Mariolys Rivas, MSc (’10)

Excellent research skills developed during her thesis laid the foundation for Rivas to excel as a data scientist.

Mariolys Rivas completed her MSc in the Department of Mathematics, studying combinatorics. Her thesis work with Professor Marni Mishna focused on D-finite functions.

When Rivas entered the graduate program at SFU, it was her first time leaving home. “International students are welcomed at SFU. I’m originally from Venezuela, so as a newcomer—in a new country at a new university—it was great to have the support. The seminars, social events, and academic activities were very helpful,” she says.

After graduating from the Master’s program, Rivas continued on to do a PhD in mathematics at Concordia University. She taught mathematics at Marianopolis College in Montréal, QC, and currently works as a Data Scientist at Stelvio, focusing on machine learning. “Right now, I’m researching all the things I need to apply to my work in the company, writing reports and programming. In your Master’s, you read papers, synthesize them, learn from them, and apply what you learned to your thesis. I wrote papers with Marni, which was very useful,” says Rivas. “Even though I’m not doing exactly the same thing I was studying at SFU, I developed these skills while I was there.”