Celebrating the graduates of Spring 2020: Jordan Lovrod

June 12 marks the first virtual celebration of convocation for the University of Alberta. Meet some of the class of Spring 2020, including graduates like Jordan Lovrod.

News Staff - 08 June 2020

On June 12, the graduating class of Spring 2020 will celebrate convocation with their friends, family, and the entire University of Alberta community through the first-ever online convocation at the institution. Today, meet Jordan Lovrod, graduating with a BSc with Specialization in Mathematics - Computational Science from the Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, as she reflects on her time at UAlberta and how exploring a variety of interests led to her finding her academic path.

What led you to pick the University of Alberta for your studies?

I’m originally from Grande Prairie so I decided to come to the University of Alberta because it was a high-quality institution for me to start my academic career while still being close to home. 

Tell us about your experience in the Faculty of Science.

I transferred into the Faculty of Science after completing my first year at Campus Saint-Jean. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was planning to do with my degree, so my strategy was to take classes that focused on material I already loved, or that otherwise piqued my interest. Although I didn’t initially see myself going in the direction of computing science, I started to enjoy my computer science courses over my math courses. As I was gradually shifting directions, I connected with a number of professors who continued to influence the direction I wanted to go with my undergrad by introducing me to various fields of research, particularly in theoretical computer science. Once I found my specific area of interest, I was also able to find a group of ambitious and supportive friends who share academic interests and aspirations with me. These friends were instrumental in making the last two years of my undergrad both successful and gratifying. 

What is one of your favourite memories from your time at UAlberta?

One of my favourite memories was teaching a seminar section of the first-year engineering calculus and algebra courses. The students in my sections were intuitive and articulate, so they always entertained me with insightful questions and observations that led to some great conversations. 

What advice do you have for current and future students at the Faculty of Science?

My advice would be to always start by going for breadth over depth. In my first two years, I took a number of classes that are not related to the degree I finished with, and it turned out to be one of the best moves of my undergrad. By exploring my options, I was able to identify the fields that are best suited to my interests and aptitudes, and much to my surprise, I found a discipline that suits me better than that which I initially intended to pursue. 

How have you spent your time during COVID-19 distancing?

I’ve been doing my best to seize the opportunity to rest after four years of being on the go. I revived some old pieces on the piano, I read some books I had only half-finished, and I’m trying to appreciate all the time I get to share with my friends and family, in whatever form that may take. More recently, I’ve started some summer research projects and I’ve been spending lots of time outside.

How do you plan on celebrating convocation?

With a few close friends outside and a borrowed cap.

What's next after graduation?

I will be starting my masters in computer science at the University of British Columbia in September, researching topics in theoretical computer science. I find this field is a perfect balance between the tried-and-true analytical side of mathematics and the powerful modern strategies of computing science.

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