al-Zeer’s research can be used to potentially prevent hate crimes by targeting action words within the dataset. By studying online hate, Al-Zeer and her collaborators hope to make online environment safer for everyone.
Plans after graduation: After the COVID-19 pandemic settles, Al-Zeer plans to pursue her career in academia as a lecturer to round out and sharpen her communication and leadership skills. After teaching, she plans on either going back to school to work towards her PhD or work in industry to gain additional industrial skills.

Read her full story here >>


Degree: BSc (with Distinction), School of Computing Science | BFA, Music
In her own words: SFU offered a lot more freedom to take classes outside of my declared discipline than other local universities which meant I was able to take music classes at the same time as classes from other faculties. I think that co-op is probably the most important thing to do while at school, and even though it's optional, everyone should do it if they get the chance. Real world experience in the industry while getting mentorship as a student is a significant learning experience.
Plans after graduation: Siu is currently employed full-time at Blackbird Interactive, where she spent two co-op terms during her degree. In the future, she hopes to use her interdisciplinary background in software systems and music to develop games with more personal control.

Read her full story here >>