Participant Testimonials

Nov 08 - Nov 10, 2013

The igtc summit is a fantastic networking opportunity. The focus on students throughout the weekend makes it one of the most important events of the year and does a lot for student employability and research enthusiasm. As this workshop is at the edge of my field, I learned a lot, especially since it was very accessible. From these summits and the igtc program in general I am a much better supervisor because of its strong emphasis on providing students with opportunities and the goal of reaching out to a broader audience for collaboration and networking.

David Campbell Associate Professor
Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, Simon Fraser University

Participating in this BIRS workshop has been a very positive experience. The variety of research presented by the students and faculty was extremely informative and interesting. Also, the possibility for discussions between students and IGTC faculty gave me valuable insight into problems on which I am currently working. I also found this to be a great networking opportunity, especially at the current stage of my degree. Two of the faculty members at the workshop offered to let me know about any post-doctoral positions that might become available in the next year. Also, the career component of the workshop was excellent, and very relevant for all the students.

Oksana Chkrebtii Statistics and Actuarial Science, Simon Fraser University

This was a fantastic workshop that allowed me and my students to network and to find out about important research being carried out by other Math-Biology groups in the PIMS geographic region. We found an important and direct link between the research on breast cancer done in my group and that of another group in Edmonton (Ton Hillen), something we were not previously aware of. As a result, my student has been invited to visit the other group, and some mutually beneficial collaboration may result. We have already discussed comparing two distinct ways of modeling the same scenario, which would allow for direct comparison of methods used in the field of 3D cell interaction computations (Cellular Potts Model versus Deformable Ellipsoid model). This is something I had always wanted to be able to do, and is possible for the first time now. Aside from benefit to my own research, the workshop was of exceptional interest and quality as far as student presentations, career planning, and quality of advice for finding positions and planning for the future. I am very very glad I got to go to this workshop, and I hope it will be repeated in the future. In my mind, this is one of the best investments in young scientists that we can make, at relatively reasonable cost in terms of time, funding, and resources.

Leah Edelstein-Keshet Prof
Mathematics, University of British Columbia

It was great fun and learning experience. I had chance to meet new students with range of background. It was nice to discuss my research work problems with other students and faculty members to have better suggestions/recommendations that are helpful for me. Simply, it was awesome!

Muhammad Sajid Iqbal University of Lethbridge

The workshop was a way of getting acquainted with topics that are currently outside of my comfort zone, as well as present my own research to people working in diverse fields. In that respect, this may well prove to be a catalyst to many new projects. I can testify that I did meet a lot of new people, some of whose work I find extremely interesting and germane to my own work. Since I am a graduate student expecting to finish within a year, I hope I made a suitable impression on the many people I met here. I feel I can provide new tools and techniques to certain problems they are interested in, or I can work on a slew of different problems that may have unexpected connections to their research. For example, cancer genomics now goes hand in hand with the understanding of the spread of cancer, and epidemiologists often look to genomic indicators for the spread of the disease. From the point of view of my favourite discipline, being a more theoretically oriented person, I do not think the workshop had an impact on my understanding of the concepts I am interested in, but the whole point was to understand something new, and I believe that the workshop excelled at this goal.

Ashok Rajaraman Graduate student
Department of Mathematics, Simon Fraser University

This IGTC workshop was geared towards graduate students in math biology, and as such proved to be excellent. The training sessions certainly helped my students' careers and exposed them to different views and different career paths. The poster session gave them feedback from researchers and students and created lots of discussion and energy. The talks exposed them to different topics and gave insight as to how modern mathematics is being used to model biological systems. In addition, I learned about models being developed by other researchers in math biology, and found out about some papers in the literature. These may help with my research projects. I also witnessed the enthusiasm and talent of this group of students.

Pauline van den Driessche Mathematics and Statistics, University of Victoria

First, thanks for the organizers' supporting me to attending such a nice workshop and present my research to colleagues. I learned a lot from this workshop. I got to know a lot more related research topics that interest me from the talks and posters from other colleagues. I also got a variety of good suggestions from the senior researchers on how to balance the life and research, how to adjust myself to future academic life. Meanwhile, I made a lot of friends with graduate students and enjoyed that wonderful talks. Finally, I had a more practical expectation of my future career after listening to the record of new faculty who were IGTC graduate students. Thanks to Dr. Daniel Coombs' perfect organization of this summit and personal suggestion to me. By the way, the accommodation is really splendid!

Chuang Xu University of Alberta