Grad profile: Donovan Parks, Computer Science
Rebecca Schneidereit - October 2, 2012
Every spring and fall, we profile just a few of our amazing graduates in our Convocation handout. We proudly feature these stories here on Dal News. Congrats to all our new graduates!
As a child, Donovan Parks loved computers. “My parents were extremely supportive and we had one of the first computers in our neighbourhood. I used this to learn basic computer programming and to run an electronic Bulletin Board System (BBS) for people in my hometown of Castlegar,” he reminisces.
As a teenager, he sold computer programs via his home company Mind Products. After completing an undergraduate Computer Engineering degree at the University of Victoria and a Master of Engineering in Computer Vision at McGill, Parks is now graduating from Dalhousie with a PhD in Computer Science – the culmination of the fascination of a lifetime.
For his PhD, he specialized in Bioinformatics: “the application of computers and computer science techniques to solve problems in the life sciences.”
It was while at Dalhousie that Parks published his first article in an international journal, Genome Research, and spoke at the 95th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America in Pittsburgh. He’s also attended international conferences in locations as far-flung as Ireland and Japan. “Being able to travel so extensively to discuss my research has certainly been one of the most enjoyable aspects of graduate life.”
After graduation, Parks will journey to Australia, where he’ll work as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Queensland’s Australian Centre for Ecogenomics. After that, who can say?
“I am keeping an open mind,” he says. “Recently, I’ve been interested in algorithmic art and have become increasingly interested in photography.”
“Art generated by a set of instructions carried out by a computer.” Parks refers to computers as “a power tool for exploring ideas,” and with this particular tool, he’s become a master craftsman.
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