Mahdi Ebrahimi Kahou

Can machine learning enhance economic models with heterogeneity?
Faculty of Arts
SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

The short answer is my curiosity and the indescribable pleasure I find in solving complicated problems (no matter how many times I fail in the process). During my M.Sc in physics, I became slightly exposed to economics. I was amazed and baffled when I learnt the strong similarities between these two seemingly unrelated fields in understanding and approaching their problems. Therefore, I decided to learn economics in a more systematic way by pursuing a graduate degree in economics.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

UBC Economics has the best graduate program in the country, and one of the best in the world. The graduate students at UBC have an astonishing track record of obtaining academic jobs in prestigious universities and research institutes.

What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?

The department has world-leading researchers in different fields of economics, which provides a suitable environment for interdisciplinary work. Also, the faculty members genuinely care about the well-being and academic success of their graduate students.

What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?

I was surprised about the astonishingly beautiful scenery of Vancouver and British Columbia in general.

What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?

I really enjoy interacting with passionate and talented graduate students and faculty members. As well as the opportunity to be exposed to new ideas in different fields of economics and discussing them with my peers.

What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?

My background in theoretical physics equipped me with a strong quantitative skill set. Also, my previous line of research which was a multidisciplinary work between physics and computer science taught me the values and challenges of multidisciplinary work. These experiences enormously helped me as a graduate student.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

Reading, camping, playing squash, and spending time with my family.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

Mental health is crucial for success in graduate school. A healthy mind preserves passion and boosts creativity. If you feel your mental health is deteriorating, please use the resources that UBC provides, they can be really helpful.


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