Alumni Stories

When you ask Frank Hangler about his interests, you see him pause for a moment, as if wondering where in the world—literally—he should begin. When he does, he launches into an array of subjects, each one ripe for discussion: world history, music, Canadian health policy, cooking, the relationship between social media and social movements, European travel, web design, dot-com startups, architecture, wine, backpacking,—is there not a topic on...

In reading through Paul Kry’s CV of research, teaching, and professional accomplishments, one has the sense of being in the presence of a person absolutely born to academics. But despite his long-standing interests in computing and computer science, Paul laughs at the suggestion that it was a foregone conclusion that, for example, once he’d finished his masters in CS, he’d continue for a Ph.D. “No, no!” he says with an easy laugh. “I knew I...

Felicity Foxx Herst, a dynamic young game designer with Silicon Sisters Interactive in Vancouver, describes herself as an “avid and passionate female gamer.” The daughter of a genomics researcher and a professional opera singer, Felicity grew up in a household devoted both to the arts and the sciences, so it’s perhaps no wonder that she gravitated ultimately toward a field that allows her to engage with her interests in both. What’s a bit...

Dorothy Cheung’s resume shows an impressive list of educational and professional accomplishments. She’s worked in a diversity of UBC-based and private sector labs in Vancouver, including labs in UBC’s departments of botany, biotechnology, and pediatrics, the Centre for Plant Research at the UBC Botanical Garden and at Viridae Clinical Sciences. Now a computational biologist at the Genome Sciences Centre in Vancouver, she’s also the recipient...

Heidi Lam, who holds two degrees from UBC and two from Simon Fraser, has an impressive string of academic credentials, but she laughs off any suggestion that she’s a super-achiever. Instead, she suggests with quiet, yet focused, determination that she’s been seeking the best way to develop her intellectual interests while being true to her personality: a functional way to balance what she wants with who she is. For Heidi, a software engineer...

From an early age, David He has been trying to understand and represent the world with the eyes both of an artist and an applied scientist. In Shanghai, where he was born and lived until he was a teen, some of his first memories were of watching television, then drawing from memory the cartoons he’d seen, trying to capture the likeness and feel of a character’s clothing, expression, or hair. Like many kids drawn to the interactive world of...

When you meet Katayoon Kasaian, a warmly engaging and well-rounded person who loves to hike and snowboard, spend time with friends, and enjoy good food and wine, you immediately feel yourself in the presence of a people person. In fact, it’s hard to imagine Katayoon—who has tutored students with learning disabilities in physics and chemistry, volunteered to visit with cardiology patients at St. Paul’s Hospital, and oriented new immigrants to...

The display of an iPhone measures just 3.5 inches diagonally, yet as millions of iPhone fans will attest, it’s a portal into a vast world of apps, some 350,000 and counting at present. For the developers of those apps, it’s the space and place where inventiveness and savvy come together. For Hendrik Kueck, founder of Pocket Pixels of Vancouver, BC, the iPhone display represents the intersection of his passion for aesthetics and his...

Like many of the department graduates profiled in these pages, Andrew Ip had a spotty background with computers prior to entering UBC. “And most of my experience,” he says with a grin, “came through playing computer games.” In high school he had developed an interest in web development and followed up on that interest by taking an intro CS class in the fall of 1999. “In truth,” he says ruefully, “I bombed that class and had to take it again...

Saying that Juanita Lohmeyer has a passion for learning is like saying the sun has a passion for shining; it just seems to happen, without effort, and because it can. And because Juanita, a Program Director in Business Transformation & Technology Operations at TELUS, appears to move from one learning experience to another so naturally and easily, it's tempting to say she's known from the start exactly what her goals would be and where...

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