Tiffany Inglis smiles as she credits her dad with tutoring her in math in grades six through nine. She recalls that he helped her study for math contests. Before she knew it, math had become an interest of her own. Tiffany explains that she was always encouraged by her parents to pursue her diverse interests, including a talent for and interest in art. Now a PhD student, she looks back at her studies in statistics for her undergraduate and master's degrees. "I remember trying some image processing along the way." Even earlier, she had enjoyed art classes in high school and had wished that her artistic side could be explored further.
Tiffany looked at different graduate programs and was impressed by those professors at the University of Waterloo doing research in graphics. Professor Craig Kaplan's work caught her interest. Looking into the program, she found that there was the promise of creative freedom.
I liked knowing that I could take it wherever I want to go.
The flexibility of the program was appealing too. She hadn't known much about the field of graphics, but it was as if a new world had opened up to her.
When Tiffany thinks back to her undergraduate years at UBC, she remembers visiting an open house where a display featured cleverly animated figures. This was novel at that time and it delighted and impressed her. Much later, here at UW, she discovered that her lab partner, Matthew Thorne, had developed the program. The lab where she does much of her research has always been buzzing with creativity.
Sometimes, I might not know the solution to a problem, but someone else will. They each have their own unique ideas.
Seeing other people pushing the boundaries of creativity in academia encourages her to do the same. Seeing amazing work in graphics at conferences has been exciting too. She's found so much to motivate her.
About half of the students in her lab are female, she explains, and gender hasn't been an issue. Even so, WICS has been good at tying everything together, she remarks. She emphasizes that WICS has a lot to offer women, and she recommends that all prospective students look at programs, not just at universities. Doing so has enabled her to merge a love of both math and art.