With internships at Baidu Inc. and Microsoft under his belt, Yujia Li is graduating with a PhD in computer science, focusing on machine learning. He has been working with Professor Richard Zemel's research group (Zemel is also the research director of the newly created Vector Institute). Li's next stop: London, U.K., to join the Google-owned artificial intelligence company DeepMind.
What's the most important thing you learned at U of T?
Be brave and ambitious. I did my PhD at U of T. A lot of it is about doing research, and when doing research you have to choose whether to do safe incremental work or do something big but risky. I learned to choose the bigger and more ambitious projects through which you learn to plan ahead, collaborate with others and achieve more.
What was your top U of T moment?
Probably the week before I submitted my first published paper. I spent a few nights working very late in the lab and leaving early in the morning, together with my lab-mate. That period was stressful, but I learned so much. Luckily the paper got accepted and published.
Any advice for new students?
Enjoy life, work and study, learn from each other, collaborate with your team and dream big.
Profile by U of T News