"When I found SFU and SIAT, I felt I had at last found the perfect opportunity to merge both of my passions: Art and Technology."

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Student Profile: Rafael Arias Gonzalez

February 14, 2022
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Interactive Arts & Technology master's student in the Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology

I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 2017 with First Class Honours and have since worked as a University Lecturer, Backend Developer, and Artificial Intelligence / Data Science Engineer. I'm passionate about sharing knowledge with others.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?

What I loved the most about my undergrad (Bachelor of Science in Audio) were the music and artistic courses. Then I found a deep passion for programming, but I always felt sad to part ways with my creative side. When I found SFU and SIAT, I felt I had at last found the perfect opportunity to merge both of my passions: Art and Technology.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?

My research relates to improving Artificial Intelligence algorithms for music composition and improvisation. There has been some amazing work done in this area, but there is still much to explore. My main focus is to find ways to optimize and improve the existing algorithms!

WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?

I am delighted with the support I've received from my supervisor and lab members. They have inspired me to work harder and always helped me out when needed.

HAVE YOU BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF ANY MAJOR OR DONOR-FUNDED AWARDS? IF SO, PLEASE TELL US WHICH ONES AND A LITTLE ABOUT HOW THE AWARDS HAVE IMPACTED YOUR STUDIES AND/OR RESEARCH.

I received a Graduate Fellowship when I started my studies, and it allowed me to concentrate on my studies and lab work without having to worry. This support was invaluable. Furthermore, receiving a fellowship inspired me to be the best student I can possibly be!

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PROGRAM/POSTDOC POSITION TO SOMEONE STILL SEARCHING FOR A PROGRAM OR POSTDOC POSITION?

SIAT is hard to describe since it is a multi-disciplinary program. The best way to describe it is it is a program focused on visual, human, and creative aspects of technology. One of the beautiful things about the program is since it is so multi-disciplinary, it is hard to think of a research area that couldn't fit in with one of the labs. We all benefit from learning from other disciplines and areas, which is invaluable to me.

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE?

Taking this program is the best decision I have made in my life!

 

Contact : raa60@sfu.ca

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