MSc student, Electrical Engineering

Why did you choose to pursue graduate studies at the University of Waterloo?

University of Waterloo is one of the top Universities in Canada, which made me want to come here. I want degrees from top Universities to prepare me for industry.

Ryan FangDescribe your research and what makes you passionate about it:

My research is in simulation and modelling of GaN devices. Back in my 2nd year, I took on an undergraduate research position where I was asked to perform simulations, and I thought that it was work that was not very important because it didn't involve anything "real and physical." But I was wrong about that, as now I realize that simulations are at the core and heart of all modern electronic design work. Without simulations and models, it would be extremely difficult to design large-scale implementations.

Tell us about where you are from:

I was born in Shanghai, China. I moved to Edmonton when I was 2 years old and have lived there ever since, except for when I briefly moved to Lethbridge between the ages of 6 and 8. I did nearly all my schooling in Edmonton, including my undergraduate degree.

What is the best part about being a grad student?

Being a grad student is very much a "you pick your story" experience. There are so many components such as research work, free courses and auditing, TA experience, and more. My research group is also close, and my supervisor hangs out with us, which makes me feel like I have someone I can seek help from at any time.

What activities, groups, events are you involved in?

Swimming, fitness classes, mountain climbing.

How has grad school helped you develop your teaching skills?

Most importantly, grad school provides the opportunity to exercise my teaching skills. There is never a lack of students wanting to know how to do something, whether they want to know the bare minimum to pass, or they want more insight on how to use their skills to develop something more sophisticated.

How do you spend your free time?

I look around the city for more things I can do!

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

Sign up for some extracurriculars early on and get into a routine.

What are your plans once you finish your education?

More education, a PhD maybe? But then after that I would want to go into industry, into high tech.

What are some of the challenging aspects of being a graduate student and how do you address these challenges?

Workload management, sometimes you prioritize some things more than others, and you end up not doing the lower priority items. Try and schedule some time to make progress in everything.

Country of origin: Canada

Domestic or International: Domestic

Academic stream: Research

Full-time or part-time: Full-time

Research supervisorLan Wei

TA/RA or GRS held: GRS

University of Waterloo