Posts for Current graduate students

From Field to Film: Making Science Accessible

We all care about our research. We think our projects are cool, our data is important, and the answers to our questions will save the world. We know the lingo, speak the language, and understand the background. We are immersed in our topic 24/7, 365 days a year, for what feels like forever. So when asked why other people should care about my research, and to explain it in only 60 seconds, I really had to stop and think. Because why WOULDN’T everyone care?!

Getting involved in student associations for professional and personal development: Reflections from a year-long mandate as the Computer Science (CS) Graduate Student Association (GSA) President

As a graduate student at the University of Waterloo, there are many opportunities to develop personal and professional skills by joining a student association. These individual benefits, as usually advertised by the associations, include: making a positive impact in students’ social lives, influencing community life on campus, networking, and transferring the skills we learn as students into a more professional dynamic.

Making the most of your time away from the lab: Tips on conducting research remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic!

Stay home

Given the unprecedented situation with the Covid-19 outbreak, we have seen a new global reality unfold before our eyes. In response to this outbreak, many universities across the world have suspended all in-person classes, events and research operations and are in the process of transitioning to a remote work style.

Bringing Google to campus (twice!): Leveraging a professional network

Google stuffed animal.

At the University of Waterloo, participating in student activities enables the evolvement of leadership skills and creates career/networking opportunities for graduate students, but students can also take the initiative to establish their own opportunities. From my own experience, taking this initiative can have great professional development benefits.

Developing leadership skills as a grad student: My experience as a Community Assistant

Betsy Mathew, second from left, with the Community Assistant team at the CLV Ping Pong/Foosball/Pool tournament. (Photo credit:

I started my master’s program in September 2018 and have been living in Columbia Lake Village (CLV) since then. When I saw the posting for the CLV Community Assistant position for the winter semester, I was more than happy to apply. I’ve always wanted to develop my leadership skills and thought that this was the perfect opportunity.

GRADflix - Make every frame a painting

The GRADflix winners pose on the red carpet

If I asked you to explain your research to me in 1 minute, what would you say? This was the question I kept asking myself while I was brainstorming ideas for my entry to GRADflix earlier this year. As a previous contestant in University of Waterloo’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, I knew how tricky it was to condense my thesis work into a 180 second talk and the thought of shortening this down further to only 60 seconds seemed downright impossible at first.

Gaining perspective through interdisciplinary collaboration

Simron Singh, Audrey Chung, Justin Carpenter, George Dixon, and Jeff Casello at GRADtalks

We are Audrey Chung and Justin Carpenter, two PhD candidates at the University of Waterloo, and we were the speakers at Beyond 60: The Promises and Realities of Artificial Intelligence. We’re from different disciplines — Systems Design Engineering and English — and, as a result, approach the topic of artificial intelligence quite differently.

The Lake Shift: An interview with Becky and Tariq

Becky Anderson and Tariq Aziz

In July 2018, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs sponsored two PhD students, Becky Anderson and Tariq Aziz, to attend the Lake Shift writing retreat. Hosted by Queen’s University, the Lake Shift is a thesis writing retreat for doctoral students from Ontario universities held at the Queen’s Biology Station on Lake Opinicon. I checked-in with Becky and Tariq to hear about their experience at the Lake Shift:

Tell us a bit about yourself. What program are you in and what is your research focus?

Adding fun to your grad life: Connect to your residence community

Ekin Eray holds a gingerbread house made during a community event.

When I first moved to Waterloo 3 years ago for my PhD studies, I didn’t know much about life in Canada. I decided to stay in residences for a term to be close to campus and to get used to the city, and then look for an off-campus options. But I enjoyed living in Columbia Lake Village (CLV) North so much that I never left after I moved in.

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