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Meet Divya Dola

Posted by Faculty of Computer Science on March 9, 2017 in Graduate, Students, Outreach, Women in Tech, CORe-CS, Students, News, International, HCI, Visualization, Graphics

As part of our dedication to encouraging inclusiveness in the Faculty of Computer Science through the Culture of Respect initiative, we have been chatting with students to showcase their experiences at Dal and discover what we can do to ensure we are creating a positive environment for everyone.

1. What is your name and current program?

My name is Divya Dola and I am a current Masters in Applied Computer Science student.

2. Where did you come from?

I come from a city called Visakhapatnam in India. I did my schooling in Siva Sivani Public School where I was first introduced to programming and instantly fell in love with it. I went on to do my Bachelors in Information Technology in pursuit of extensive programming knowledge and ended up exploring my interest in entrepreneurship and management as well. With these diverse interests in mind, I started working for a startup called Chegg Inc. as a Computer Science - Subject Matter Expert immediately after my graduation, and also had the opportunity to closely observe and participate in the brainstorming sessions of the operations department in Diksuchi printers (an industrial-printing startup cofounded by my parents).

3. Why did you come to Dal Faculty of Computer Science?

During my search for a computer science graduate school in Canada, I discovered that Dalhousie University offers a project based masters in computer science with a substantial exposure to research, if willing to learn. This seemed like a perfect fit for someone who doesn't want to commit to research but to gain a good understanding. In addition to its curriculum, Dal's FCS comes with highly knowledgable and well renowned faculty. Dalhousie University FCS's student to faculty ratio is small compared to other universities in Canada, allowing the professors, instructors and other staff to devote more time to each student.

4. What activities have you engaged in to help promote a culture of respect and diversity in FCS?

Being an international student and moving for the first time outside my hometown, I took my time to adjust to the environment. To make sure other students do not miss out on any opportunities by taking too much time to adjust, I volunteer at the Dalhousie University's Student Life Committee that creates and organizes platforms of fun events for students to quickly mingle with peers, and I am a volunteer and host for Dalhousie's Indian Student Society (INDISA). In addition, I have also been actively following and volunteering for the events of Enacts Dalhousie which supports entrepreneurship.

5. What aspirations or plans do you have?

Right now I am completely focused on my research project. It allows me to learn on the job about research methods and statistical data analysis. After I graduate, I'd like to join an organization that allows me to work on exciting new technologies, and gain industrial exposure. I am also currently working on a potential startup project aimed towards remotely supporting university students with their academics.

6. From your time to date within FCS, what has been our best memory, proudest moment or what surprised you the most about being a student here?

For me, Dalhousie's FCS is where my talent met the right opportunity. The best and most proud moment is when I visited The Boeing Company in South Carolina, USA as part of my Human Computer Interaction (HCI) research project which gave me hands-on experience with aircrafts. The trip was not just cherishing and fun, but also gave me an exposure to aircraft manufacturing and an insight into how the aircraft prototypes are being viewed in the workplace. This inspired my study to see how users resume and continue tasks on 3D models in different sized devices. I am also a recipient of the Boeing grant in support of my research.

You can find out more about the Culture of Respect in the Faculty of Computer Science, including confidential points of contact, here https://www.dal.ca/faculty/computerscience/about/respect.html.