Sikander Randhawa

 
Optimization for Machine Learning
 
There are many reasons why I chose UBC! I grew up in Vancouver and I appreciate its beauty. I've cultivated some strong relationships in this city and I understand that our relationships are what allow us to grow into the best versions of ourselves. The best thing about UBC is that it has so much to offer beyond its world-class academics.
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I discovered a lot about myself as an undergraduate student. But most importantly, I discovered that I felt the greatest amount of satisfaction from my life when I was pushing myself beyond my old boundaries and learning profound ideas. To me, graduate school seemed to be the most appropriate next step in my life to stay true to myself.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

There are many reasons! I grew up in Vancouver and I appreciate its beauty. I cultivated some strong relationships in this city and I understand that our relationships are what allow us to grow into the best versions of ourselves. My relationship with my supervisor (who I met during my undergraduate studies) is one such relationship that I greatly value, making the decision to stay at UBC extremely easy.

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

I have always been attracted to analytical problems. The opportunity to study some fun mathematical problems motivated by one of the hottest academic fields in the world right now (machine learning) was very attractive.

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

The best thing about UBC is that it has so much to offer beyond its world-class academics. There is something on campus for everyone to feel passionate about. You just need to explore!

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

My favorite part of my graduate program is being surrounded by people who are as passionate about learning as I am. It makes for a wonderful environment where the potential for learning is unlimited.

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

The people that have been there for me throughout my life are the ones that have prepared me for this next challenge. My family, friends and other loved ones have been an extremely positive influence on my life and without them, I wouldn't know what to do.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

My favorite hobby is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but I enjoy other forms of martial arts as well. Beyond this, I love to discover the capabilities of my body through yoga and weight training. After a long day of research and jiu-jitsu, I like to unwind by reading a little bit.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

Don't forget that your time in graduate school is also a chance for you to discover a lot about yourself. Try things that you have never tried before, immerse yourself in new hobbies, and find out as much as you can about yourself. You may not get another opportunity which affords this amount of day-to-day freedom, so take advantage of it!

 
 
 

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