Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I like doing math! I don't have to use computers very much and get to work with a pen and paper, which is very nice. Hours are pretty good and flexible. And it is a great privilege to be able to think about fun problems for a living!
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
I quite like the kind of math that people do here, and enjoy working with my supervisors. The campus is also a beautiful place and the graduate student community is pretty laid back and friendly.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
My program is large and strong in many areas, so there is an opportunity to learn lots of different kinds of things. The primary draw for me, though, was the professors in my research area.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
There is a lot of good food and coffee in Vancouver if you're willing to dig a bit! Also, wreck beach is delightful.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
My undergraduate education was very focused on developing curiosity and following your interests, which are excellent skills for research.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
I like to ferment things! I'm most interested currently in fermenting with a mould called Koji, or Aspergillus oryzae. Traditional koji-fermented products include soy sauce, miso, gochujang and many other beloved condiments and sauces. More modern approaches to using Koji have attempted to abstract the underlying processes and use them to ferment a wide variety of products including meat, dairy and assorted vegetables in addition to the more traditional grains and legumes. This leads to endless tasty products and variations! I also like to play various sports, read, drink coffee, cook and go swimming in the ocean! Generally, I like to be outdoors.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Don't take it all too seriously and remember to take care of yourself. Also, hobbies are a good thing - if your academic career doesn't work out maybe you can make a living off of them!