Linda Farczadi

Linda Farczadi, PhD candidate
Linda Farczadi

Degrees: Masters of Computer Science (McGill), Bachelor of Science (Queens)

Supervisor: Jochen Koenemann

What program are you in? What is your research area?

I am a PhD student in the Combinatorics and Optimization department. My research area is algorithmic game theory.

Why did you choose to study in the Faculty of Mathematics? Why did you choose the University of Waterloo?

I chose the University of Waterloo because of the Combinatorics and Optimization department. I believe this is a truly unique department that fits my research interests perfectly. I was also motivated by the department’s reputation as one of the best in the world and the fact that many of the faculty members are recognized as leaders in their fields.

What are your career goals?

My goal is to always work on interesting problems and continually challenge myself. A successful career for me would be one where I am constantly excited about my work.

What has been the most rewarding moment in your graduate career so far?

My most rewarding moments have been publishing my work and presenting my results at top conferences in my field.

What has been the most challenging part of life as a graduate student?

One of the really nice things about being a PhD student is that I have a lot freedom in all aspects of my work. However, a downside of all this freedom is an inevitable lack of structure. Sometimes it can be difficult to assess how I am doing or know whether I am heading down the right path. I believe it is important to be able to work without constant feedback and find motivation in long term goals.

What has been your favourite course or project so far in grad school?

My favorite courses have been the topics courses, since they resemble real research projects more closely and students are able to explore certain questions in depth. In particular I have really enjoyed a topics course in Algorithmic Game Theory offered by Prof. Koenemann, as well as a topics course in Approximation and Randomized Algorithms offered by Prof. Swamy.

Can you describe any practical or hands-on experience you’ve had during your studies?

In my third year I taught an undergraduate course in linear algebra, which was a great experience for me.

How do you describe combinatorics and optimization to your friends and family?

I jokingly like to describe it as solving puzzles for a living.

How do you spend your time outside of school?

I am a bit of a trail running enthusiast. I have recently completed a 100 mile running trip in Patagonia and I am currently training for a 50 km race in the spring. This tends to take up all of my free time.

Do you have any words of advice for people considering or planning graduate studies at the University of Waterloo? What about for people who may be interested in C&O?

If you really enjoy research and think that a PhD is the right fit for you then I would highly recommend the C&O department. It is truly one of the best in the world. In addition, the University of Waterloo has a very strong reputation in the technical fields which makes it a great place for studying mathematics or computer science. I also find Waterloo a very nice town to live in, and I have made many friends here both inside and outside the University.