Vlad Zaitsev chose the University of Lethbridge because of the smaller class sizes and for opportunities to participate in research at the undergraduate level. As an undergraduate student, Vlad has participated in research and presented at the Alberta-Montana Combinatorics and Algorithms conference. These research opportunities are giving Vlad insight into what it is like to be a mathematician and what it takes to succeed in the field.
Presenting at this conference was a wonderful learning experience, as it gave me a glimpse of what it is like to present research, which would be an integral part of pursuing graduate studies should I choose to do that in the future.
Meet Vlad | Helpful. Efficient. Creative.
Program: Bachelor of Science | Major: Mathematics
Did you know what you wanted to study before you came to ULethbridge? Has your academic plan changed since you began your studies?
Before applying, I wanted to study either physics, mathematics or computer science. I ended up choosing mathematics, which is related to physics and computer science, allowing me to switch later. But since starting mathematics, I have not changed my plans, remaining in the same program.
Please tell us a bit about your experiential or work-integrated learning at ULethbridge.
I completed two semesters of research over the summer with Dr. Hadi Kharaghani. Research has given me insight into what it is like to be a mathematician and what it takes to succeed in this field. Additionally, I have learned a lot about what opportunities are open to me post-graduation, including graduate studies and other exciting job opportunities that benefit from my mathematical research experience.
What is your most memorable ULethbridge experience so far?
My most memorable experience has been working with Dr. Kharaghani. Notably, participating in the Alberta-Montana Combinatorics and Algorithms conference was an amazing experience that allowed me to learn from and connect to experts in this research field. Additionally, presenting at this conference was a wonderful learning experience, as it gave me a glimpse of what it is like to present research, which would be an integral part of pursuing graduate studies should I choose to do that in the future.
How have your professors impacted your education?
Dr. Kharaghani has allowed me to experience what goes into mathematical research, which has helped me make decisions about what I want to do post-graduation. He is also a very passionate teacher and is always happy to answer any questions, both inside and outside of class.
An A+ student, curious, creative, punctual, diligent, and conscientious. – Dr. Hadi Kharaghani, Department of Mathematics & Computer Science, nominated Vlad as a Shining Student.
Many other professors have also had a positive impact on my education. Notably, Sean Fitzpatrick has done a fantastic job making learning an enjoyable experience while encouraging a deeper understanding of topics covered in his courses.
Are you participating in any extracurricular activities like sports or the arts? If so, how are these experiences enhancing or complimenting what you are doing in the classroom?
I am currently playing for an intramural dodge ball team. This activity helps me create connections and make new friends at the university while also being a fun activity that acts as a break from studying. I am also a tutor for the math/stats help sessions for the current school term, which has allowed me to help others and further solidify my knowledge of previous courses I am tutoring.
What is the most important lesson you have learned so far at ULethbridge?
I have learned the detriments of pushing work back until it is due. Sometimes, things outside of your control can come up which can take priority over school, and it is great to have a buffer between homework due dates to deal with these issues without being worried about missing assignments.
What are your hopes/plans for the future?
After graduation, I hope to continue learning mathematics by pursuing graduate studies or finding employment, which will allow me to apply and expand the skills I have developed from my university experience.
What advice would you like to give those who are about to begin their journey at ULethbridge?
My advice would be to participate in as many things as you are comfortable fitting into your schedule. I think getting involved in intramurals, clubs, and other activities offered at the university will not only enhance your university experience but also allow you to make new friends with others attending the university.
Top things to do in or around Lethbridge: Cycling, hiking and spending time with friends/family
Favourite class: Linear Algebra (MATH 3410)
Favourite social activity at ULethbridge: Spending time with friends
Favourite place to study: At my desk at home
About Shining Students
Shining Students engage inside and outside of the classroom. What makes a student shine may differ from person to person, but they all share a passion for learning. They may be top students, involved in an innovative project, participating in ground-breaking research, playing Pronghorn athletics, fighting for social issues or all of the above! When students find something they enjoy and combine it with what they are good at, they shine.
Each year, the Faculty of Arts & Science's faculty and staff nominate students who exemplify the ULethbridge student spirit. Congratulations Vlad!