Learn, Imagine, Build
Geoff Messier's Projects & Ideas

Prospective Students

Our Student Experience

Students working in my group will graduate with a technical background in data science, machine learning and statistics. It is my goal to provide all of my research students with the opportunity to grow by developing their own innovative solutions to important research problems. The structure of my program is intended not only to develop technical research skills but also communications, teamwork and hands-on software development skills.

Members of my research group will also be part of interdisciplinary teams that include researchers from the health and social work areas. These teams may also include staff from the agencies who do front-line work with vulnerable groups. Through this interaction, we learn which problems to solve and what design constraints our solutions must meet. This process teaches my students how to communicate their ideas to a wide range of people with very different technical backgrounds. It also gives experience learning how to turn a research concept into a tool with real practical benefit.

It is critical that any researcher is not only able to develop innovative ideas but to also communicate those ideas clearly and succinctly. I run workshops with my research team to train them in effective presentation skills and written communication. Presentation skills are refined through practice presentations within our group and external presentations at conferences and to external partners. The effective writing training deals with establishing a message for a document and then using proper figure design and paragraph structure to ensure that message is clearly communicated to a busy reader.

The majority of students with engineering graduate degrees find employment in industry where they must be able to work in teams in order to make a contribution. I encourage collaboration within my group to help develop these teamwork skills. One area this occurs is related to the data analysis software we develop. Rather than requiring each student to develop all code from scratch, my lab has a code tree where multiple students make contributions, often in parallel. To manage this code development, we utilize the same code development and revision control tools used in industry. Throught this work, my students also develop their own github source code respositories which they can then show to prospective employers in the software and data science industries.

Interested in joining us?

I am always interested in reviewing applications from well qualified students interesting in joining my research team. If you are interested in applying to be a member of my group, please include the following information in your email:

I tend not to consider “form letters”, generic emails sent to a large number of recipients or CV’s aimed at research areas that are clearly different than my own. I will consider your application only if it is clear you have followed these instructions and have made an effort to put together an application that is specifically for me.

Also please note that I receive a very large number of emails from candidates interested in studying in my research group. This makes it impractical for me to respond to all the emails I receive. However, I do read all of the applications that are sent to me and I will contact you if I have an open position that you appear qualified for.